Saturday, 26 September 2009

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights statement on Embassy siege

Washington, DC, September 25, 2009 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) strongly condemns the operation by agents of the Honduran de facto regime in the area of the Brazil Embassy in Tegucigalpa and urges to respect the human rights of the persons inside the diplomatic building, as well as its inviolability.

According to the information received, security forces of the de facto regime surrounded the Brazilian Embassy and threw unidentified toxic gases, causing intoxications, bleeding, vomiting and dizziness to the persons inside the diplomatic building. The information also indicates that since this operation started this morning, members of the Army have blocked the exit of any person from the Embassy and have prevented doctors from entering, including the International Red Cross.

The IACHR calls urgently on the de facto regime to immediately end this operation and to adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the rights to life, integrity and security of all persons inside the Embassy of Brazil and its surroundings. Moreover, the IACHR urges the de facto authorities to guarantee that doctors are able to enter and provide urgent assistance to the affected persons.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.