Honduras promises U.N. it will take action to protect journalists

The Honduran government told the U.N. that it would implement measures to improve the state of free expression and protect press workers from the wave of violence that has affected the country, El Heraldo reports.

Honduras is aware that freedom of expression and the press is a fundamental right for the consolidation of democracy and, in this sense, we believe that the journalism should be free from intimidation and violence and we are creating the conditions for that to happen,” said the minister of Justice and Human Rights, Ana Pineda, after appearing before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, the AFP reports.

Since the 2009 coup, threats and violence against journalists have increased, and at least ten media workers were killed last year.

The Latin America and Caribbean division of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange network (IFEX-ALC) called on the Honduran government to “uphold commitments it made by accepting the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

IFEX also stressed the problems faced by community media in the country, which have been threatened, harassed, and attacked by the authorities and vigilantes. A solution offered by IFEX is a pending bill on community media: “The passing of the law is of extreme urgency as it would help address the legal status of community radio stations operating in Honduras and safeguard their well being.”

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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.