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"Multiple violations" of freedom of expression and right to information in 2006, according to C-Libre report

(PROBIDAD/IFEX) - The following is a 10 April 2007 PROBIDAD press release:

Report on the right to information and freedom of expression in Honduras

The Committee for Free Expression (Comité por la Libre Expresión, C-Libre) has presented its annual report on the state of freedom of expression and the right to information in Honduras. The findings of the 2006 national report, written by journalist Lucila Funes, focus on four subjects: the Transparency and Access to Public Information Law (Ley de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información Pública); legal actions undertaken against journalists and violations of their rights; the relationship of President Manuel Zelaya with the press; and the murder of lawyer Dionisio Díaz García, legal advisor to the Association for a More Just Society (Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa).

The report emphasizes that 2006 was a year of multiple violations of freedom of expression and the right to information, although the Legislative Assembly did debate and finally approve the Transparency Law, albeit with many delays and not in as rigorous a form as had been initially agreed to.

This report, which has been published every year for the last five years, reveals that in Honduras freedom of expression is being limited, not only for journalists but for anyone seeking to defend citizens' rights. This was evident in the murder of Díaz García, who took care of the legal aspects of the journalistic investigation into improprieties committed by several private security agencies.

The report's assessment of the new government's position on freedom of expression and right to information highlights two aspects: the public commitment undertaken by Zelaya, when running for the presidency, to approve the Transparency Law, which was not fully achieved and suffered delays; and the government's direct contestation of various criticisms of the law made by some media outlets, especially the print media.

For the full text of the 2006 annual report in Spanish, see:
http://probidad.net/2007/docs/Informelibertadexpresion2006.doc

This alert was prepared by PROBIDAD with information provided by C-Libre.

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