Honduras

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Report to the IAPA 77th General Assembly Virtual

October 19 – 22, 2021

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During this period the dangers against the practice of journalism persisted - in addition to the obstacle posed by the suspension of constitutional guarantees due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although there were no murders of journalists, many were infected by the COVID-19 virus, among them, journalist Mauricio Torres Molinero, who died on July 10; as well as Noé Mejía, from Radio América, who died on July 5.

Some associations expressed the need for accountability to mitigate the misinformation virus, and denounce human rights violations and abuses of power.

In May 2021, the Journalists' Association met with the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, who considered it appropriate to include safeguards regarding the right to freedom of expression among journalists, and will submit an opinion with new reforms to the Penal Code. The crime of defamation was removed from the Penal Code in 2020, but it still contains the offenses of libel and slander.

President Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado has not yet responded to the request made by different sectors to reform the "Law for the Classification of Public Documents Related to National Security and Defense," given that the "Law of Secrets" - as it is popularly known - violates the right of access to public information and the principle of transparency.

The Official Secrets Law - approved on January 24, 2014 - is considered an obstacle to access public information, because it shields documents related to more than 20 ministries and government departments as reserved, confidential, secret and top-secret for 5, 10 and up to 25 years.

In May, the National Violence Observatory, ONV of the National Autonomous University of Honduras, UNAH, called on the Government to investigate the murders of 90 journalists in the last decades - and to ensure that the crimes do not go unpunished.

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