Freedom House Alarmed by Pattern of Harassment Against Rights Organization

Freedom House is gravely concerned by the invasion and apparent raid on March 16 of the Mexico City home of Darío Ramírez, director of Article 19, an independent human rights organization that promotes and protects freedom of expression. The intruders – whose motives and identities have yet to be discovered - searched Ramirez’s home and took his computer, work documents, and other personal belongings. This is the latest in a string of attacks against members of Article 19 since April 2013, when the organization received its first death threat, and comes just days before the group is set to release its annual report on violence against journalists in Mexico. Freedom House calls for authorities to take appropriate security and precautionary measures in order to protect Ramirez, and to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
 
Attacks on journalists and human rights defenders are a common occurrence in Mexico and too often go unpunished because of the lack of technical competence, the lack of political will by government authorities to thoroughly investigate cases, and because legal mechanisms have unfortunately been ineffective in ensuring that journalists can do their jobs safely and securely. Nearly a year after Article 19 received its initial threat, the case has yet to be sufficiently investigated by authorities. Freedom House urges the Mexican government to do more to protect journalists and human rights defenders under threat, and take swift action to prevent future attacks.

Learn more:
Protecting Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in a Digital World
Freedom in the World 2013: Mexico
Freedom of the Press 2013: Mexico
Freedom on the Net 2013: Mexico
Blog: Freedom at Issue