Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Prominent Honduran gay activist murdered

Amnesty International and other organizations have called upon the Honduran government to investigate the murder of a prominent LGBT activist in Tegucigalpa late Sunday night.

A gunman reportedly shot Walter Tróchez in the chest late Sunday night as he walked home through the center of the Honduran capital. Amnesty International said on its Web site a group of masked men had tried to kidnap Tróchez earlier this month in search of those they felt opposed President Manuel Zelaya's ouster from power earlier this year. The human rights organization said the four men forced Tróchez into their man, hooded him and repeatedly pistol-whipped him in the face as they threatened to kill him.

"The murder of Walter Tróchez must be investigated immediately and those responsible brought to justice." Kerrie Howard, Americas deputy director for Amnesty International, said. "It is essential that human rights defenders and opposition activists are able to exercise freedom of expression without fearing threats or attacks."

Tróchez had documented what Amnesty International further described as "human rights violations during protests against" the June 28 coup. Doug Ireland's blog contains further information about Tróchez's work and Honduran reaction to his murder.

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