Hunger Strike Against Impunity

Posted on May 19, 2010

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Judges on hunger strike

Jueces en huelga de hambre

The Association of Judges for Democracy (AJD) come before the citizens of Honduras and the international community to manifest the following:

The Judges of the Supreme Court decided May 5, 2010 to arbitrarily dismiss Judges Chévez Luis Alonzo de la Rocha, Ramon Enrique Barrios, Guillermo López Adam Lone, and the Judge’s Tirza Carmen Flores Lanza, and initiated disciplinary proceedings for their condemnation of the coup and to taking on decisions consistent with constitutional guarantees and protection of human rights of dozens of people arrested during the demonstrations after the break in constitutional order.

All judges and the magistrate dismissed are members of the Association of Judges for Democracy, constituting this in an clear attempt by the judicial authorities to break up this associations and expresses their intolerance of freedom of expression, conscience and assembly. These facts clearly origininate in the political structure, are at odds with any legal justification, They demonstrate the deep crisis that Honduran judicial system is in, where constitutional rights have become illusions are human rights non-existent, as the violations of right to life, liberty and dignity continue.

Before a judicial system that does not react or act in protection of the rights of victims, the situation of citizens is one of defenselessness, marking the institutional breakdown leaving impunity and injustice to the victims.

Within this framework of contempt for the law, the Public Ministry has divorced itself from the responsibility to investigate criminal acts and expresses its lack of responsibility to carry out actions to the pursuit and prosecution of those responsible for human rights violations, in particular the cases of thousands of citizens whose rights were violated in the days and months following the coup of June 28, 2009.

There is no discussion with regard to the Judiciary Branch’s lack of independence and impartiality, in particular, in defining publicly – the coup as a “constitutional succession,” and intending thereby to provide legality of the de facto government that was established since 28 June. Under these conditions, their performances are criticized for their docile attitude and submission to the political powers leading them to terminate or declare without merit the allegations that have arisen in cases of human rights violations.

This collapse of the institutions in general and in particular the judicial system, gives rise to the scenario where the illegality is strengthened, the constant restriction of rights of citizens prevails, and on which the climate of impunity, prevents victims their rights to seek justice.

From inside the Judiciary Branch, We, Judges and Magistrates grouped in our collective associations, noted yesterday and once again today, that this crisis is why we have been harassed and pursued since our foundation, and because of our complaints, and support of a position of opposition to the coup we have been dismissed. Despite this, we will not bow down or diminish our dignity and responsibility to defend the Constitution and protection of fundamental rights.
Given these circumstances and arbitrary and made the firings, and in the absence of effective institutions and constitutional guarantees, our last resort to resist these authoritarian acts is to declare ourselves on a hunger strike for an indefinite time until decency returns to the judicial system.

With the strength of our democratic principles and values, with our sacrifice of food deprivation and risk to our own lives, we demand in this hunger strike:

That the Honduran State to assume its responsibility for all human rights violations that occurred during and after the coup, which implies the punishment for all perpetrators of these crimes and reparation for victims and their families. Being an indispensable condition for the existence of justice, truth and reparations, we demand that the state authorities publicly commit to banish the climate of impunity that now engulfs our society.

The situation of impunity can only reverse if there is a reorganization of the entire judicial system, and to conduct an immediate and thorough reform of the judiciary and the Public Ministry, which necessarily involves the revision of legal framework of these institutions, their internal organization and the actions of their authorities.

According to law, and in the absence of legal cause or justification, the Judges and the Magistrate dismissed, should be immediately reinstated to their duties, without prejudice to their position and functions.

United with the citizens, Human Rights Defenders, we cry out with our sacrifice and our life, that justice and dignity may prevail on impunity
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., May 17, 2010.

HUNGER STRIKE AGAINST IMPUNITY
National Board
JUDGES ASSOCIATION FOR DEMOCRACY

RELATED: Represión desde CSJ contra afiliados a Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia (Defensores en línea); Cinco jueces de Honduras en huelga de hambre por remoción de magistrados (la Tribuna)

UPDATE: Más jueces se suman a la huelga de hambre de la AJD (May 23)

Posted in: Impunity