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Assassination attempt against Dayanara Castillo

Assassination attempt
About the situation

On 1 November 2016, student activist Dayanara Castillo was almost run over by a vehicle in Tegucigalpa, in what appeared to be an intentional act.

About Dayanara Castillo

dayanara castilloDayanara Castillo is a student activist at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras - UNAH (National Autonomous University of Honduras), where she is an active member of the Movimiento Amplio Universitario (Ample University Movement, MAU) and the Mesa Amplia de Estudiantes Indignados (Broad Table of Outraged Students), which campaign for free and quality superior education. She has also been actively involved in advocating for the rights of sexual minorities as a member of the LGBT rights organisation Asociación Kukulcan.

4 November 2016
Assassination attempts against Dayanara Castillo

On 1 November 2016, student activist Dayanara Castillo was almost run over by a vehicle in Tegucigalpa, in what appeared to be an intentional act.

Download the Urgent Appeal (PDF)

On 1 November 2016, in Tegucigalpa, while Dayanara Castillo was driving her motorcycle with a friend, a vehicle with tinted windows and no licence plates attempted to run over the human rights defender. Dayanara Castillo managed to avoid the vehicle, and she and her passenger were not physically injured. As a result of her activism, Dayanara Castillo has reported that she was intimidated by university faculty members and security guards, expelled from the UNAH, that she received threatening phone calls and that members of her family had been followed by unidentified vehicles. The human rights defender has also faced judicial harassment, and in August 2015 she was detained and reportedly threatened with death and beaten by police officers.

Front Line Defenders remains deeply concerned by the worsening climate of repression and attacks against human rights defenders in Honduras, including the assassination of several leaders of Honduran civil society in 2016, such as Berta Cáceres, José Ángel Flores and René Martínez. On 19 August 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) jointly condemned the killing of defenders in Honduras, dubbing it "one of the most dangerous countries for human rights defenders."

Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the assassination attempts made against Dayanara Castillo as it considers the attacks to be in retaliation to her peaceful work in defence of human rights.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Honduras to:

1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the assassination attempts against Dayanara Castillo, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Ensure that the human rights work of Dayanara Castillo is considered as a line of inquiry in the investigation for the attacks suffered by the defender;

3. Take all necessary measures, in consultation with the defender, to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Dayanara Castillo as well as of the members of her family, ensuring that the protective measures acknowledge and respond to the specific needs of the woman human rights defender;

4. Provide the necessary psycho-social support to Dayanara Castillo, in consultation with the woman human rights defender;

5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Honduras are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment.