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REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS:
LGBT ACTIVIST’S LIFE IN DANGER

Update info:
20 Aug 2012
Country:
REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS
Subject:
Donny Reyes
Gender m/f: Male
Period:
28 Sep 2012
Distribution date:
20 Aug 2012
UA No:
243/2012

On 5 July, prominent LGBT activist Donny Reyes was pursued by an armed man on a motorbike. He managed to escape, but his life is in danger. The authorities have not provided him with any protection, even though they have been ordered to do so by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Donny Reyes is the coordinator of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization Rainbow Association (Asociación Arcoiris). On the morning of 5 July, when Donny Reyes left home to drive to work, he noticed a man on a motorbike parked on a street corner near his house. When he drove off, the man followed him. In fear for his safety, Donny Reyes accelerated and drove round to the back of his house to re-enter the building.

After an hour, with no sign of the man outside, Donny Reyes left his house again and drove towards the Rainbow Association office. As he approached the office, the same man on the motorbike re-appeared, driving alongside his car and staring at him, while lifting his t-shirt and putting his hand on a gun he had tucked in his trousers. Donny Reyes drove on towards a police station, still being followed. When he was close to the police station, the man rode away. In fear for his safety, Donny Reyes called a colleague, and sought refuge in the offices of another LGBT organization. Lawyers at the Centre for the Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights (CIPRODEH) called the police to request that they accompany him to a safe place, but they refused. CIPRODEH instead came to find him, called the Ministry of Interior’s Human Rights Unit and arranged a meeting with representatives of the Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office and the police for the next day. The meeting was cancelled half an hour before it was due to start.

Donny Reyes is a beneficiary of Precautionary Measures granted by the IACHR in 2009 to safeguard his security. The authorities have not implemented the orders, leaving Donny at serious risk. His request for bodyguards has been turned down due to a lack of resources.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Donny Reyes received protective Precautionary Measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in 2009, in response to his arrest during protests at the 2009 coup d’etat. In early 2011, Donny Reyes received two threatening text messages.

Donny Reyes and his legal representatives met with the Honduran authorities on 18 February 2011 to agree on the implementation of the 2009 IACHR protection measures. The police superintendent present at the meeting committed to ensuring that police patrol cars would pass by Donny Reyes’ home and workplace every day. Donny Reyes was also given a direct line of communication to the deputy superintendent and inspector of police in case of emergencies. At the same meeting, a representative of the Special Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office promised to prioritise the investigation into his 2009 arrest and other incidents since then.

At the meeting, Donny Reyes also reaffirmed a request directed to the Minister of Justice and Human Rights for two military bodyguards.

The authorities have utterly failed to respect their commitments to Donny Reyes and their obligations to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Police patrols were only carried out in a sporadic form between February and March 2011 – and none since then. Donny Reyes has received no news of any advance in the investigation into the January incident of following, despite assurances that the investigation would be prioritised. He has also been told by the Ministry of the Interior that no bodyguards can be assigned to him due to a lack of resources.

Donny Reyes’ legal representatives called an emergency meeting in March this year to give follow-up to the implementation of the protective measures. At the meeting, a police representative once again pledged that regular patrols near his home and office would be carried out, as well as committing to the delivery of a workshop on IACHR precautionary measures, and on sexual diversity, for the police officers responsible for implementing the protective measures.

Donny Reyes was also given direct phone numbers to contact the police sub-commissioner in case of emergency. The Special Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office once again committed to prioritising the investigation into Donny Reyes’s case.

At the moment of writing, police patrols outside Donny Reyes’ home and work place have still not been carried out, despite his having been followed again last month, and also in January and March this year. The emergency phone number Donny Reyes was given has gone unanswered. He still has no news on the investigation into his case.

Name: Donny Reyes

Gender m/f: Male

UA: 243/12 Index: AMR 37/010/2012 Issue Date: 17 August 2012

Take action

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Calling for an independent, thorough and impartial investigation into all incidents of intimidation and following of Donny Reyes, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice;
  • Urging that the authorities take urgent steps to fully comply with the IACHR orders. The form of protection provided to Donny Reyes must be agreed with him and reflect his own wishes;
  • Reminding the authorities that human rights defenders have a right to carry out their activities without any unfair restrictions or fear of reprisals, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

Minister of Interior
Sr. Pompeyo Bonilla
Secretaría de Estado en el Despacho de Seguridad, Plantel Casamata, subida al Picacho, Tegucigalpa, M.D.C,
Honduras
Fax: +504 2220 1756
Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Sr.Ministro

Minister for Justice and Human Rights
Ana Pineda
Ministra de Justicia y Derechos Humanos
Col. Lomas del Mayab, Ave. República de Costa Rica,
Entre BAC-BAMER y BANHCAFE
Tegucigalpa MDC, Honduras
Fax: +504 2235 8379
Email: info@sjdh.gob.hn
Salutation: Dear Minister/ Estimada Sra. Ministra

And copies to:

Asociación Acroiris (NGO)
Barrio Concepción
1a Avenida, 6a Calle
Edificio Castillo
Comayagüela MDC,
Honduras

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.