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Journalist arrested in Comayagüela; explosive thrown into Canal 6 television station building

(C-Libre/IFEX) - On 31 July 2009, Juan Carlos Cruz, a journalist for the state-owned Radio Nacional de Honduras radio station, was assaulted and arrested by police officers. At the time of the incident, the journalist was filming a confrontation between the officers and four youths in a neighbourhood of Comayagüela.

The police officers assaulted Cruz and seized his camera, then detained him for 18 hours at the Comayagüela Fourth Division Police Station despite the fact that he identified himself as a journalist.

Cruz said he was filming and taking photographs of the severe beating of four youths, two of whom were driving a motorbike without proper documentation, when the officers turned on him. The incident took place in front of the journalist's home.

Cruz went on to say that he was detained on 31 July at 11:00 p.m. (local time) and was accused of acting aggressively towards the police officers. He was released at 8:00 p.m. the following day. The police officers responsible for his arrest were José Joel Castellanos, Carlos Rubén Arriaga, Santos Rosales and Víctor Hernández.

Cruz said that his camera, which was almost destroyed, has not yet been returned to him and that he intends to file a complaint with the authorities.

In a separate case, the Canal 6 television station has said that it was the target of an attack with an explosive at its facilities in San Pedro Sula. The explosive landed in the rear part of the building and did not cause any damages. Canal 6 representatives issued a statement in which they said they do not know who was responsible for the attack or what the reason for it was.

One of the radio station's employees, Gustavo Ardón, said that a low intensity explosive was used. A report regarding the attack has been filed with the authorities.

During the political crisis in the country following the coup d'état that took place on 28 June, Canal 6 has been an important source of information for the general public.

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