50 civil society organizations accused of having delivered false information to experts of the Human Rights CommitteeCases
- Location of case in SG report
- Relevant SG report
- Year of the report
- From Country
- Country Geolocation
- Country Geolocation (linked Cases)
- From Region
- UN body that raised the case prior to the SG report
- Assistant Secretary-General
- UN Treaty Bodies: HRC
- Dates of prior UN action
- 24 July 2017
- Type of record
- Unnamed individual/group/organization
- Was the victim a foreign national?
- Was the victim a minor?
- Type of rights defended
- Accountability & impunity
- Was the victim a civil servant, member of the security forces or of the judiciary?
- Reported trigger of reprisal
In July 2017 Honduran defenders from Coalición contra la impunidad travelled to Geneva to take part in the review of Honduras by the Human Rights Committee. The defenders provided information to the Committee regarding the murder of well-known environmental and human rights defender, Ms. Berta Cáceres in March 2016.
- Engagement with UN body
- UN Treaty Bodies: HRC
- Dates of engagement
- July 2017
- Type of attempted engagement
- Participation in meeting on UN premises
- Submission of information to UN
- Dates of mentioned reprisals
- 6 July 2017
- Location of mentioned reprisals
- Reprisal information
the head of the Honduran delegation discredited the information and later made public statements, including to Honduran media outlets, that the information provided by civil society to the Human Rights Committee on the death of Ms. Cáceres was false and misleading.
On 6 July 2017, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice read a public statement on behalf of the Government, whereby it accused 50 civil society organizations11 of having delivered false information to experts of the Human Rights Committee on the progress in the investigation of Ms. Cáceres’ murder, and that it does not accept, “that bad Hondurans and national and foreign organizations...bring false or misrepresented information to damage the country with dangerous interests.” The same communication was delivered by the Ministry of the Presidency in Honduras on 6 July 2017.
- Types of reprisals suffered
- Defamation / Defamation campaign
- Alleged/likely perpetrators
- State actors
- Was the reprisal based on new legislation?
- Does the report make general comment about country’s environment for engagement with UN?
- Further case development
The Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights visited Honduras in July 2017 and raised allegations of reprisals with the Government.
- Government response dates
- 18 July 2018
- Government response content
On 18 July 2018 the Chair of the Committee met with the Government, who assured the Chair that no reprisals would occur.
- Is the country cited for a "pattern of reprisal" in the context of this case?
- Is a pattern of reprisals mentioned otherwise in the context of this case?
- Does the report cite "self-censorship" as an issue in the context of this case?
- How many times has the case been followed up in subsequent SG reports?
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 0
- Follow up information provided in SG report 0
Acts of intimidation and harassment against those sharing information with the UN in the fight against impunity for the killing of Ms. Berta Cáceres, a prominent indigenous Lenca leader and environmental human rights defender killed in March 2016, were reported in the 2018 report of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/39/41, para. 45 and Annex I, paras. 48–49). On 14 July 2018, the CERD expressed concern about the difficulties that rights defenders encounter in obtaining access to justice, as well as the persistence of high levels of impunity for violations of their rights. While noting that seven persons were convicted of the assassination of Ms. Cáceres, the Committee recommended awareness-raising campaigns on the crucial work undertaken by rights defenders to foster a climate of tolerance where they can work free from intimidation, threats and reprisals (CERD/C/HND/CO/6-8, para. 24, 25 (d)). Following their official visit to Honduras in November 2018, the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and practice expressed concern about the trial for Berta Caceres’ murder, which they see as “emblematic of the lack of transparency and unfair legal processes faced by women’s human rights defenders.” 136 On 7 December 2018, UN experts welcomed the conviction of the murderers of Berta Cáceres but reiterated their concern that the “masterminds” remain at large. 137
- Followup Trends 0
- No substantive information provided by SG report
- Did the government respond? 0