Impunity / Honduras

WHEREAS the Inter American Press Association, in conjunction with the News Media Association of Honduras, held the Security, Protection and Solidarity for Freedom of Expression Conference in Tegucigalpa August 9-10, 2012 WHEREAS at the end of the conference an Action Plan was presented,, a document that will serve to give follow-up to the commitments made by the Executive Branch and other solutions proposed by legislators, officials, organizations, and journalists WHEREAS President Porfirio Lobo pledged to pursue public policy reforms to investigate crimes against journalists, ensure their protection, and bring those responsible to trial in special courts, and to make the acts of libel, slander and defamation no longer criminal offenses WHEREAS at this same forum legislators Jariet Waldina Paz and Augusto Cruz Asensio also presented initiatives for the preparation of a mechanism for the protection of journalists and vulnerable groups WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly.” THE 68th IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES To support the Action Plan and give joint follow-up to compliance with the proposals presented by President Lobo, legislators, government officials, organizations, and journalists to put a halt to the violence in Honduras To urge the government to opportunely and effectively implement preventive measures for the protection of journalists and social communicators To demand that the Attorney General’s Office have the resources and training necessary to ensure, particularly, the effective functioning of the special unit for the protection of journalists and vulnerable groups To promote, among organizations, news media, and journalists, awareness campaigns concerning the importance of freedom of expression and the responsible and safe practice of journalism, to encourage solidarity to jointly reject attacks upon the press and journalists, and to stimulate workshops on self-protection and ethics.