The picture is worth a thousand words! Edwin Espinal smiles jubilantly as he raises the court document that officially frees him from four years of hell.
On September 17th, a national sentencing court in Honduras finally absolved Edwin, dropping the charges that had landed him first in solitary confinement and then in a military run prison with violent offenders where his life was threatened.
More than 9,000 messages were sent from Canada to Honduran authorities calling for due process and a fair trial.
Edwin was arrested in 2018 following his participation in massive marches that denounced the government for election rigging. His case, and that of his cellmate Raul Alvarez, are emblematic of a brutal crackdown on social protest.
Tellingly, the charges against Edwin and Raul were dropped for lack of evidence, confirming what the two men had always said.
There is no doubt that arbitrary detentions are a tactic to suppress dissent in Honduras. There is also no doubt that Honduran authorities are sensitive to their international image and pressure from outside the country.
Edwin shared his thanks:
I send my respect and love to all the people that supported us with their unconditional spirit of solidarity with my case and the Honduran people. We feel more committed than before with the struggle again social injustices.
Edwin’s partner Karen Spring, a courageous Honduras-based human rights worker from Elmvale, Ontario, has a message for everyone who supported the campaign to free Edwin:
“Thank you everyone for carrying us through this. We couldn’t have done it without all the solidarity, the actions and constant encouragement. This victory is yours.”
Hear more from Edwin and Karen:
- Read the CBC story
- Listen to Edwin and Karen on CBC Radio’s As It Happens (at min.52,40sec)