Freedom of expression organizations concerned about return of Honduras to OAS

Reporters Without Borders and the World Association of Community Radios for Latin America and the Caribbean (AMARC-ALC in Spanish) expressed their concern and the readmittance without conditions of Honduras to the Organization of American States (OAS), from which the country has been suspended after the June 2009 coup, reported Hora Cero.

The organizations in defense of freedom of expression doubted that the return of Honduras to the OAS would guarantee the re-establishment of public liberties, adding that the re-admittance to the regional organization should take into account certain conditions, such as putting an end to impunity, especially in crimes against journalists and human rights workers committed since the coup, explained El Nuevo Diario.

The freedom of expression groups said other guarantees that should be demanded of Honduras include reform of the broadcast and telecommunications law, that currently does not allow for community radio stations, and greater access to public information about what has happened since the coup, Reporters Without Borders said.

After the coup, violence against journalists in Honduras increased, with 10 reporters killed in 2010, making it the second most dangerous country in the Americas to practice journalism, after Mexico.

The secretary general of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, warned, however, that the return of Honduras to the organization "does not signify an amnesty for human rights violations in this country," reported the news agency Télam.

» The Herald (in Spanish) (Return to the OAS bleak)

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.