President of the Republic of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández
Dear President Hernández,
I am deeply disturbed by the shooting attack on Tomás Gómez Membreño on October 9, 2016.
This is no isolated incident. Members of Mr Gómez Membreño’s organization COPINH, and other organizations that defend land rights in Honduras, are facing increasing attacks, often with lethal consequences. The notorious killing of Berta Cáceres has only been followed with more assassinations of human rights defenders. This cannot be allowed to continue.
I call on you to:
- take prompt, appropriate and effective measures to protect Tomás Gómez Membreño and other members of COPINH, in accordance with their wishes and compliance with precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights;
- initiate a prompt, impartial, thorough investigation into the October 9 attack to identify both the material and intellectual perpetrators and bring them to justice;
- provide effective guarantees for the protection of all defenders of human rights in Honduras, including threatened members of OFRANEH, MILPAH, MUCA and other organizations that courageously defend land rights, and publicly recognize the legitimacy of their work.