By Emile Schepers
Not a huge amount to report today, but Monday will be important because of the planned visit of the OAS foreign ministers to Tegucigalpa.
1. RIGHTS REPORT: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights today presented its preliminary report on the results of its week-long visit to Honduras last week. According to Telesur, the report was read the Commission’s president, Luz Patricia Mejia, and speaks of disproportionate use of force to repress mostly peaceful demonstrations demanding the return of president Manuel Zelaya. To quote, the Commission cites “the existence of a pattern of disproportionate use of public force [i.e. army and police], arbitrary arrests and a control of information [which is] aimed at limiting political participation of a sector of the citizenry”. Further the report criticizes the use of curfews, mass arrests, bad conditions in detention and “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment of Zelaya supporters, as well as an intrusion of the military in many areas of civil society, and a violation of international norms, the arbitrary suspension of constitutional rights, and an especially vicious set of attacks on women, including rape. The report says that if Honduran authorities do not investigate, judge and sentence those who are responsible for abuses, the Organization of American States should take further action against the coup government. (My translations and summaries)
2. ZELAYA SET TO RETURN COUP COURT SAYS IT WILL JUG HIM IF HE DOES. The Mexican newspaper “El Informador” reports that president Manuel Zelaya says he is ready to return to Tegucigalpa to sign the San Jose proposal, produced by Costa Rican president Oscar Arias in his role as mediator of the Honduras conflict. He told the Honduran radio station Radio Globo that he has sent a letter to the OAS saying he would like to join the group of foreign ministers who are going there on Monday Aug. 24. However AP says that the Honduran Supreme Court, aligned with the coup, says that if he comes back he will have to face trial for treason and abuse of power. The court allegedly said this on Saturday, indicating that it will not agree to the first item in Arias’ proposal, which is Zelaya’s return.
All for now, stay tuned.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
By Emile Schepers