Monday, May 10, 2010

U.N. blasts Honduras over journo murders

At least seven Honduran journalists have been killed over the past six weeks and numerous international press groups have justifiably condemned these murders. On Monday several U.N. “human rights experts” joined the growing criticism against the Honduran government of the recent spate in murdered members of the media.

According to a statement from the experts linked to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Honduran officials must be more active in investigating the violence against journalists. As such, the experts called on the creation of an “independent inquiry” to look into the murders in addition to examining the death threats made again the press. “Silencing them not only curtails freedom of opinion and expression, but also jeopardizes the enjoyment of all rights and freedoms of society as a whole” said the statement.

The U.N.’s statement comes as Honduran president Porifirio Lobo has been in office for over 100 days. His time in the presidency has been marked by the difficulty of trying to regain international recognition nearly one year after the ouster of then-president Manuel Zelaya. The deaths of several journalists has been a sensitive issue, even among his closest allies such as U.S. President Barack Obama. According to one analyst Lobo needs to do a better job in tackling human rights issues:
“Some of the things occurring in Honduras have not helped,” said Brookings Institute analyst Kevin Casas in reference to the recent murdered members of the press.

Nor has the lack of investigating of human rights abuses after the coup or if the Truth Commission will be in charge of looking into them, said Casas. “The Lobo administration has been purposefully ambiguous because they have come under pressure from far right political sectors in Honduras. These ambiguities do not help the country reconcile.” – [ed. translated text]
Image- EPA (Members of the media laid microphones on the ground in remembrance of the 26 journalists killed so far this year in Latin America)
Online Sources- MSNBC, Knight center, U.N., BBC News, Voice of America, AFP

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