This November 25th, in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Honduras gathered in front of the Presidential Palace to demand that the government take serious action to end the grave human rights violations against Honduran women.
Around 4:30 A.M. on November 25th, approximately 40 WHRDs from CEM-H and the Women’s Network of Colonia Cruz Roja who were protesting in front of the Presidential Palace on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, were beaten by a strong contingent of police and military officers.
According to Suyapa Martínez of CEM-H, security forces set up a fence to block the protesters, who decided to continue marching since it was a peaceful protest and they therefore had the right to do so.
Then police and military officers began to attack the women with clubs and to threaten them with guns, beating several, including Merari Cuellar, a 15-year-old girl from Colonia Cruz Roja. There were also pregnant women among the protesters who were beaten. Alejandra Corea, a minor who was pregnant, was taken into a patrol car in order to arrest her, but the other protesters managed to rescue her.
The Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras) considers these grave acts of repression and excessive use of force, made all the worse on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. We condemn these acts as a violation of the right to protest, which jeopardizes the physical integrity of the women and their right to defend their rights.