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Artikel

12 Feb 2022

Autor:
Al Jazeera

Honduras: 24 hours after guilty ruling for opposing Inversiones los Pinares mining project, Supreme Court orders release of Guapinol defenders

"‘It was a celebration’: Top court frees Honduras water defenders", 12 February 2022

...Six men arrested for their activism against a mining project in a national park had just been found guilty on multiple charges, and they reportedly faced up to 14 years in prison.

The ruling swiftly provoked international condemnation and outrage – but in a shocking twist, barely 24 hours later, the Honduran Supreme Court on Thursday ordered them free...

According to defence lawyer Rodolfo Zamora, the Supreme Court’s order was based on an appeal filed many months earlier to challenge the constitutionality of the activists’ detention. The men were accused of criminal damage and illegally detaining the mining company’s security chief...

The top court ultimately found the judge who initially ordered the men’s detention did not have the jurisdiction to do so, rendering void the case against them...

Several other water defenders, mine workers and military police have been killed in communities surrounding the mine since the project began, although the circumstances of those deaths remain unclear...

Pinares, which did not respond to Al Jazeera’s multiple requests for comment on the case, has previously said the mine would bring jobs and economic development to an impoverished region of Honduras...

Since the arrest of the Guapinol prisoners three years ago, an international network of human rights advocates and local residents has coalesced around their cause...

Although they have now been declared free by the Supreme Court, the Guapinol activists have yet to be formally released from jail...

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