OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR CONDEMNS MURDER OF HONDURAN JOURNALISTS AND URGES THE STATE TO CLEAR UP THESE CRIMES AND ADOPT PROTECTION MECHANISMS
Washington, D.C., March 27, 2010 — The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of journalists Bayardo Mairena and Manuel Juárez, both of R.Z. Television Channel 4 and Radio Excélsior, on March 26 in the department of Olancho, Honduras. The Office of the Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned about the grave situation of vulnerability that the press is experiencing in
According to the information the Office of the Special Rapporteur has received, Mairena and Juárez were traveling in a private vehicle on a highway near the city of
The Office of the Special Rapporteur reiterates its deep concern over the particularly serious situation faced by Honduran journalists and the fact that of the five murders so far in 2010, no information is yet available on any results of the police investigations. The Office of the Special Rapporteur also urges the State of Honduras to create effective mechanisms to protect journalists at risk; to investigate all the cases efficiently, diligently, and officially, using specialized technical bodies for the investigation; and to arrest and appropriately punish all who are responsible for these crimes.
The Office of the Special Rapporteur recalls that Principle 9 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR states that "[t]he murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats against social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media, violates the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restricts freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation."