Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Amnesty International report on Honduras

Amnesty International released a report on human rights abuses in Honduras, based on a visit from July 28-August 1. This will be hard for the coup government to spin, though of course governments of all political stripes tend to argue human rights reports are politicized (either by leftists or imperialists, whichever you disagree with).

Amnesty International is concerned that those wishing to participate in peaceful protests against the de facto government risk being physically attacked or being arbitrarily detained. Amnesty International is also concerned that female protestors are particularly vulnerable and that some women and girls taking part in the demonstrations are reportedly suffering gender based violence and abuse at the hands of police officers.

Amnesty International is further concerned at the threats and physical attacks carried out by police and military personnel against media workers who are legitimately carrying out their important work covering events in Honduras. Intimidation of human rights defenders, increased restrictions on the ability of human rights defenders to move freely around the country and the erratic imposition of curfews are frustrating the capacity of civil society to monitor human rights violations across the country and limiting the essential and legitimate work of human rights defenders.

Roberto Micheletti says that he has prayed to God not to allow bloodshed in Honduras. Meanwhile, he has been giving the orders that led to the bloodshed Amnesty International describes.


Nell 8:48 AM  

It will be particularly hard to spin away a report as understated and conservative as AI's as 'politicized'. Their observers were also exposed to some particularly harsh treatment of the media and demonstrators, as they were in the country when the coup government decided to dislodge roadblocks with violent mass arrests.

The cumulative effect of the various documentations of human rights violations -- the earlier international observation mission (in country July 17-26), this AI report, and the findings of the Inter-American HR Commission visiting now, ought to make it harder for the U.S. government to stay silent.

As campaign season approaches, the reports also provide concrete support for declarations of non-recognition of the elections. Carlos Reina says the UN is taking up a resolution this week that will withhold recognition of the election results unless Zelaya is restored to office by September 1.

Next Monday, equipped with the preliminary report of the IAHRC delegation, the OAS should be in a strong position to do the same.

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