Blanca Sarahí Izaguirre Lozano, National Commissioner for Human Rights of Honduras
Lica. Karla Eugenia Cueva Aguilar, Secretary for Human Rights of Honduras
September 23, 2021
Dear Commissioner Izaguirre and Secretary Cueva:
We are concerned about incidents of intimidation against LGTBI (LGBT) rights defender Donny Reyes, the director of CIPRODEH (Center for Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights) and active member of the Arcoiris (Rainbow) Association. Donny Reyes and other members of Arcoiris have been suffering a series of attacks for more than two years, which have intensified as organizations of the LGTBI community demand the right to marriage and the approval of the Comprehensive Law for the rights of the LGTBI community.
In Tegucigalpa on August 19, when Donny Reyes was leaving the offices of SOMOS-CDC (Center for Development and Cooperation of the LGTBI Community), he noticed a security guard trying to video record him in a secretive way. When Donny Reyes confronted the security guard and asked him what he was doing, the guard hid his mobile device. This presents concern because SOMOS-CDC has been subject to homophobic actions by private security guards who are stationed there, paid by local residents who don’t want the LGTBI organization in the Payaquí neighborhood.
On August 21, Donny Reyes was assaulted by unknown persons who took his personal documents, those of his partner, and also other work belongings. This attack occurred just one day after he filed an Appeal for Amparo against the State of Honduras for denying him the right to marriage, before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice. Donny Reyes denounced this assault (and the surveillance by the security guard two days prior) to the Police Investigations Directorate (DPI).
We believe that these acts of intimidation against Donny Reyes are occurring because of his work in promoting equal rights for the LGTBI community in Honduras. We strongly urge that you:
- investigate who is ordering the surveillance of staff and visitors to the SOMOS-CDC office and what they are doing with the surveillance recordings
- investigate the assault on Donny Reyes, publish the results, and bring the perpetrators to justice
- expedite to the National Protection Mechanism any requests for protection measures being solicited by Donny Reyes
- ensure the right of LGTBI defenders to carry out their work for justice in safety, under protection of the law, and without the threat of reprisal
Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martinez