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Latino Daily News

Friday July 30, 2010

Dismissal of Honduran Judges Sends Intimidating Message Says UN

The recent dismissal of three judges and a magistrate in Honduras, apparently because they spoke out during the political crisis that engulfed the country last year, sends a disturbing message to other jurists in the Central American country, three independent United Nations human rights experts warned today.

The experts said the dismissal last month of the judges Guillermo López Lone, Luis Chávez and Ramón Enrique Barrios and the magistrate Tirza Flores could have the effect of intimidating other members of the judiciary “to refrain from expressing views different from those expressed by the authorities” in Honduras.

“None of the decisions that led to the dismissal of the judges and the magistrate contains legal grounds that justify why the conduct that was the object of the disciplinary proceedings was considered to be grave,” the experts said in a statement issued from Geneva.

The Supreme Court notified the four jurists that they had been dismissed for “non-compliance or serious breaches of their duties,” but the experts said the sackings seem to be connected to the jurists’ public remarks during last year’s crisis, when there was a coup d’état in Honduras, and their involvement in several acts of protest.

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