[News] Honduran police evict Zelaya supporters in crackdown
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 30 11:09:23 EDT 2009
Honduran police evict Zelaya supporters in crackdown
Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:24am EDT
(For full coverage of Honduras crisis, see [ID:nN22361272])
* De facto government under pressure over civil liberties
* Ousted president Zelaya and de facto leader deadlocked
By Esteban Israel
TEGUCIGALPA, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Honduran police
on Wednesday began evicting supporters of toppled
President Manuel Zelaya from government office
buildings where they had holed up for three
months to protest his ouster in a military coup.
Zelaya, who riled conservative lawmakers and
business leaders with his ties to Venezuela's
socialist government, was overthrown by the army
in June. He sneaked back into the country and
took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy a week ago.
The crackdown came after de facto leader, Roberto
Micheletti, issued a decree suspending civil
liberties, shut two media stations loyal to
Zelaya and warned Brazil it had 10 days to hand
over Zelaya to authorities or give him political asylum.
Riot police surrounded the National Agrarian
Institute in Tegucigalpa early on Wednesday and
cleared out 57 Zelaya supporters from the
two-story building, where farm workers had
protested since the June military coup.
"This is part of the decree, clear out government
buildings," police spokesman Orlin Cerrato said.
"We are looking at other institutions that were taken over."
A Reuters reporter at the site saw police leading
about 10 people from the building.
Soldiers ousted Zelaya at gunpoint on June 28 and
sent him into exile after the Supreme Court
ordered his arrest. His critics say he broke the
law by pushing for constitutional reforms they
say would have lifted term limits. Zelaya denies wanting to stay in power.
The de facto government is under mounting
pressure from the international community and
even some local supporters to restore civil
liberties and negotiate an end to a three-month
crisis triggered when Zelaya was ousted.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told
Micheletti on Tuesday to lift the restrictions
and stop threatening Brazil's embassy.
Regional powerhouse Brazil rejects Micheletti's
deadline and wants more international pressure to
force a solution. The United States has demanded
Honduras roll back the emergency measures but
also has criticized Zelaya's return without a prior agreement.
Both sides are deadlocked over how to resolve the
crisis. Zelaya insists he must be restored but
Micheletti says he must face charges of treason
and insists on elections in November.
(Reporting by Esteban Israel; writing by Patrick
Markey in Tegucigalpa; Editing by Bill Trott)
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