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OAS delegation arrives in Honduras to investigate human rights situation

[JURIST] 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 the ouster of Manuel Zelaya [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] as president. The investigative team was commissioned by the UN [UN News Centre report] earlier this month, and is set to be in Honduras for three weeks [Tiempo report, in Spanish]. The foreign minister of Honduras stressed [press release] during a press conference last week that the human rights situation in Honduras has continued to deteriorate. The UN Human Rights Council [official website] is to prepare a comprehensive report on the situation after the team's return in November. The Honduran interim government has previously expressed concern that the OAS report would be biased [JURIST report] because OAS has already called the ouster a coup and called for Zelaya's reinstatement

Last month, the de facto interim government issued an executive decree [text, in Spanish] suspending constitutional rights such as personal freedom, freedom of expression, and the requirement of an arrest warrant, but later repealed [JURIST reports] the measure. 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. Zelaya was ousted [JURIST report] on June 28 following a judicial order [press release] asserting he had broken Honduran law by attempting to conduct a controversial referendum on constitutional reform [JURIST report] contrary to a Honduran Supreme Court ruling.

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