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Rights activist gunned down

A human rights activist was shot and killed in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, on 13 December, report the Comité por la Libre Expressión (C-Libre) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Walter Tróchez, 25, was a defender of the rights of gays, lesbians and people with HIV/AIDS, a critic of the de facto regime that took over in a June coup, and a researcher and spokesman for the Centre for Human Rights Research and Promotion (CIPRODEH).

Tróchez was beaten because of his homosexuality after being arrested in July. On 4 December he was kidnapped by masked men who threatened to kill him; but he escaped.

"Tróchez paid with his life for his commitment to human rights, exposing the truth about the abuses resulting from the coup, and defending sexual minorities," said RSF. "Ensuring that his murder is punished will be an early, crucial test for the incoming government, which was elected in questionable circumstances and which says it wants to promote national reconciliation. Reconciliation without justice is meaningless."

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