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Honduras: Murder of Sherly Montoya, a member of the Women Transsexuals "Rainbow Dolls"

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Thursday 6 April 2017, by siawi3

Source: The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, April 6,2017

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY
HND 004/0417 / OBS 035

Geneva-Paris, April 6, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the FIDH program, requests your urgent intervention regarding the following situation in Honduras.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the murder of Ms. Sherly Montoya, a member of Group Transsexual Women "dolls Arcoiris" [1] of the Rainbow Association, an organization that promotes human rights of LGBTI people in Honduras [2 ] .

According to information received, on the morning of April 4, 2017 appeared lifeless body of Ms. Montoya in the city of Tegucigalpa with signs of having been subjected to torture and ill-treatment and wrapped in a sack. Ms. Montoya was missing since the night of April 2 when she was last seen at a gas station around Tegucigalpa.

The Observatory is concerned about the fact that this is not an isolated position, it is the seventh murder of members of the Rainbow Association since June 2015 including Ms. Angie Ferreira, Violeta Rivas, Josselin Janet Aceituno, Estefanía Zúñiga and Paola Barraza and Mr. Henry Matamoros. In addition, during this period were murdered also defenders of LGBTI rights, Messrs. Juan Carlos Cruz Andara, Jorge Alberto Castillo and René Martínez well as Ms. Gloria Carolina Hernández Vásquez (also known as Genesis Hernandez) which places this category of defenders as one of the most vulnerable to attacks in the Honduran context [3] .

The Observatory recalls that these events occur in the context of a systematic campaign of attacks against defenders of human rights in Honduras that includes an average of at least one murder per month since May 2015 as well as threats, arrests or cases of criminalization .
The Observatory strongly condemns the murder of Ms. Sherly Montoya and urges the government authorities to launch an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation in order to identify those responsible and impose the punishment provided by law.

Action required:
Please write to the authorities of Honduras urging them to:
i. Initiate an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation in order to identify those responsible and impose the punishment provided by law;
ii. Immediately adopt the most appropriate measures to ensure the safety and physical and psychological integrity of all people members of the Rainbow Association, as well as other defenders of LGBTI rights and in general, all defenders human rights in Honduras;
iii. Strengthen research units of crimes against LGBTI community and specifically the defenders of LGBTI rights, ensure that an official record of crimes committed on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and defense of their rights develops, and develop a differentiated approach to ensure effective investigations;
iv. Adopt a communication policy that includes the highest levels of the Honduran executive, as well as measures of education and public awareness in order to promote the legitimacy of the LGBTI community and end its stigmatization as well as legitimizing work of defenders of LGBTI rights;
v. Ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular with regard to Article 1 5.a 12.2;
saw. In general, ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards ratified by Honduras.

Addresses:
• Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández, President of the Republic. Email: diseloalpresidente presidencia.gob.hn , info presidencia.gob.hn
• Héctor Leonel Ayala, Secretary of State Departments of Justice,
Human Rights, Governance and Decentralization. Email: observatorio sdhjgd.gob.hn
• Mr. Oscar Chinchilla, Attorney General of the Republic. Email: suazog mp.hn ;
• Mr. Roberto Herrera Caceres, National Commissioner for Human Rights. Email: consultorinternacionalhn1 gmail.com ; central conadeh.hn
• Mr. Jorge Alberto Rivera Avilés, President of the Supreme Court. Email: cedij poderjudicial.gob.hn ; justiciaenaccion poderjudicial.gob.hn • Ambassador Giampaolo Rizzo Carmelo Alvarado, Permanent Mission of Honduras to the United Nations in Geneva. Email: mission hondurasginebra.ch
• Roberto Ochoa Madrid Ambassador, Embassy of Honduras in Brussels. Email: ambassade.honduras chello.be
• Ambassador Leonidas Rosa Bautista, Embassy of Honduras in the OAS. Email: honduras oas.org

Please also write to the embassies of Honduras in your respective countries.
***

[1] The group ’s goal is " to raise awareness and strengthen the Trans population in the city of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela in theme of Human Rights, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Prevention of HIV / AIDS / STI for positive change within the Honduran society’s perception people have of trans people ".
[2] The Rainbow Association was founded in 2003 to empower and inform ondureña the LGBT community on issues related to all aspects of health and the defense and promotion of human rights on sexual diversity. The organization also participates in national and international spaces incidence and Platform for Universal Periodic Review Honduras.
[3] See: Report finding mission in Honduras Observatory, "The Defenders human rights between the rock and" December 1, 2016:
http://www.omct.org/files/2016/12/24083/honduras_informe_de_mision.pdf

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) is a program created in 1997 by the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH and aims to intervene to prevent or remedy specific situations of repression against defenders and human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu , the Mechanism of the European Union for Human Rights Defenders implemented by international civil society.