New York, June 30,
2009--Honduran military personnel briefly detained seven journalists, temporarily
shut down several local broadcasters, and intermittently blocked the broadcast
signals of international news channels in the aftermath of the weekend coup
that ousted President Manuel Zelaya. The Committee to Protect Journalists today
called on those in power in
On Monday, at least 10 soldiers armed with rifles detained seven
journalists working for foreign media inside their hotel in
The signals of two Tegucigalpa-based television stations and
a provincial radio station were blocked early Sunday morning, according to
international press reports and local journalists. The signal of Canal 8, a
national, government-owned television station, was reinstated late Monday
night, local reporters said. Radio Progreso, a Jesuit-run radio station in the
northern city of
Cable television transmissions were blocked intermittently on Sunday and Monday, affecting the international networks Telesur and CNN, local reporters said. On Sunday, as the coup was under way, local television and radio stations continued usual programming and did not immediately report on the political situation, according to local journalists who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal. Foreign outlets were the first to report on Zelaya's ouster, they added.
"We are alarmed by the reports of detentions, the blocking of broadcast signals, and the closing of news outlets," CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said. "We urge those in power to allow all journalists and media outlets to report freely and without fear of reprisal. The Honduran people and international audiences have every right to be fully informed about events following the coup."
Elán Reyes Pineda, president of the Honduran Journalists Union,
said pro-Zelaya protesters had threatened journalists at street protests and
hurled stones and sticks at the offices of several
CPJ's attempts to contact government and military authorities were unsuccessful.
Members of the Honduran army arrested Zelaya on Sunday and put
him on a plane to