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Elmvale family working for release of daughter’s partner, jailed in Honduras

In Council Watch
Feb 1st, 2018
Karen Spring and Edwin Espinal

Karen Spring and Edwin Espinal

AWARE News Network

A farm family in Elmvale is working desperately to secure the release of their daughter’s partner from harsh conditions in a Honduran prison.

Janet and John Spring are asking for the Canadian government’s help in ensuring the safety of their daughter Karen and the release of Karen’s partner of eight years, Edwin Robelo Espinal.

Edwin, 41, is a Honduran national who is among hundreds who have been arrested in the wake of the November 26 2017 election in that country. He was arrested January 19 2017 and is being held in solitary confinement in La Tolva, a new military prison situated south of the capital city, Tegucigalpa.

Janet, who teaches music at Lakehead University, describes Edwin as “a lovely man,” whom Karen was arranging to marry. “He is part of our family,” Janet says. “We are demanding Edwin’s release from prison and the release of other political prisoners who may not have the support system that Edwin may have. We are also demanding that the Canadian government refrain from supporting and colluding with a corrupt regime such as the one under Juan Orlando Hernandez.”

The election, in which incumbent Hernandez claimed victory, was widely condemned. The following is from a December 20 2017 statement from the ecumenical group Kairos:

“Both the Organization of American States and European Union Electoral Observation Missions have reported voting irregularities, errors and systemic problems in the electoral process. Tens of thousands of Hondurans have taken to the streets in protest and to demand democracy. The government has responded with a state of siege and a massive crackdown.”

More than 30 demonstrators have been killed by the police and military.

Karen, 33, has been the Honduras-based co-ordinator for the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America for eight years. Prior to that she was working for Rights Action in Guatemala.

More information can be found at Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor, which will be updated on a regular basis.

Please contact your MP and ask that he/she call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to demand the immediate release of Edwin Robelo Espinal and other political prisoners.

Please consider contacting Trudeau and Freeland directly
-Trudeau justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca 613-995-0253
-Freeland chrystia.freeland@parl.gc.ca 613-992-5234
As well as opposition leaders
-Andrew Scheer (Conservative) andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca 613-992-4593
-Guy Caron (NDP caucus leader) Guy.Caron@parl.gc.ca 613-992-5302
Letters may be mailed postage-free to any MP at House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A6

See also Elmvale minister prompts KAIROS appeal to Freeland

Elmvale Family says loved one wrongfully imprisoned in Honduras

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