Honduran journalists denounce attacks from protestors, police officers and military members during demonstrations

Honduran journalists reported being attacked by demonstrators, police officers and military members during demonstrations in Tegucigalpa on the 197th anniversary of independence.

According to television channel HCH, members and supporters of Partido Libre, as well as union members and other opposition members, participated in a parade held parallel to the official celebration on Sept. 15.

Two members of the HCH team were attacked by alleged members of LIBRE and their equipment was broken, HCH reported.

Press officer for HCH Televisión Digital, Pablo Gerardo Matamoros, held former president and leader of LIBRE José Manuel Zelaya Rosales responsible for the incident, HCH reported. The outlet announced it would no longer cover these types of marches.

During the repression of a protest in the central park in Tegucigalpa, police officers and military members allegedly beat, broke equipment of and obstructed the work of journalists and cameramen from UNE-TV, according to the Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre). Some of the team members were covering young people being beaten or detained, the organization reported, adding that the journalists eventually left the protest because they feared for their lives.

Journalists from HCH Televisión Digital officially reported the attacks before the Honduran National Commissioner for Human Rights (CONADEH, for its initials in Spanish).

We are very concerned, that pluralism of the media, that are important as elements that fortify democracy, is being attacked” said CONADEH Ombudsman Roberto Herrera Cáceres, in an interview with Confidencial. He added that it’s important for people to have information from different media outlets to form their own opinions and make their own decisions.

“And this is why we call for all media to be respected independent of the ideological option they have, because they are aiding in the effort to transform our society and state,” Herrera said.

The Ombudsman said he understood reports would be coming from journalists at HCH, UNE-TV, Radio Globo and newspaper Confidencial.

The IFJ repudiated the attacks against the journalists and urged authorities to guarantee they could work freely. It said CONADEH would denounce the attacks, threats and acts of intimidations against media professionals working during protests to international human rights and freedom of expression bodies.

(Ed. note: Emails to the National Police and the LIBRE party were not returned as of publication of this story.)Honduras