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Media faces grenade attacks and more soldiers in the streets

Honduran journalists under attack as political tensions reignite ahead of elections later this month.
Honduran journalists under attack as political tensions reignite ahead of elections later this month.

Edgard Garrido via Reuters

About 10 grenades have been lobbed at media outlets in Honduras since the crisis began this summer, says the International Press Institute (IPI). Recently, a grenade was flung into the offices of a popular Honduran radio station on 5 November, injuring two people and damaging the broadcast booth. The device exploded on the roof of Radio HRN, Honduras's oldest station, in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Honduran media continues to be under brutal attack during the political tensions that have erupted since the 28 June coup d'état with violations against journalists occurring at the hands of both supporters of ousted president Manuel Zelaya as well as de facto president Roberto Micheletti.

On 15 August, unidentified persons threw Molotov cocktails at the offices of the newspaper "El Heraldo" which is known for supporting Micheletti, reports IPI. Recently, a journalist was barred from entering the presidential palace, reports the Comité por la Libre Expresión (C-Libre).

In September, a state of emergency was declared and police and armed forces were given the authority to aggressively shut down radio stations supportive of Zelaya. Micheletti outlawed public criticism in response to Zelaya's return to Honduras when he took refuge at the Brazilian embassy.

News reports say a recent U.S.-brokered power-sharing deal between Zelaya and Micheletti collapsed last week, sparking more political turmoil. "The accord is dead," Zelaya told Radio Globo. "There is no sense in deceiving Hondurans." Zelaya refused to join the new unity government, while his opponents in congress stalled his reinstatement. Micheletti went ahead and formed a new administration without Zelaya.

"Curfews, media curbs, teargas and mass arrests have been used to suppress protests by Zelaya's mostly poor supporters," reports the "Guardian". Elections are on 29 November and neither Zelaya nor Micheletti are candidates, say news reports, and with the expectation of more protests, the streets of the capital are filling with tanks and soldiers.

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