22 January 2016 is the international Day of the Endangered Lawyer. This year focuses on the plight of lawyers in Honduras.
Since the 2009 coup d’etat there has been an increase in violent attacks and human rights violations that have gravely affected the Honduran population. As Amnesty International report in their 2014/15 ‘State of the World’s Human Rights’:
“Scores of human rights defenders, including Indigenous and campesino leaders, LGBTI activists, justice officials and journalists were victims of human rights violations. They suffered killings, physical violence, kidnapping, threats, harassment and verbal attacks.”
Human Rights Watch in their annual report commented that:
“Honduras suffers from rampant crime and impunity for human rights abuses…Judges face acts of intimidation and political interference”
The situation facing lawyers in Honduras is dire. The statistics are alarming. In 2013 there were 29 violent acts against lawyers of which 9 were injured and 24 died. In 2014 the national commissioner for human rights recorded the death of 11 lawyers. From between 2010 and March 2015 the Commissioner has recorded 89 deaths of lawyers as a result of targeted killings.
On Friday, 22nd January 2016 protests will take place outside Honduran Embassies and Consulates all over Europe. In London, lawyers, paralegals and campaigners, with the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, the UK member association of ELDH, will be protesting outside the Honduran Embassy. A petition on behalf of the Honduran lawyers and other law professionals will be handed over to the Ambassador.
There is a Facebook event available at https://www.facebook.com/events/1241952505820312/