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Honduran journalist beaten with wooden bat

"While they were beating me with a wooden bat, I heard a man say: 'shoot', but instead of killing me, the other man responded, 'No, let's go, let's go'," said journalist Joel Coca. Coca coordinates the programme "Más Noticias" broadcast on channel 12 Puerto Visión in Puerto Cortés, northern Honduras.

Coca is an active member of the Alerts and Protection Network for Journalists and Communicators (Red de Alertas y Protección a Periodistas y Comunicadores Sociales, RAPCOS) organised by C-Libre, which monitors and defends free expression in that area. Coca is also a correspondent for Canal 11 in San Pedro Sula.

"I left the station after broadcasting the programme at 9:05 p.m. [on 17 July 2013], and when I went to put the equipment in my car, I was hit on the back with a wooden bat." It was when he turned around to defend himself that Coca heard his attackers talking.

The journalist says that on Tuesday 16 July 2013, the day before the attack, he discussed a case of corruption and abuses at a local factory on his programme.

Even though the broadcasting equipment was in the car, the attackers did not steal anything of value, nor did they ask for money, leading Coca to believe the attack was related to his work as a journalist.

Coca was under observation at a medical centre where he received treatment and pain medication for injuries to his back, forearms and one thumb.

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