UPDATE: Charges dropped against Honduran human rights defenders
The charges against three Honduran human rights defenders, including former Shelter City guest Tomy Morales, have officially been dropped. Morales and her colleagues still suffer from the consequences of a violent police crackdown dated September 8.
Human rights defenders Tomy Morales, Carlos del Cid, and Ariel Díaz were cleared of all charges after Honduran Judge Melvin Bonilla concluded on 27 September 2017 that all accusations against them were to be dropped. The activists had been wrongfully detained and attacked when, on September 8, 2017, they tried to protect the physical integrity of student protestors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH).
Eleven students of UNAH also saw their charges dismissed. One student, Marcio Noé Silva was, however, condemned to a “preventive” prison sentence.
Although the charges were dropped, human rights defender del Cid and Morales still suffer from the aftermath of the attacks. Carlos del Cid, has lost 80 percent of use in his left eye and 25 percent in his right as a result of exposure to tear gas.
Tomy Morales also suffers the consequences of the attacks, including psychological distress, hypertension, trouble breathing, and deep fatigue.
Tomy Morales further reports that unknown men regularly follow her. She suspects that her phone calls are being tapped and conversations intercepted. Morales also reports having received numerous calls from unknown persons asking for people she does not know.
Morales and her colleagues are calling for the condemnation of police brutality and for sanctions to be brought against those responsible for the attack. Although the Police Commission has suspended senior officials involved in the attack, no report has been issued, leaving the perpetrators exempt from punishment.