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International advocacy

PEN Honduras President, Dina Meza, testifies before the Inter-American Commission on impunity for violence against journalists in Honduras. PEN secured landmark precautionary measures for PEN Honduras member, Julio Ernesto Alvarado

Through our advocacy at the national, regional and international levels PEN International promotes freedom of expression and defends writers at risk.

To achieve this, the International Secretariat works with our members in 150 Centres in over 100 countries around the world to produce the evidence-based research upon which we formulate our policy positions and our advocacy for legislative and policy change with national governments, regional human rights bodies and international organisations.

In Honduras, for example, PEN members, writers and journalists bravely work to uncover corruption and human rights abuses face extraordinary threats including assassinations, assaults, threats. PEN worked with our Centre to produce a report on these threats.

PEN International secured a hearing at the Inter-American Commission where PEN President Dina Meza could directly confront her government about impunity for the killing of journalists and Mexican writer, Alvaro Enrique described the human stories  behind these statistics.

Following the hearing, PEN International secured a legally-binding decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requesting the Honduran Government to suspend the 16-month work ban imposed on journalist and founding member of PEN Honduras, Julio Ernesto Alvarado, for alleged defamation of a public official is a clear message to governments in the region to protect journalists and guarantee the right to freedom of expression, PEN International said today. It was the first time that the IACHR has revoked a ban on a journalist practicing his or her profession. PEN International has also advocated with PEN Honduras members on the situation of freedom of expression in Honduras to the UN Human Rights Council. PEN International and PEN Honduras submitted a joint Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on the country and pressed for the UN to pressure Honduras to make crucial changes to the legal framework on freedom of expression and the protection of journalists in the county.