Freedom of Expression

Press Release R83/09

Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression reiterates its deep concern regarding the lack of guarantees to freedom of expression in Honduras



PREN R83/09




Washington, December 9, 2009 – The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression once more expresses its deep concern regarding the constant interferences against the transmission of TV Channel 36 during its main news program, Así se Informa, which broadcasts 5:30 to 7:00 pm.


The Special Rapporteurship received information that in the last few days -the transmission of Channel 36 has been repeatedly interrupted- both at the local and the national level. Regrettably, these kind of attacks against freedom of expression have been frequent in Honduras since the coup d’état of June 28, 2009. Since then, the Special Rapporteurship has on six occasions publicly complained different attacks against journalists and media outlets in Honduras. Channel 36’s staff and officials, as well as other journalists in Honduras, are protected by precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).


The Office of the Special Rapporteur was also informed that in the morning of Saturday, December 5, 2009, two masked individuals entered the newsroom of the El Libertador newspaper, in Tegucigalpa, threatened the workers with firearms, and took a computer and a photographic camera.


The Special Rapporteurship reiterates once again its call to the de facto government and, in general, to all Honduran authorities to adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the conditions that allow all persons to freely express their ideas and opinions without fear of being attacked, sent to jail or stigmatized as a result.


The Office of the Special Rapporteur recalls that article 13.1 of the American Convention on Human Rights, of which the Honduran state is a signatory, indicates that: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and expression. This right includes freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium of one's choice."