27 de julio de 2016

Reporte 1 - Honduras

Civic Space Monitor
Reporte #1

Freedom of Association:
Social activists in Honduras have been suffering from attacks and harassment which is considerably constraining freedom of association in the country. Activists who face more threats are those who work for land and environmental rights. On December 31st, 2015, the IACHR presented the report on Human Rights in Honduras (http://www.oas.org/es/cidh/informes/pdfs/Honduras-es-2015.pdf). In the report they ask Honduras’ government to follow the IACHR recommendations of protecting social activists. Nevertheless, Honduras’ government answered the recommendations (http://www.oas.org/es/cidh/docs/anual/2015/doc-es/HO-Observaciones2015.pdf) stating that on May, 2015 was introduced a new law that creates the Protection System for Human Rights Defenders. Under this law, according to Honduras’ government, four activists are now under State’s protection.

The most widespread case was the murder of social activist Berta Caceres on March 2nd, 2016, even though she was under State protection ordered by the IACHR.

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly:
The use of police force has been constant during protests in Honduras. On November, 2015, during the No Violence Against Women Day, a group of women were peacefully protesting outside the President’s office when they were repressed and attacked by police forces. On May 10th, 2016, a group of indigenous were violently repressed outside the President’s office after they gathered to demand the government an investigation following Berta Caceres’ murder. On June 9th, students were repressed by police forces who used tear gas and water tanks.

Freedom of expression:
The Committee for Free Expression reported (http://www.clibrehonduras.com/content/informe-sobre-el-estado-de-impunidad-en-agresiones-contra-periodistas-y-trabajadoresas-de) that 2015 was the year where more journalists were killed since 2003. 12 journalists were killed last year. There have been 3 sentences out of 58 murders that are being investigated. On the other hand, in Honduras, defamation cases are considered a criminal offense which are punished with time in jail. This causes that politicians, business men, and any other person who is subject to criticism, threats the journalists with suing them which harms freedom of expression.

Reporters Without Borders placed Honduras 137 out of 180 countries in the Freedom of Press Report 2016. Compared to last year, Honduras lost 5 places in ranking which reflects the worsening situation.