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IFJ and FEPALC Condemn Attacks against Media and Journalists in Honduras

July 1, 2009

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional organisation, the Federation of Journalists for Latin America and Caribbean Journalists (FEPALC) have today strongly condemned attacks on journalists and the closure of media in Honduras.

The two organisations say the flagrant violations of press freedom and of freedom of expression are a direct consequence of the political unrest in the country following the coup d'état against President Manuel Zelaya who was removed from power and sent into forced exile on Sunday.

"This crackdown against the media is intolerable and must be widely condemned," said Paco Audije, Deputy Secretary General of the IFJ. "Fortunately, their attempts to end pluralism and to silence journalists are failing as journalists are determined to provide news on these dramatic events to the people in Honduras."

The IFJ and FEPALC praised the courage of journalists at Canal 36 television who kept broadcasting at dawn on Sunday despite threats from the military and only stopped programmes when soldiers stormed their studios.

According to reports, the troops destroyed facilities at Canal 36 television, assaulted the only journalist they found and detained the administrative staff for two hours.

Radio Globo, Canal 66 Maya TV, Canal 11 and Radio Progreso were also temporarily closed down while several cable companies such as Cable Color, suffered interference in an attempt to stop them airing news from CNN (Spanish) and Canal Sur TV, from Venezuela. Correspondents of Canal Sur and AP were arrested and detained for some hours while journalists from El Tiempo, La Tribuna and El Heraldo were attacked in the street.

"The perpetrators of this putsch failed to impose a news blackout," said Gregorio Salazar, Director of the IFJ office in Caracas. "The current leadership in Honduras must respect human rights and quickly resolve the constitutional crisis in the country."

The IFJ and FEPALC pledge to continue supporting their colleagues in Honduras as they work for the defence of journalists' rights, even in times of political crisis.

For more information contact:
international Federation of Journalists
Phone: + 32 2 235 22 07

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