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Friday, October 30, 2009

Honduras agreement allows Zelaya return
Ximena Marinero at 7:31 AM ET

[JURIST] The interim government of Honduras and ousted president Manuel Zelaya [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] reached an agreement [press release, in Spanish] Thursday allowing Zelaya to return to power conditioned on Supreme Court approval with a subsequent affirmative vote from the Honduran legislature. According to an interim government press release touting the agreement as the product of the Guaymuras Dialogue, a truth commission will produce a report on the incidents that resulted from the political impasse set off when Zelaya was removed from office [JURIST report] on June 28, identifying those responsible without the option of political amnesty. The agreement further stipulates that the November 29 elections will be recognized, with authority over the police for election purposes transferred [recorded video, in Spanish; El Heraldo report, in Spanish] from the military to the electoral court [official website, in Spanish] in compliance with the constitution. Included in the stipulations was also a request for the international community to drop sanctions against Honduras and send electoral observers. The accord comes a day after Honduras instituted proceedings [press release, PDF] against Brazil in the International Court of Justice [official website] alleging interference in purely domestic affairs by allowing Zelaya and his supporters [JURIST report] to take refuge at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. Brazilian authorities have questioned [Estadao de Hoje report, in Portuguese] the legitimacy of the claims raised by a government that is not officially recognized.

The Guaymuras Dialogue began two weeks ago, as the interim government promised to repeal [JURIST report] an executive decree that had suspended several constitutional rights. The restrictions on protests and opposition media were not officially eased [JURIST report] until last week. A delegation from the Organization of American States arrived [JURIST report] last week in Honduras to conduct a three-week investigation on human rights violations that may have occurred since Zelaya's ouster. On the day after the OAS delegation arrived, the Honduran Human Rights Commissioner issued a statement decrying bias in the international community against the situation in Honduras. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International [materials] have circulated reports of human rights violations committed against protesters.

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