Human Rights Commission denounces harassment of community radio stations in Honduras

The Inter-American Human Rights Commission on Jan. 11 condemned the harassment against community radio stations in Honduras by police and government officials, reported Univisión.

According to an alert from the World Association of Community Radios, published by Revistazo.com, on Jan. 5 uniformed personnel with the government-contracted electric company threatened members of an indigenous association in the city of La Esperanza and then cut off power to the group's offices, where two community radio stations operated. The action apparently was meant to prevent radio stations Guarajambala and Voz Lenca from transmitting in retaliation for critical content the stations had aired, the news agency EFE said.

According to Terra, in a related incident, two journalists from the community radio station La Voz de Zacate Grande were arrested and had their equipment confiscated by police on Dec. 15, while covering the eviction of a family.

The human rights commission urged the Honduran government to investigate the acts and guarantee that government representatives refrain from harassing those "exercising their freedom of expression via community radio," El Heraldo reported.

The situation of journalists and freedom of expression in Honduras has worsened after the president was overthrown in a coup in June 2009. The human rights commission, part of the Organization of American States, published in 2010 a report documenting all the attacks against journalists and the media in recent months.

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.