CAT/C/29/D/119/1998
page 3
The facts as submitted by the complainant
2.1
The complainant claims that, in April 1988, he was accused by the military of having
planted a bomb in a building where he was arrested, being the only person on the scene at the
time of the explosion on 19 April 1988. While seriously injured, he was interrogated the day
after his arrest and claims that doctors amputated his arm under pressure from the military in
order to make him reveal the names of his alleged accomplices. An army officer reportedly told
a nurse and a doctor that removing part of his arm was a way of sending a warning to other
“leftists”.
2.2
Following his arrest, he was detained for three years and four months
until 8 August 1991. Meanwhile, a decision by San Pedro Sula Criminal Court No. 3
of 13 January 1989 dismissed the proceedings against him for lack of evidence.1 The
complainant claims that during his detention, he was treated by the military as if he was guilty of
the bombing and was tortured and ill-treated many times.
2.3
With the help of the Pentecostalist Church, the author then contacted the Canadian
authorities to obtain refugee status in Canada, but was informed that he had to be present himself
in Canada for an application to be valid. In April 1992, he fled to Costa Rica. During this
period, his brothers and sisters were constantly harassed by the military to make them say where
he was hiding. In May 1992, his brother was detained illegally for five days for that purpose.
He was then released, but only after having again been threatened with death. The complainant
then contacted the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica once more to obtain help, but this was
refused because the political situation was delicate, on account of terrorist acts carried out by
Honduran citizens during that period and the Canadian authorities could not assist him. For lack
of resources, the complainant returned to Honduras in March 1993, where he hid in a small
village near the border with El Salvador until 1995.
2.4
In 1995, a law was adopted in Honduras inviting all citizens to report abuses by the
military. The complainant tried in vain to exercise this right by filing various complaints against
the officers who had ordered, or were responsible for, the amputation of his arm.
2.5
In January 1996, the complainant tried to obtain a disability pension and, in support of his
claim, he needed to submit a complete medical report. However, the hospital denied him access
to his file and informed the military of his request. The author was then arrested again by
members of the military in civilian clothes, who questioned him, beat him and stabbed him in the
abdomen. He was seriously injured and had to go into hiding again.
2.6
The complainant also states that, after 1994, he remained in contact by mail with Radio
Moscow and some Cuban friends and that, in January 1997, the Honduran authorities intercepted
one of his letters, which was later used as evidence of his “subversive activities”.
2.7
The complainant stayed in hiding until January 1997, when he left Honduras after having
obtained a Salvadoran passport. The author arrived in Canada and immediately applied for
refugee status.

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