The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Greg Grandin,
Adrienne Pine, 202-652-5601

Over 90 Experts Call on Human Rights Watch to Speak Out on Honduras Abuses


93 scholars
and Latin America experts from institutions such as Yale, Harvard, and
New York University sent an open letter to Human Rights Watch today
urging the organization to highlight various human rights violations in
Honduras under the coup regime, and to conduct its own investigation.
The signers, who include well-known experts on Latin America such as
Eric Hershberg, John Womack, Jr., and Greg Grandin, Honduras experts
such as Dana Frank and Adrienne Pine, and well-known authors including
Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, and Naomi Klein, note that Human Rights
Watch could help force the Obama administration to denounce the abuses
and put greater pressure on the regime. Highlighting
"politically-motivated killings, hundreds of arbitrary detentions, the
violent repression of unarmed demonstrators, mass arrests of political
opposition, and other violations of basic human rights," the letter
notes that Human Rights Watch has not issued a statement or release on
the situation in Honduras since July 8, a little over a week following
the June 28 coup d'etat.

The signers write, "...the coup could easily be overturned, if the Obama
administration sought to do so, by taking more decisive measures, such
as canceling all U.S. visas and freezing U.S. bank accounts of leaders
of the coup regime."

The letter comes just a day after Amnesty International issued a new report on the coup regime's violations of human
rights in cracking down on protests, and as the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (part of the Organization of American
States) wraps up a fact-finding delegation to Honduras. The author of
the Amnesty International report, Esther Major, has stated

that the report was
released to call on the international community to take action to
"prevent a human rights crisis occurring in Honduras."

The full text of the letter follows:

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