Human Lives Human Rights: The Public Prosecutor’s Office and the legal teams of the eight prisoners of conscience in Tocoa, northern Honduras also known as “the Guapinol eight” who have been on trial for two months are due to present their conclusions on 4 February. The court is expected to issue a sentence immediately afterwards.
José Daniel Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Ewer Alexander Cedillo, Orbin Nahún Hernández, Arnol Javier Alemán and Jeremías Martínez Díaz, known as “the Guapinol eight”, stand accused of crimes they did not commit.
They are victims of arbitrary detention and unfounded criminal prosecution stemming solely from their human rights work.
Rights groups demand that the Public Prosecutor’s Office must not only drop the charges against them and call for their immediate release, but also carry out an independent, impartial and thorough investigation to identify and bring all those responsible for violating their human rights to justice.
The unjust imprisonment of the Guapinol eight for more than two years is a clear attempt to criminalize and intimidate those who legitimately defend the right to water and a healthy environment in Honduras.
The criminal charges against them, as well as their prolonged pre-trial detention, are unjustified and constitute a misuse of the justice system.
Rights groups call on the Honduran judiciary’s ruling to be fair and subject to due process. The Guapinol eight must be released immediately and unconditionally.