With the nine lawyers have been assasinated in recents months in Honduras, two United Nations independent experts today called on the government of Honduras to adopt concrete measures to stop the killing of lawyers in the country.
Reports say of the nine lawyers killed, six of them were killed in the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa. In addition, 17 journalists have been killed since 2010.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), 74 lawyers have been killed in Honduras in the past three years without the Government responding adequately to the crimes.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
The UN experts today also stressed that lawyers should be able to carry out their functions without risking their lives.
“In addition to the frequency of the killings and the death threats against lawyers, we are worried about the impunity of these crimes in Honduras.” – the Special Rapporteur on the independence of magistrates and attorneys, Gabriela Knaul, and the Special Rapporteur on arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns
Independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation.
The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work.
The most recent murder occurred in January, when Ricardo Rosales, a lawyer who revealed a newspaper source that police were torturing detainees was killed three days after the story was published.
Mr. Jose Ricardo Rosales was shot dead on 17th in the coastal city of Tela, a city located in northern Honduras.
The two experts stressed that governments have the obligation of guaranteeing that attorneys can carry out all their professional duties without intimidation and without risking their safety and that of their relatives.
In addition, the experts also urged the government to guarantee adequate protection to lawyers when their safety is threatened because of their job.
On June 2011, Honduras was reinstated into the Organization of American States (OAS).
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the reinstatement of Honduras into(OAS), which had expelled the Central American nation two years ago after a military coup d’etat ousted former president Manuel Zelaya in 2009.