Today, on International Human Rights Day, we pause to reflect and remember that we are all entitled to fundamental freedoms and basic human rights, regardless of nationality, race, religion, political persuasion or other distinguishing characteristic. A strong respect for these human rights is essential for a flourishing democracy.
Civil society and the media are fundamental to preserving citizen participation in the democratic process and holding accountable those who govern. They must be allowed to do their jobs without interference, including investigating and reporting on allegations of human rights violations.
In Honduras, we applaud the steps taken to strengthen the National Protection System for Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Social Communications and Justice Operators in the last year. We encourage the current and future Honduran administrations to continue to strengthen the Protection Mechanism’s efforts to protect these brave individuals when they are threatened, and to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for any attacks against them.
We welcome the commitment of Honduran authorities to investigate allegations of human rights violations related to the post-electoral period, and urge that all such investigations be timely, thorough, and transparent.
We also reiterate our call for all involved in the electoral process to support a transparent, impartial, timely and peaceful determination of the election result, consistent with Honduran law, in a manner that maximizes citizen participation and represents the will of the Honduran people as expressed in the November 26 election.