Sunday, May 16, 2010

IAPA calls for signatures to petition as another journalist is murdered

28 April 2010

IAPA calls for signatures to petition as another journalist is murdered


A Honduran journalist was shot in the head by an assailant waiting for him after he finished anchoring a show at a local television station, report the Comité por la Libre Expresión (C-Libre), the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members. He is the seventh journalist killed this year. IAPA is calling on hundreds of thousands of newspaper readers to sign a letter addressed to the president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, asking him to set up legal mechanisms to confront violence against journalists and the impunity linked to these crimes.

Jorge Alberto Orellana, 50, was host of the programme "En vivo con Georgino" (Georgino Live) in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. His work focused on local news and cultural events. He did not report on organised crime, and local police say personal motives may be behind the killing, but IAPA reports that he had received death threats.

The journalist had previously worked for the country's leading network Televicentro, and had left because of the station's editorial position which favoured the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

ARTICLE 19 and C-Libre have tabled a submission to the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of Honduras, to be held in November, describing the deterioration of freedom of expression and press freedom. The submission described the intensely vulnerable condition of the media, including attacks and censorship of journalists and human rights defenders, unjust use of criminal laws to restrict free expression, a failure to promote media pluralism and diversity, a failure to fully protect freedom of information, and inappropriate and highly restrictive regulation of the media.

IAPA is urging the international community to sign the letter to the Honduran President, which will be published in 400 newspapers in the western hemisphere. The letter says: "We take the liberty of calling your attention to these cases, urging you to please instruct your country's relevant authorities not to cease their respective investigations and not to allow these murders to go unpunished."

At a meeting on 27 April in Miami, IAPA presented a letter to the President, urging him to set up legal and judicial reforms to protect freedom of expression and freedom of the press, among numerous recommendations.

To sign IAPA's letter, click here:
Dear Mr. President

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