My letter to Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch

August 25, 2009

Kenneth Roth
Executive Director
Human Rights Watch

Dear Mr. Roth,

I am writing to thank you for the strong statement, issued today by Human Rights Watch, that "[t]he finding by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of widespread abuses in Honduras should compel the international community to take firm action, such as targeted sanctions, to resolve the country's ongoing crisis." As someone who, like you, cares deeply about the sanctity of human life and democratic process, I am grateful to see Human Rights Watch highlighting the IAHCR's findings that the current de facto regime in Honduras is responsible for deaths and disappearances, excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions, sexual violence, attacks on the media, abuse of emergency powers, and the abrogation of legal protections. HRW's acknowledgment of and support for the findings of the IACHR carry considerable weight, and I sincerely hope that your call to action will be heeded by those in power in the U.S. government, who as you know, have yet to officially declare that a coup has occurred. I also encourage your organization to carry out an independent investigation in Honduras; human rights abuses under the de facto regime there are ongoing, and an investigation by HRW could have a profound impact not just on the future of Honduras, but on that of the entire hemisphere.


Adrienne Pine
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
American University