N° 49/09




Washington, D.C., July 9, 2009 – Following the suspension of Honduras from participating in the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) maintains its competence in promoting the observance and defense of human rights in the country.


Honduras signed the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, and ratified the American Convention on Human Rights in 1977. The suspension of Honduras’ right to participate in the OAS does not alter the country’s obligations as a signatory to both the Declaration and the Convention. The resolution adopted on July 4, 2009 by an extraordinary session of the OAS General Assembly resolved:


“To reaffirm that the Republic of Honduras must continue to fulfill its obligations as a member of the Organization, in particular with regard to human rights; and to urge the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend human rights and fundamental freedoms in Honduras.”


Article 21 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which establishes the process of suspension of a member state due to the unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order, establishes that: “The suspended member state shall continue to fulfill its obligations to the Organization, in particular its human rights obligations.”


Since the coup d’état, the IACHR has granted precautionary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of people at risk and has requested information about multiple worrisome situations. In response, the de facto authorities sent the IACHR a letter, dated July 3, 2009, which The IACHR considered insufficient. The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of this measure in Honduras, to process petitions and cases under review, and to study and decide on complaints and requests for precautionary measures. The IACHR reiterates that it will continue to vigilantly monitor the grave situation in Honduras.


The IACHR expresses its profound sympathy for the death of Isis Obeth Murillo and those injured during the repression by Military Forces of the Toncontín airport protest on July 2, 2009. The Commission is also deeply concerned by information it has received regarding alleged forced recruitment by the Honduran Army following the coup d’état.


In the same line, the Commission reiterates its request, first made June 30, 2009, to conduct a visit to Honduras with the objective of verifying as soon as possible the human rights situation in the country following the June 28, 2009 coup d’état.


A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.



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