OHCHR / HONDURAS HUMAN RIGHTS - ENGLISH

07-Jul-2023 00:02:33
The UN Human Rights Office is concerned at the militarization of public security in Honduras, including military operations in prisons and military command and control of the prison system, spokesperson Marta Hurtado told reporters. UNTV CH
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: OHCHR / HONDURAS HUMAN RIGHTS - ENGLISH
TRT: 02:30
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 07 JULY 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Soundbite (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are very concerned by the militarization of public security in Honduras. On 5 July, the Government extended, for an additional 45 days, a state of emergency introduced in December 2022 as part of its efforts to tackle extortion and organised crime.”
2. Wide shot, briefing room.
3. Soundbite (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“On 21 June, the authorities announced that the command and control of the prison system was being transferred to the military police. This decision came in the wake of a violent incident at the national women’s prison in the town of Tamara, where 46 female inmates were killed when members of one gang attacked a part of the prison housing members of a rival gang.”
4. Wide shot, briefing room.
5. Soundbite (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Since then, military police operations have been carried out in all prisons across Honduras. Initial monitoring by our Office, as well as information from civil society organisations and other sources with regard to military operations in prisons, indicates that inmates, in particular those allegedly associated with gangs, have been beaten and kicked by military police. Inmates have also been subjected to sleep deprivation, and had their food and water rationed – actions that may amount to ill-treatment.”
6. Wide shot, briefing room.
7. Soundbite (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We urge the authorities to ensure that there is internal and external oversight of military operations in prisons, as well as of the military’s command and control of the prisons system, to prevent human rights violations. Allegations of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force should be promptly investigated.”
8. Wide shot, briefing room.
9. Soundbite (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The prison system should be under civilian control, within the framework of a comprehensive security policy that addresses the root causes of violence and contributes to the dismantling of gangs and other organised crime groups.”
10. Wide shot, briefing room.

11. Soundbite (English) Marta Hurtado, Spokesperson UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR):

“We recall the State’s duty to protect the life of people in custody. All efforts to address the prison challenge should be based on international human rights law and standards, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).”
STORYLINE
The UN Human Rights Office is concerned at the militarization of public security in Honduras, including military operations in prisons and military command and control of the prison system, spokesperson Marta Hurtado told the bi-weekly press briefing in Geneva on Friday.

“We are very concerned by the militarization of public security in Honduras. On 5 July, the Government extended, for an additional 45 days, a state of emergency introduced in December 2022 as part of its efforts to tackle extortion and organised crime,” she said.

The state of emergency, in force in 17 of the 18 departments in Honduras, enables the military police to support the national police in carrying out public security tasks. It also derogates the right of personal liberty, freedom of association, assembly and movement, and allows security and armed forces to carry out arrests and searches without a warrant.

“On 21 June, the authorities announced that the command and control of the prison system was being transferred to the military police. This decision came in the wake of a violent incident at the national women’s prison in the town of Tamara, where 46 female inmates were killed when members of one gang attacked a part of the prison housing members of a rival gang,” Hurtado said.

“Since then, military police operations have been carried out in all prisons across Honduras.
Initial monitoring by our Office, as well as information from civil society organisations and other sources with regard to military operations in prisons, indicates that inmates, in particular those allegedly associated with gangs, have been beaten and kicked by military police. Inmates have also been subjected to sleep deprivation, and had their food and water rationed – actions that may amount to ill-treatment,” she added.

“We urge the authorities to ensure that there is internal and external oversight of military operations in prisons, as well as of the military’s command and control of the prisons system, to prevent human rights violations. Allegations of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force should be promptly investigated,” Hurtado said.

The UN Human Rights Office recognises the urgent need in Honduras to address the prevailing levels of violence in and outside prisons, but is extremely worried that some of the measures that have been adopted could lead to human rights violations, Hurtado noted.
The use of states of emergency must be exceptional, time-bound and restricted to what is strictly necessary under the circumstances of the particular case.

“The prison system should be under civilian control, within the framework of a comprehensive security policy that addresses the root causes of violence and contributes to the dismantling of gangs and other organised crime groups,” Hurtado said.

Among other steps, efforts should immediately be redoubled stressed the spokesperson to address long-standing criminal justice and prison challenges. These include the extensive use of incarceration, overcrowding, unsuitable living conditions, the lack of basic services, and inmates controlling some prisons.

“We recall the State’s duty to protect the life of people in custody. All efforts to address the prison challenge should be based on international human rights law and standards, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners - the Nelson Mandela Rules,” she said.

ENDS


For more information and media requests, please contact:
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org or
Jeremy Laurence + +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / marta.hurtadogomez@un.org

Tag and share
Twitter @UNHumanRights
Facebook unitednationshumanrights
Instagram @unitednationshumanrights

Tag and share - Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights
Category
Topical Subjects
Geographic Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed230707e