10 December 2007
Protect campaigning journalists
"Thanks to the effort, thanks to the letters, thanks to the urgent actions … today we can smile and we can be alive, because they drew attention to our situation…. The powerful people who wished to take our lives, the government, the circles of power, realized that our situation is not only known in Honduras but in the world…" - campaigning journalist Dina Meza

Publisher Carlos Hernández and journalist Dina MezaAward-winning Honduran journalist Dina Meza and colleagues at online publication Revistazo.com and its publisher the Association for a More Just Society (ASJ), were subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation after investigating several private security firms for labour rights violations.

One colleague, lawyer Dionisio Díaz García, was shot dead in December 2006 while on his way to the Honduran Supreme Court to prepare for a related case taken up by ASJ.  No one has been brought to justice for his murder.

In the months leading up to his murder, Dionisio and Dina were followed by unmarked cars. Dina’s children were followed home from school and personal, derogatory comments were posted about her on the Revistazo.com online message board.

Soon after Dionisio's death, ASJ president, Carlos Hernández, received a text message saying, “You are the next because you the heat [sic – head]”. Around the same time he received the threatening text message, he was pursued and kept under surveillance by two men on a motorbike. Other ASJ members also reported an intensification of threats and intimidation. They were also told of an apparent plan by private security firms to assassinate ASJ members: the same source implied it would be better for ASJ journalists to leave the country for their own safety.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asked the Honduran government to protect members of ASJ, but so far the investigations to identify those responsible for the killing of Dionisio Díaz García and for the threats and intimidation of other ASJ members have produced no concrete results. While the perpetrators remain at large, ASJ members remain vulnerable.

Some protection measures have been put in place, but these do not appear to be adequate. ASJ is also paying substantial costs every month to cover the transport and food costs of the police agents assigned to the job – money which otherwise would be available for their human rights work.Take Action

In July 2007, Dina Meza received Amnesty International's UK section’s ‘Special Award for Human Rights Journalism Under Threat’ for her work on Revisitazo.

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