Monday, September 28, 2009

Honduran Voices Suppressed

by the Witness for Peace Staff in Tegucigalpa

Protesting restricted speech under the state of emergency

Protesting restricted speech under the state of emergency

We woke this morning to find one of our only sources for local news, Channel 36, had been shut down in raids early this morning. Cholusat Television, along with Radio Globo, are among the first victims of the state of emergency called Saturday by the de facto regime in Honduras.

The executive decree that restricts many civil liberties and freedom of speech has been widely condemned by the international community including the U.S. State Department. Two Guatemalan journalists covering the raids, Alberto Cardona y Rony Sánchez, were beaten and detained.

The large demonstrations called for today never fully materialized, due in part to fear and intimidation caused by the suspension of constitutional rights. An estimated 5000 people gathered in front of the Universidad Pedagogica this morning, fenced in by lines of police in riot gear on both sides. But protesters ultimately decided not to march through the streets to prevent any further attacks.

Police surround peaceful protesters

Police surround peaceful protesters

The streets of Tegucigalpa remain militarized with dozens of police stationed in various locations, especially in front of banks and large shopping centers. The intimidation has clearly taken its toll. Our partners continue to face harassment and worry about another violent crackdown.

Protesting restricted speech under the state of emergency

Protesting restricted speech under the state of emergency

We woke this morning to find one of our only sources for local news, Channel 36, had been shut down in raids early this morning. Cholusat Television, along with Radio Globo, are among the first victims of the state of emergency called Saturday by the de facto regime in Honduras.

The executive decree that restricts many civil liberties and freedom of speech has been widely condemned by the international community including the U.S. State Department. Two Guatemalan journalists covering the raids, Alberto Cardona y Rony Sánchez, were beaten and detained.

The large demonstrations called for today never fully materialized, due in part to fear and intimidation caused by the suspension of constitutional rights. An estimated 5000 people gathered in front of the Universidad Pedagogica this morning, fenced in by lines of police in riot gear on both sides. But protesters ultimately decided not to march through the streets to prevent any further attacks.

Police surround peaceful protesters

Police surround peaceful protesters

The streets of Tegucigalpa remain militarized with dozens of police stationed in various locations, especially in front of banks and large shopping centers. The intimidation has clearly taken its toll. Our partners continue to face harassment and worry about another violent crackdown.

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