Tuesday, 18 August 2009

[creative-radio] Honduras: In new wave of violence against media , de facto regime “reaps what it sowed”


Reporters Without Borders condemns the new wave of violence against the
media that took place last week, while Honduras appeared to be further
than ever from resolving the crisis resulting from President Manuel
Zelaya's removal in a coup on 28 June.

"The de facto government has again illustrated its concept of press
freedom by pitting soldiers and police against news media that are
critical of the coup," Reporters Without Borders said. "The attacks on
community and education media are yet another sign of the deterioration in
the general press freedom situation since 28 June."

The press freedom organisation added: "The de facto government is reaping
what it sowed when it launched a war on the media at the time of the coup.
We urge the activists of the National Front for Resistance to the Coup not
to use physical violence against media that back the de facto government
or the employees of these media."

Lidieth Diaz of Radio Globo - one of the few remaining news media still
critical of the de facto government - said she was denied access to the
presidential palace on 13 August on the personal instructions of de facto
President Micheletti when she want to cover a ceremony in which Micheletti
was participating. She was allowed in several hours later after the office
of the human rights ombudsman intervened.

Radio Progreso, a Jesuit-run educational radio station, said reporter
Gustavo Cardoza was attacked by police while covering the eviction of
Zelaya supporters from their housing in Choloma, in the northeastern
department of Cortés, on 14 August. Cardoza said he was attacked and
beaten while a policeman pointed a gun at him.

Witnesses confirmed that six officials hit him several times in the head
as he lay motionless on the ground. He was taken to a police station and
held for several hours until lawyers from the National Front for
Resistance to the Coup interceded.

During the same operation, police manhandled photographer Julio Umaña of
the daily Tiempo and confiscated his camera although he had just shown his
press accreditation. Tiempo said other members of its staff have been
attacked while covering recent demonstrations in support of the ousted

Soldiers backed by police arrested Alfredo López, the head of Radio Coco
Dulce, a community radio station, during a demonstration by the National
Front for Resistance to the Coup on 12 August in Tegucigalpa and released
later that night, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters
(AMARC) said.


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