Honduras interim government officially relaxes restrictions on protests

[JURIST] The Honduran interim government officially eased restrictions on protests and opposition media Monday, two weeks after acting-president Roberto Micheletti [BBC profile] promised to repeal [JURIST report] the executive decree [text, Spanish] issued in September suspending several constitutional rights. The decree suspended five articles of the Honduran Constitution [text] and was issued in response to protests being organized in support of deposed president Manuel Zelaya [BBC profile, JURIST news archive]. The National Telecommunications Commission [official website, in Spanish] was authorized by the decree to suspend any media outlet whose actions were deemed detrimental to peace and public order. Radio Globo [media website, in Spanish] and television Channel 36, outlets allegedly supporting Zelaya, were taken off the air in September and have not yet resumed production [Reuters report]. Micheletti convened his council of ministers to repeal the decree earlier this month, but the repeal did not take effect until being published in the official gazette Monday.

A delegation from the Organization of American States (OAS) [official website] arrived in Honduras Sunday to investigate human rights violations that may have occurred since Zelaya was removed from office [JURIST reports] in June following a judicial order [La Prensa report, in Spanish] issued by the Honduran Supreme Court. The order was issued when Zelaya tried to carry out a nationwide referendum on constitutional reform, despite the Supreme Court ruling against it. In August, Spanish National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon [BBC profile] said during a visit to Honduras that he is gravely concerned by the human rights situation [JURIST report] in the country. Also in August, the Honduran Office of the Prosecutor of Common Crimes indicted 24 Zelaya supporters [JURIST report] on charges of sedition and damaging public property.

 

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