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Armed men threaten "El Libertador" newspaper personnel, seize equipment

(C-Libre/IFEX) - According to the editor of the "El Libertador" newspaper, Jonhy Lago, at approximately 10:30 a.m. on 5 December 2009, armed men burst into the publication's offices in Tegucigalpa, threatened the staff with their weapons and seized equipment.

The armed men, who were dressed in civilian clothing, pointed their guns at staff members and manhandled the women before gathering them together in one spot. Lagos said they then proceeded to steal files, cameras, mobile phones and a laptop computer. He also noted that during the three days before the assault a police squad comprised of 10 to 15 officers and a vehicle without licence plates were observed in front of the offices. Lagos believes he has been followed by the individuals in the vehicle.

While Lagos was speaking to C-Libre about the assault on the "El Libertador" offices, he said that he could hear voices in the background and a noise that sounded like a tape recorder running, as if his mobile phone was being tapped.

"I will hold the repressive state bodies responsible, the junta commanders, the de facto government and the invisible faces that organised the coup, if anything should happen to me or my colleagues," Lagos said.

Since the coup d'état on 28 June, "El Libertador" personnel have been threatened and followed by unidentified individuals. On 28 September, a group of men detained and assaulted "El Libertador" photographer Delmer Membreño. The photographer suffered burns to his arms and chest.

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