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HONDURAS
Impunity reigns
11/12/2010
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International organizations warn of human rights and press freedom violations.

International and local human rights groups are increasingly drawing their attention to flagrant rights violations in Honduras since the June 2009 ouster of ex-President Manuel Zelaya.

The United Nations Human Rights Council said following its Nov. 1-12 Universal Periodic Review, an evaluation it conducts every four years of each of the body´s 192 member states, that Honduras is facing a situation of impunity in regard to human rights violations.

Since the June 28, 2009 ouster of Zelaya, who governed from 2006 to 2009, until December of that year there were 53 politically-motivated crimes registered, according to the United Nations.

The body said post-coup killings point to possible use of paramilitaries, since victims included union leaders, student and human rights groups, left-leaning politicians and journalists who criticized the coup.

The report also noted physical attacks on journalists, human rights defenders and members of nongovernmental organizations since early 2010, and that the coup “exacerbated” acts of torture and inhumane treatment that became common and were carried out with impunity for the police and armed forces.

Countries that participated in the review expressed worry that the crimes were not investigated and that those responsible had not been brought to justice and that journalists were being intimidated for having an editorial opinion contrary to the ruling government.

Nine journalists have been killed in Honduras in the first six months of this year, making the country one of the most dangerous for reporters on the continent.

In late October, press freedom organizations presented a report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on attacks on journalists that said that Honduran authorities have shown a systematic failure to protect press freedoms as well as prevent, investigate and punish those responsible for attacking journalists.
—Latinamerica Press.


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