(image from Gilda Batista)
COFADEH (translation PROAH)
Urgent Alert: Life of ex-political prisoner, Humberto Castillo, in grave danger - taken by persons unknown and not seen since
The Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, with grave concern, alerts the national and international community to the danger to the life of Humberto Castillo, an ex-political prisoner jailed following the coup d'état, who was taken away on Thursday 30 August by unknown men, according to the reports to our organisation by the victim's relatives.
Castillo was held as a political prisoner for two and a half years in the Penitenciaría Nacional (National Penitentiary) and released on 8 June following several appeals lodged by lawyers from COFADEH's Access to Justice Department.
“We asked for a review of his sentence and the Sentencing Tribunal granted probation, under which Humberto has to go every Friday to the Sentencing Tribunal to sign in a book, he is prohibited from leaving the country, he is prohibited from contacting any of the co-accused in the case and he is prohibited from attending certain meetings of the Resistencia (Resistance) at the request of the Fiscalía” said Kenia Oliva, a lawyer from COFADEH's Access to Justice Department, on 8 June.
On the day of his release he said to defensoresenlinea.com that “It was hard being in prison, because of the food, security and a lot of other things that go on inside. I received threats on my cell-phone and now that I'm out I fear for my life, because if they could threaten me while I was inside, there's no end to what they can do now that I'm out.”
Castillo was arrested on 29 November 2009, at the time of the illegal elections which brought Porfirio Lobo Sosa to power. He was accused by the Public Prosecution Service (Ministerio Público) of illegal possession of weapons, terrorism and conspiracy (asociación ilícita). In 2011, following an appeal brought by COFADEH, the Court of Appeal dropped the charges of conspiracy and illegal possession of weapons, leaving only terrorism.
“The fact that Castillo has been taken away by unknown men makes us seriously concerned and we fear for his life,” said Bertha Oliva, COFADEH's General Coordinator.
We therefore ask the national and international community to urgently call on Porfirio Lobo Sosa's regime to carry out an immediate investigation into this case and to safeguard the life of Humberto Castillo.
THE CRIMES AND THE CRIMINALS
WILL NEITHER BE FORGIVEN NOR FORGOTTEN
Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH
Tegucigalpa 2 September 2012