Sr. Presidente Juan Orlando Hernández
President of Honduras
Sr. Oscar Chinchilla Banegas
Attorney General of Honduras
We are writing to express our concern for the safety of human rights defender Dina Meza, a journalist who works on radio programs for the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) andfor the Women’s Movement for Peace “Padilla Visitation.”
On September 28, two unidentified men attempted to run her over and subjected her to verbal attacks. This incident is the latest in a series of acts of intimidation and threats against her, including the following:
September 5 and 7 – viruses sent to her through two emails, disguised to look like they were sent by associates (who told her they had not sent the emails)
August 5 – surveillance of Dina Meza’s home when her children were home alone
August 21 – man outside Dina Meza’s home attempted to take photos of her home
August 22 - public and private messages on Facebook from the same man who stated that Dina Meza and other journalists had received money and holidays from the ex-president of Honduras, Pepe Lobo.
August 20 - employee at National Commission for Human Rights (CONADEH) threatened Dina Meza when she accompanied a student, Cesario Padilla, to report surveillance by armed men. In July, the employee had refused to give Dina Meza details, required by law, concerning an incident in which police arbitrarily detained hundreds of students.
July 29 - man followed Dina Meza, causing her to call Peace Brigades International, which provides her with international accompaniment.
June 20 – Dina Meza experienced difficulty while driving because of a screw placed inside one of her tires. A similar situation on June 14 caused her daughter to lose control of the car and almost crash it
June 13 and 14 – series of phone calls from an unknown person which persisted when Dina Meza informed the caller that she did not know him.
This is at least the third letter we have written in the past three years because of threats to Dina Meza. Previous threats have been so serious that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ordered the Honduran government to provide her with protective measures back in 2007. We are very concerned about these ongoing incidents interfering with her legitimate work as a journalist and human rights defender. Therefore, we strongly urge that you
- take all necessary measures to guarantee the security of Dina Meza, her family and her colleagues;
- carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the series of intimidation and threats against her, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;
- guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.
Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martínez