#WHRDAlert HONDURAS / Harassment and and represssion of UNAG students exercising their right to peaceful protest

Students of the National Agricultural University

Activity: Social rights

Attacks experienced: Attempts on lives and physical integrity, threats, surveillance, harassment and smear campaigns

As of Friday, November 18th, a group of students at the National Agricultural University has been engaged in a peaceful takeover of the campus in the Olancho district, raising the following demands: validation of land titles, an end to sexual harassment by some teachers, an end to massive failing grades given to students, the abolition and restructuring of internal disciplinary rules and regulations, the appointment of a University Commissioner, and the annulment of expulsion processes, among others.

According to the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras, ever since the first day of the takeover, the students have been the targets of threats, surveillance, harassment, smear campaigns, physical attacks and eviction attempts.

On Sunday night, November 20th, hooded individuals bearing arms attacked the students in an effort to evict them, resulting in several beatings. Two days later, at approximately 11 am, Monday, November 22nd, a number of university employees violently tried to force their way into the campus. One of them, an employee of the Department of Forrage Crops, drove up in a tractor, with which he tried to break down the fence, running over several students, who were wounded and had to be taken to the hospital to receive emergency medical treatment. The National Network has also announced that, according to statements made by the university Rector, Marlon Escoto Valerio, a violent evacuation is imminent.

We, of IM-Defensoras, condemn these violent attacks against the students and demand guarantees of their right to peaceful protest. We hold university oficials and the government of Honduras responsable for any harmful incident that may occur.

And finally, we call on international human rights organizations and entities to be on the alert for a possible eviction attempt.

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