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Revealing the dangers of being a gay activist in one of the most murderous countries in the world: Honduras, 215 LGBT people killed in 7 years

April 6, 2016

London, UK. A new report from Index on Censorship exposes how many LGBT activists in Honduras risk torture, prison and assassination.

The research from Index on Censorship, published by SAGE, carried out by journalist Duncan Tucker and utilising data collected by on-the-ground NGOs, delves into some shocking statistics:

-       215 LGBT people were murdered in Honduras between 2009 and 2015

-       37 deaths occurred in 2015 alone

Of the 235 murders of LGBT people since 1994, only 48 cases (20%) have gone to court.

“I’ve been imprisoned on many occasions. I’ve suffered torture and sexual violence because of my activism, and I’ve survived many assassination attempts,” Honduran gay rights activist Donny Reyes said in an interview with Index on Censorship.

The violence rocketed after the country’s 2009 coup, but the crimes are being largely overlooked, both within the country and internationally.

Peter Tatchell, London-based LGBT campaigner, has called for the world to pay more attention to the killings. He told Index on Censorship: “This extensive, shocking mob violence against LGBT Hondurans is almost unreported in the rest of the world. The big international LGBT organisations tend to focus on better-known homophobic repression in countries like Egypt, Russia, Iran and Uganda. What’s happening in Honduras is many times worse.”

Index on Censorship magazine’s deputy editor Vicky Baker explained why it was critical for more attention to be paid to the country: “You know you have a very serious situation on your hands when you are researching a topic and every time you find someone you want to speak to, you delve deeper and find they have been killed. At Index on Censorship, we work with a lot of endangered activists and reporters, but these threats are terrifying. Speaking out on an unpopular topic in Honduras is like a death sentence.”

Activists and journalists are in serious danger in Honduras. Index on Censorship’s report also includes an interview with Honduras’s most renowned investigative reporter, and former Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression award nominee, Dina Meza.

The article is part of the spring issue of Index on Censorship magazine. The edition also carries a special report on Shakespeare, looking at how his plays have been used to challenge power and sneak past censors around the world, from Brazil and China to the USA and Zimbabwe. Find out more about the latest issue here.

The article “Rainbow warriorsAttacks and killings of LGBT activists in Honduras” by Duncan Tucker and published in Index on Censorship, will be free to access for a limited time and can be read here. 

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Index on Censorship magazine was launched in 1972, has reporters around the world. International in outlook, outspoken in comment, and publishing some of the world’s finest writers, Index exposes stories that are suppressed, publishes banned writing, investigative journalism and new fiction. Previous contributors include Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, Nadine Gordimer, Aung San Suu Kyi, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard and Umberto Eco.

Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 900 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. A growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

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