IAPA Midyear Meeting 2017

Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

March 31 – April 3


WHEREAS the Legislative Branch approved an amendment to Article 335 of the Penal Code that categorized the offense of "advocating inciting acts of terrorism" aimed at punishing "he or she who publicly or through news media or dissemination aimed at the public advocates, exalts or justifies the offense of terrorism or those who have participated in its being carried out, or inciting another or others to commit terrorism or financing of this shall be punished with a sentence of four to eight years in prison"

WHEREAS said amendment contravenes universally accepted principles concerning freedom of expression and represents an unlawful restriction of freedom of information that would be applied in an arbitrary manner to the detriment of media, journalists, communicators and citizens who exercise their right to free speech

WHEREAS the article could amount to a mechanism of prior censorship in detriment to the freedom of the press and of information to which people individually and collectively have a right

WHEREAS both the Office of Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations Organization have expressed their "concern at the approval of amendments to the Penal Code in Honduras which can have a negative impact on the legitimate exercise and enjoyment of fundamental guarantees and human rights and the protection and promotion of freedom of expression in the country"

WHEREAS Principle 5 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes "Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press".


to urge the government to proceed to the repeal of Article 335-B of the Penal Code published in the official journal La Gaceta on February 27, 2017

to denounce to the international community the approval of the Code amendment because it violates the rights contemplated in the American Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

to reiterate to the government that any legislation aimed at the regulation of terrorism should be adjusted to international standards so that it has no effect on freedom of expression.