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Law Library of Congress refusing to retract report on Honduras coup: report

[JURIST] A US Law Library of Congress (LLOC) [official website] spokesperson said Thursday that the LLOC will not retract its report [text, PDF] on the military-backed coup in Honduras [JURIST report], according to a McClatchy Newspapers report [text]. The statement came in response to demands [McClatchy Newspapers report] from senior congressional Democrats to retract the report, which the lawmakers charge is based on flawed legal analysis and has exacerbated the country's political unrest. The congressional research agency reportedly stands by its legal analysis of the ouster of Manuel Zelaya [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], which concludes:

Available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system.

Heads of the House and Senate foreign relations committees, John Kerry (D-MA) and Howard Berman (D-CA), have spoken out against the report stating that it is based on a provision of the Honduran Constitution that was struck down in 2003 and has been denounced by experts from the US, the Organization of American States (OAS), and Honduras. Republicans have called the objections an attempt to suppress opposition of the Obama administration's refusal to recognize the de facto government. While the congressional research agency's legal analysis supported the ousting of Zelaya, the report went on to say that the removal of Zelaya from the country by military force is in direct violation of the the constitution, and is currently under investigation by the Honduran authorities.

Also Thursday, the interim government of Honduras and Zelaya reached an agreement [JURIST report] allowing the ousted president to return to power conditioned on Supreme Court approval with a subsequent affirmative vote from the Honduran legislature. Last week, the interim government officially eased restrictions [JURIST report] on protests and media that were put in place in response to protests by Zelaya supporters. Also last week, a delegation from the OAS arrived in Honduras to investigate allegations of human rights abuses [JURIST report] that have occurred since Zelaya's ouster.

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