Padilla Figueroa and other university students are being persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly
Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa, journalism graduate, student leader, and board member and founding member of PEN Honduras, was convicted of ‘usurpation’ at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras – UNAH) on 7 June 2017. The conviction represents the culmination of a pattern of harassment that he has faced since 2014 for his part in student protests at UNAH, which called for an end to plans to privatize the university and for the democratisation of its governing bodies. Padilla Figueroa has faced ongoing harassment, including surveillance, in connection with his involvement with the protests.
PEN International believes that Padilla Figueroa and other university students are being persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, enshrined in the nation’s Constitution (Articles 72-75 and 79), as well as the American Convention on Human Rights (Articles 13 and 15), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 19 and 21), to which Honduras is a state party.