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Human Rights Watch releases report, "After the coup: Ongoing violence, intimidation and impunity in Honduras"

(HRW/IFEX) - Washington, DC, December 21, 2010 - Honduran authorities should take concrete steps to end impunity for abuses committed after the country's 2009 coup, and to curb ongoing attacks against journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 65-page report, "After the Coup: Ongoing Violence, Intimidation, and Impunity in Honduras," documents the state's failure to ensure accountability for abuses committed under the country's de facto government in 2009. The report also documents 47 cases of threats or attacks - including 18 killings - against journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists since the inauguration of President Porfirio Lobo in January 2010.

"We undertook this independent assessment because a year and a half after the coup in Honduras, the consequences for human rights are still being felt," said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. "It is clear from our findings that until Honduran authorities take concrete steps to reduce impunity and stop the attacks, it will be very difficult to restore trust in the country's democratic system."

The lack of accountability - and ongoing violence and threats - have had a chilling effect on free speech and political participation in Honduras, particularly among those who opposed the 2009 coup, Human Rights Watch said.

The 2009 coup was condemned by the international community. The OAS suspended Honduras's membership, and many Latin American governments withdrew their ambassadors from the country. The United States also objected to the coup; though, unfortunately, it waited more than two months before imposing effective sanctions on the de facto government.

Click here to read the entire press release
To read "After the coup: Ongoing violence, intimidation and impunity in Honduras", click here

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