73rd General Assembly
Salt Lake City, Utah
There continues to be an inadequate climate for the exercise of press freedom, especially due to legal limitations that impede satisfactory access to public information. Maintained are high levels of impunity in cases that involve the death of or attacks upon journalists and news media, including every day with more frequency attacks over electronic media and social networks.

In the country still not repealed are laws that criminalize and punish criticisms of public officials and concerning matters of public interest, a situation that also affects members of the press and citizens in general. These include penal laws on acts amounting to libel, slander and defamation.

Also remaining applicable is the amendment to the Penal Code, specifically Article 335-B (by addition) that contravenes universally accepted principles regarding freedom of expression. At the last IAPA General Assembly there was approved a resolution in which the government of Honduras was asked to repeal that amendment, which to date has not occurred.

In addition, there remain in force laws that illegitimately restrict access to public information, including the "Law for the Classification of Public Documents Related to Security and National Defense" and the "National Intelligence Law," which contain regulations contrary to the principles of press freedom and access to public information and on the basis of which also there have been issued sentences issued by the Supreme Court of Justice, as provided for under these laws to deny access to sources of public information.

These laws demonstrate a clear tendency of the government to limit access to public information and to restrict the work of the press.

In July the Honduras Journalists Guild called on the Attorney General's Office to take action against people who work as journalists "illegally," asking in addition that they be charged with the offense of "usurpation of functions" contemplated in Article 293 of the Penal Code. Up to now the Guild has not lodged any action, but the petition represents an eminent danger to freedom of expression.

Relevant cases:

On June 15 shot at and murdered was journalist Víctor Fúnez in the city of La Ceiba, Atlántida province. He worked for Canal 45 television and hosted the program "Informe Nocturno" (Night Report).

On August 24 the editor of the newspaper El Libertador, Johny José Lagos, and his wife were attackede in Tegucigalpa. His wife was injured.

On September 13 shot and murdered was journalist Carlos William Flores, who worked for Canal 22 television in the city of Omoa, Cortés province.

On October 4 journalist Osmin Antonio España was attacked in the city of Santa Rosa de Copán. He died the following day as a consequence of having been shot in the head. He hosted the television humor and political satire program "El Show del Príncipe" (The Prince's Show).