Report to the IAPA
March 28, 2020


In this period there persisted the same conditions of lack of security for the practice of journalism.

On March 16 a Presidential decree (PCM 21-2020) announced the suspension for seven days of constitutional guarantees, among them Article 72 on the free emission of thought, as part of the preventive measures to avoid the spreading of COVID-19. The Association of Honduras News Media expressed its concern at the decree and called for the repeal of the measure. Days later, the media restriction was lifted.

There has remained unalterable the Law for the Classification of Public Documents Related to Security and National Defense, due to the fact the "Secrets Law," which breaches the right to access to public information and the principle of transparency, and the Cybersecurity Law, which will limit freedom of expression on social media, remain pending being dealt with in Congress.

The Legislative Branch annulled Article 28 of decree 130-2017, which contains the new Penal Code, there being eliminated threats against freedom of expression and of the press. In addition, the Association of News Media and the Journalists Association continue calling for the annulment of several articles of the Penal Code for infringing press freedom.

In November the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed its concern at the recommendation of the Supreme Court to the National Congress to leave without effect an amendment of the Penal Code that decriminalizes defamation. The IAPA criticized the fact that the Court had not taken into account new jurisprudence of the Inter-American Human Rights Court concerning the matter. The Supreme Court recommended to Congress maintaining the offenses of defamation and calumny in the current Penal Code which make abuses of freedom of expression punishable, not only in cases of private individuals but also public officials or public persons.

The special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Edison Lanza, in a visit to the country condemned "the large number of murders" of journalists and the lack of punishment. Lanza urged the authorities to investigate the cases and make offenses against honor not criminal offenses.