Document - Honduras: Honduran journalist shot and killed: Juan Carlos Argeñal

URGENT ACTION

UA: 329/13 Index: AMR 37/018/2013 Honduras Date: 10 December 2013

URGENT ACTION

honduran journalist shot and killed

On 7 December Honduran journalist Juan Carlos Argeñal was shot and killed by two unidentified men in his house. Honduras is an extremely dangerous country for journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders to carry out their work. A full and impartial investigation is urgently needed.

At around 3 pm on 7 December, two armed men reportedly visited Juan Carlos Argeñal’s house in Danlí, in the southern department of El Paraíso, and shot him twice. Juan Carlos Argeñal was a correspondent for both Radio Globo and Globo TV, as well as the owner of a local TV station and an activist for the Freedom and Re-foundation Party (Partido Libertad y Refundación LIBRE). In the months prior to the killing Juan Carlos Argeñal had reported about corruption in local government.

In July 2013 Juan Carlos Argeñal told human rights group Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras, COFADEH) that he had been intimidated because of his work. Juan Carlos Argeñal reported that he had felt pressure from local authorities who summoned him twice concerning broadcasting permits. He told COFADEH that he attended both meetings and that he feared such requests had been provoked by his journalism.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Urging the authorities to carry out a full, impartial and independent investigation into the killing of Juan Carlos Argeñal, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice;

Urging them to establish a protection mechanism for human rights defenders and journalists following consultation with civil society in accordance with their recommendations and needs;

Reminding them that journalists and human rights defenders have a right to carry out their activities without any unfair restrictions or fear of reprisals, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 21 JANUARY 2014 TO:

Attorney General

Oscar Chinchilla Banegas

Ministerio Público, Lomas del Guijarro

Avenida República Dominicana

Edificio Lomas Plaza II

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Fax: +504 2221 5667

Twitter: @MP_Honduras

Salutation: Dear Attorney General

President

Porfirio Lobo Sosa

Casa Presidencial, Barrio Las Lomas

Boulevard Juan Pablo II

Tegucigalpa

Honduras

Fax: +504 2290 5088

Salutation: Dear President

And copies to:

Central America Team

Amnesty International

Email: equipoca@amnesty.org

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

honduran journalist shot and killed

ADditional Information

Journalists defending human rights play a critical role in exposing human rights violations that otherwise would remain shrouded in secrecy. In Honduras Amnesty International has documented an increase in the number of death threats and attacks against human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers, as affirmed in the regional report Transforming Pain into Hope: Human Rights Defenders in the Americas, published 7 December 2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR01/006/2012/en.

Aníbal Barrow, a journalist for Globo TV in Honduras, was abducted on 24 June. After news of his abduction came to light, the authorities began a search for him in the area surrounding San Pedro Sula. Following two weeks of searchers by the authorities, the journalist’s dead body of Aníbal Barrow was found and four individuals were arrested in July 2013. An additional arrest in relation to the case was made in November 2013 (see UA 165/13, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR37/004/2013/en).

According to the National Commissioner for Human Rights, 30 journalists and 70 lawyers have been killed in Honduras since January 2010 when the current government took office. In November 2013 there were general elections in Honduras. In the months before the polls, media reported of dozens of attacks against candidates or party activists. A significant quantity of these attacks occurred against LIBRE party activists.

Name: Juan Carlos Argeñal

Gender m/f: m

UA: 329/13 Index: AMR 37/018/2013 Issue Date: 10 December 2013

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