Support Honduran Political Prisoners Edwin Espinal and Raúl Álvarez:
Bail Money to Free Them!
Edwin Espinal and Raúl Álvarez are two Honduran political prisoners jailed in the maximum-security, military-run, ‘La Tolva’ prison for over 16 months. Edwin and Raúl have been targeted for protesting the 2017 electoral fraud in Honduras. In Edwin’s case, political repression is not new. Since the 2009 military coup d’état in Honduras, Edwin has been targeted and persecuted because of his vocal opposition to the human rights abuses committed by the state against him, his community members and the Honduran social movement.
In the next month or two, Edwin and Raul will have a bail hearing and we need to raise $20,000 USD to finance bail for them. Because they are being wrongfully and unjustly tried like they are members of an organized criminal group, their attorneys must offer a higher-than-usual bail. The rest of the funds will be used to cover legal costs for experts to testify in their trial and finance lawyers’ weekly trips to the jail to ensure that Edwin and Raul are still alive, and if they have any medical needs or safety concerns. Sending visitors to the jail is the only way we know they are alive and ok.
The conditions inside La Tolva prison where Edwin & Raul are being held are horrendous:
** 2 hours of sunlight a month;
** 3 hours of access to running water;
** no communication with the outside world other than one day of restricted family visits per week
** no books, paper, notes, or pens
** Jailed with members of dangerous organized criminal groups
** No access to urgent medical attention.
** Jailed with individuals with untreated, active tuberculosis (TB)
Since the 2009 coup, Edwin Espinal has become an important organizer within the Honduran social movement. From his neighborhood in Tegucigalpa to the student movement or his solidarity with Berta Cáceres and COPINH, Edwin’s vision and commitment has focused on the liberation of his people. Edwin has put his own life on the light to fight for the right of all Honduras to live with dignity and peace. Raúl has joined Edwin in this task and now you have the opportunity to stand in solidarity with them and by the side of those who resist oppression day to day.
Honduras is going through one of the worst political crises in its recent history. Hondurans are fleeing in migrant caravans, teachers and medical workers are protesting in the streets trying to stop the privatization of healthcare and education, and land defenders are being criminalized for protecting their rivers and forests. The same system that keeps Edwin and Raul in prison is the same one that threatens, criminalizes, and murders social leaders, journalists, lawyers and land and environmental defenders. The system that seeks to silence dissent is the same one that has pushed hundreds of thousand of people to flee their country in order to save their lives. Supporting Edwin and Raúl is to support one part of the Honduran movement for liberation and for life.
** Post a picture of yourself, your group or members of your community with a sign demanding freedom for political prisoners;
** Send a letter to your elected official raising concern about their case and demanding that charges be dropped and all political prisoners released; and
** Visit Free Edwin Espinal Libertad website, Facebook: Free Edwin Espinal and Twitter: @EdwinLibertad for more information, updates, and campaigns to continue demanding their release.