Alarming escalation in the intimidation towards International Election Observers and Accompaniers in Honduras

Today around 10:30-11am in Hotel Suites Aurora in Tegucigalpa 5 men and 1 woman armed civilians dressed men with ski masks offered no identification, another 3 were wearing Immigration t-shirts, who went to reception.

Masked Honduran Immigration Agents who arrived demanding credentials of international electoral observers and accompaniers.

Masked Honduran Immigration Agents who arrived demanding credentials of international electoral observers and accompaniers.

They asked for passports for the people in the lobby who were here, as well as asked for all International Observers to come to the lobby, asked them questions and looked through their passports and took personal records. They took 2 passports from Brazilian international observers without explaining why. When they asked why, they say “because yes we can”.

They explained they were tourists and still they took passports without credible cause.

The Brazilians felt threatened “with fear, they can do whatever they want” they did not go up to the rooms but according to all present they were told that “they could go up to their rooms anytime”. Everyone felt a state of fear and intimidation, and very shaken up.

Later, the two Passports were given to me by an immigration officer, without even asking to return to the right person, whom they took them from.

This is an international outrage that this is happening during this election process and we are concern for what this may foretell for the transparency process tomorrow during elections.

One observer said that when she asked a soldier who he was, he said he could not identify himself, that he was under the command of Manuel Escobar Mejia.

We are extremely concerned for the safety of the International Observers and anyone here to witness the process of the elections.

Please stay tuned to what is going in Honduras and please be aware of the intimidation to International Observers.

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