22 May 2013

Attack on journalists in Honduras brings protest


IAPA announces mission to Tegucigalpa

Miami (May 21, 2013)— An attack on a journalist and a cameraman in Honduras was condemned today by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which at the same time announced that it is to send an international delegation to the Central American country’s capital, Tegucigalpa, next week with the objective of raising press freedom issues and the taking of steps to ensure protection of journalists and combating impunity surrounding crimes against them.

Ramón Maldonado, director of the television channel Litoral Atlántico in La Ceiba, capital of Atlántida province in northern Honduras, was attacked yesterday morning as he was traveling in a car along with cameraman Daniel Sánchez. An unidentified person on a motorcycle shot at them several times, hitting the vehicle. The two were uninjured.

Periodista Ramón Maldonado salió ileso de atentado. (Foto La Prensa)

Also a correspondent of the TV channel Hable como Habla, Maldonado told local media that he had not received any threats, but warnings that he should stop criticizing the activities of the local mayor’s office, whose alleged administrative wrongdoing he had been reporting on. After the attack he filed a formal complaint.

The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, publicly called on the Honduran authorities to “put a halt to the pattern of violence against the press and conduct a prompt investigation so as to identify those responsible for this attack and apply justice in an exemplary manner so as to end the impunity that encourages those who resort to violence and inhibits the full exercise of freedom of expression.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, who will be a member of the mission to Tegucigalpa May 27-29, said that his organization’s agenda includes as a priority an exchange of views with officials, journalists, media representatives and human rights activists, among other sectors, on amendments to the Telecommunications Sector Law and what the Honduran press could adopt regarding self-regulation.

The IAPA mission also has as its objective a follow-up to matters agreed to during the Conference on Security, Protection and Solidarity for Freedom of Expression held in Tegucigalpa in August 2012 regarding pursuing public reforms to investigate crimes against journalists, ensure their protection and bring to justice those responsible before special courts.