Request meeting between Spring family, Prime Minister Trudeau & Minister Chrystia Freeland
- Re: Political prisoner Edwin Espinal & human rights situation in Honduras
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland
I hope this finds you both well. I write again to urge you to meet with the Spring family of Elmvale, ON, about the human rights situation in Honduras and the on-going (15 months and counting) detention of their family member Edwin Espinal. Edwin is married to Karen Spring, human rights defender living in Honduras since the 2009 military coup. Edwin is detained as a political prisoner in a maximum-security military jail, “awaiting trial”.
“Not a Canadian”
We have been told that the Canadian government can NOT press for the release of Edwin and the dropping of the trumped up charges, because Edwin is not a Canadian.
While “being a Canadian citizen” should not be a factor that determines if the Canadian government acts or not, in Edwin’s case he is married to Canadian citizen Karen Spring. In May 2017, Prime Minister Trudeau met with Lilian Adriana Tintori Parra, wife of Leopoldo López, a Venezuelan politician and activist who is under house arrest. Trudeau spoke with Mrs. Tintori Parra about human rights and democracy in Venezuela, and openly called for the release of all political prisoners. The Canadian government has taken serious actions to bring economic, political and military pressure to bear on the government of Venezuela.
Without debating the merits of Canada’s policies towards Venezuela and a hi-profile prisoner, clearly there is a lot Canada could do in the case of Edwin Espinal and human rights in general in Honduras.
Never-ending forced migrant caravans
The ‘now-normalized-crisis-situation’ in Honduras is NOT changing. The majority of forced migrants hitting the Mexican-U.S. border are from Honduras and Guatemala. Edwin has been stuck in a max-security military jail, “pending trial”, precisely because he was protesting against the policies and actions of the Honduran government – state repression and corruption, human rights violations and land dispossession - that are forcing so many thousands into exile, every year!
Grahame Russell, Rights Action
Please use this letter or write your own to support request for meeting between Edwin’s Canadian family –the Spring family of Elmvale, Ontario- and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Chrystia Freeland. Write to Trudeau and Freeland, with copies to your MP and the MPs listed below:
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- MP Erin O'Toole, Conservative Member of Parliament for Durham (Ontario), Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vice-Chair Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Erin.OToole.A1@parl.gc.ca
- MP Guy Caron, NDP Member of Parliament Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, Critic for Foreign Affairs, Guy.Caron@parl.gc.ca
- MP Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Your support will help Rights Action continue to fund and support community groups in Honduras and Guatemala at forefront of land and environmental, human rights and justice struggles. M
- U.S.: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
- Canada: (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8