Journalists and human rights defenders stigmatized for covering land conflicts

first_img The Honduran Committee of Families of Disappeared Detainees (COFADEH) has told Reporters Without Borders that grave allegations were levelled against journalists, human rights defenders and civil society activists on 18 February by the head of the Xatruch Joint Intervention Force operating in Bajo Aguán, a militarized region in the northeastern department of Colón.Reporters Without Borders regards these accusations as a clear attempt to intimidate and censor, and fears for the lives of all those involved in providing information about this region at a particularly dangerous time.Speaking at a news conference, Xatruch Intervention Force commander Col. Germán Alfaro Escalante accused four people by name of “denigrating the actions of the armed forces” and of “besmirching the image of the Honduran nation.” Those named were Marvin Palacios, a journalist and COFADEH member; Wilfredo Paz, a spokesman for the Aguán Permanent International Human Rights Monitoring Unit; and Vitalino Alvarez and Yony Rivas, leaders of the Aguán United Peasant Movement (MUCA) and announcers on local community radio stations.Col. Alfaro also issued a press release making the same charges against other persons “who hide under anonymity.” Three news websites – Defensoresenlinea.com (COFADEH’s online newspaper), Voselsoberano.com and Hondurastierralibre.com – were also named.“This kind of public stigmatization directly exposes those concerned to significant risks, given the human rights situation in Aguán in particular and Honduras in general, where those who dare to provide information about land disputes and environmental problems are systematically criminalized,” Reporters Without Borders said.“The government must explain under what capacity a senior military officer, who is supposed to be subject to political control, took this initiative. It poses a real threat to freedom of information, one that should be referred to Inter-American and international bodies.”A total of 30 journalists have been murdered in Honduras in the past decade, 25 of them since a military coup in June 2009. Reporters Without Borders is still awaiting a response from the government to its request for specially adapted protection for journalists and human rights defenders.Consisting of more than 500 soldiers and police officers, the Xatruch Intervention Force was created to “carry out stabilization operations in Colón department.” According to its commander, it respects “human rights and the dignity of the individual” and guarantees “respect for private ownership” of agricultural land.MUCA spokesman Vitalino Alvarez told Reporters Without Borders: “This communiqué is an insult to all those who report human rights violations and who are repeatedly threatened by the armed forces. These soldiers and policemen do nothing to stop the abuses by the militia of landowners who persecute us.”Announcing that the organizations concerned are to hold a news conference today in Tegucigalpa, Alvarez added: “This is an outright act of censorship. And it is a threat that concerns even leading news media such as El Heraldo, when they publish the least report about the situation in Aguán.” In a press release on 19 February, the day after Col. Alfaro’s news conference, COFADEH criticized the “militarization of the country” by means of a military presence on the streets and in institutions designed to “annihilate the public’s requests and demands.” The COFADEH press release also condemned the Xatruch Intervention Force’s use of firearms, tear-gas grenades, torture, detention, criminalization of social struggle and attacks on the media.The dangers of covering land conflicts and environmental issues were also highlighted by the threats that Isaac Guevara Amaya, Radio Progreso’s correspondent in the northern city of Tela and founder of community Radio Exclusiva, received from police on 18 February.According to the Reporters Without Borders partner organization, the Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre), which reported the threats, Guevara is known for his coverage of local opposition to open-cast mining projects on the Atlantic coast.Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for protection for Radio Progreso’s journalists. The July 2011 murder of Nery Jeremía Orellana, a Radio Progreso correspondent and director of Radio Joconguera in the southwestern municipality of Candelaria, is still unpunished.Agrarian, mining and environmental disputes are among the leading underlying causes of serious violations of freedom of information throughout Latin America.(Photo, from left to right: Wilfredo Paz, Juan Chinchilla, Osman del Cid, Yoni Rivas, Vitalino Alvarez, Marvin Palacios) RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” HondurasAmericas Help by sharing this information Reports News February 21, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists and human rights defenders stigmatized for covering land conflicts December 28, 2020 Find out more News RSF_en Newscenter_img RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America May 13, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts April 27, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Honduras Organisation to go further 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies HondurasAmericas last_img read more

Royal Thai Navy Receives 141m LPD from ST Marine

first_img View post tag: marine View post tag: LPD Industry news View post tag: Royal View post tag: from View post tag: receives View post tag: News by topic Royal Thai Navy Receives 141m LPD from ST Marine View post tag: Navy ST Marine today held a ceremony for preliminary acceptance and delivery of the 141m Landing Platform Dock (LPD), which it designed and built for Royal Thai Navy at its Benoi yard.The ceremony held in the morning was graced by Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, and His Excellency Mr Marut Jitpatima, Ambassador of Thailand to Singapore.The design of the LPD is proprietary to ST Marine and is based on its Endurance Class of LPDs. The design is proven by the four 141m Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs) that ST Marine built for the Republic of Singapore Navy. The LSTs have been deployed successfully on many occasions to provide peacekeeping duties in the Gulf, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts during the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and more recently as part of the international anti-piracy Combined Task Force in the Gulf of Aden.With a displacement of about 7600 tonnes, the LPD has a well-dock with a stern as well as a side ramp designed for expedient embarkation and disembarkation of equipment and personnel. This versatile vessel is capable of supporting myriad missions, ranging from sea transportation, naval support operations, civil search and rescue to disaster relief missions. To support these missions, its heli-deck can land up to two medium-sized helicopters of about 10-tonnes each.ST Marine secured this contract worth some S$200m, to design and build this LPD as well as two units of 23m Landing Craft Mechanised and two units of 13m Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel. Work for the LPD commenced in mid 2009 and the vessel was launched in March last year. After going through the mandatory and comprehensive acceptance sea trials, the LPD is now ready to sail to its base in Thailand for the final acceptance trials. Final delivery of the LPD is expected to be by 2Q2012.“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to ST Marine for their efficient supervision and construction of the ship as well as their kind support to the Royal Thai Navy personnel throughout the period when they were working here at the yard.” ~ Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom, Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy“ST Marine has always pride itself on our design capability as well as being able to deliver quality ships and excellent services to our customers. Through this LPD programme, we hope to be able to continue to build on our precious relationships with the Kingdom of Thailand and Royal Thai Navy in the years to come. We are very proud that we have once again delivered on our promise.” ~ NG Sing Chan, President, ST Marine[mappress]Naval Today Staff , April 03, 2012; View post tag: Naval Back to overview,Home naval-today Royal Thai Navy Receives 141m LPD from ST Marine View post tag: 141m View post tag: Thai April 3, 2012 View post tag: St. Share this articlelast_img read more