Document - Honduras: Journalist kidnapped in Honduras

URGENT ACTION

UA: 165/13 Index: AMR 37/004/2013 Honduras Date: 26 June 2013

URGENT ACTION

journalist kidnapped in honduras

On 24 June, Aníbal Barrow, a Honduran journalist, was kidnapped by three heavily-armed men in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. His whereabouts are unknown and his life is in serious danger.

According to reports, at approximately 3.45pm on 24 June, the vehicle which Aníbal Barrow was travelling in with two relatives and a driver was intercepted near the Olympic Stadium in San Pedro Sula, by a white Mitsubishi pickup truck with no licence plates. Three heavily-armed men reportedly got into the journalist’s vehicle and forced his relatives and the driver to get out of the car. They then drove off with Aníbal Barrow.

After news of his abduction came out, the authorities began a search for Aníbal Barrow in the area surrounding San Pedro Sula. At 6.30pm, Aníbal Barrow’s empty vehicle was found near a sugar cane field on the city’s outskirts. The authorities have reported that there was a bullet hole in the right-hand side front window, next to the passenger seat, and that there were traces of blood inside.

The efforts to find Aníbal Barrow are continuing, but his whereabouts remain unknown. His family said that they have not been contacted by the kidnappers for any ransom.

Aníbal Barrow works for Globo TV, where he presents a daily news programme. On the day of the abduction, he had interviewed three Libertad y Refundación (Libre) party candidates in the forthcoming November elections: Juan Barahona, a trade union leader, Enrique Flores Lanza, and Jari Dixon, a lawyer. They talked about the fourth anniversary of the coup d’etat that took place in Honduras on 28 June 2009.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Call on the authorities to take all necessary steps to ensure that Aníbal Barrow, whose life is in serious danger, is found;

Urge the authorities to launch a full, impartial and independent investigation into the abduction of Aníbal Barrow, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 AUGUST 2013 TO:

Minister of Interior

Sr. Arturo Corrales

Secretaría de Estado en el Despacho de Seguridad, Plantel Casamata, subida al Picacho,

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Fax: +504 2220 1756

Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Sr. Ministro

Director of National Police

Sr. Juan Carlos Bonilla

Director de la Policia Nacional

Secretaría de Estado en el Despacho de Seguridad, Plantel Casamata, subida al Picacho,

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Fax: +504 2220 1711

Salutation: Dear Director /Estimado Sr. Director

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

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

URGENT ACTION

journalist kidnapped in honduras

ADditional Information

According to the National Commissioner for Human Rights, the human rights ombudsman, approximately 28 journalists have been killed in Honduras since January 2010 when the current government took office.

Amnesty International issued an open letter to the Honduran government in May 2012, expressing deep concern at the sharp increase in attacks and threats against journalists and human rights defenders in Honduras, and urging the authorities to take urgent steps to address the situation.

In February 2012, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders said, following a visit to Honduras, that human rights defenders were still suffering death threats, attacks, harassment and stigmatization, and urged the authorities to urgently establish a protection programme for defenders. The Rapporteur identified human rights defenders in Honduras as well as journalists, as being particularly at risk.

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

Name: Aníbal Barrow

Gender m/f: m

UA: 165/13 Index: AMR 37/004/2013 Issue Date: 26 June 2013

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