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Honduras to revise controversial media bill: journalist group

February 27, 2017

Lawmakers in Honduras will revise a proposed law seen as curbing freedom of expression after a public outcry, the head of the country’s journalists’ association told AFP on Monday.

The measure, passed last week but not yet made law by the president, makes it a crime to use media to seek to justify terrorist acts, under penalty of up to eight years in prison.

The bill was aimed at undercutting support for gangs that violently reign in parts of Honduras and which are designated as “terrorist” entities.

But it was also regarded by the opposition and several civil society groups as dealing a blow to freedom of the press.

Dagoberto Rodriguez, president of the Journalists’ College of Honduras, said that lawmakers would “take back the reform to give it another revision” after ruling-party primary elections on March 12.

The new text will need to “define what is meant by ‘justification’ and by ‘terrorism,'” Rodriguez said.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.