Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is this a democracy?

Today news sources discovered that the coup regime had issued a decree that restricts some basic human rights. The pretext is that there is a grave threat to peace, with groups promoting insurrection.

Here are parts of what the executive decree says:

There is a restriction for 45 days of certain rights which are guaranteed in the Honduran constitution in these articles:
69: "Personal freedom is inviolable and only under a legal agreement can it be restricted or temporarily suspended."
72: "The emission of thinking [expression of thought] by whatever means of dissemination is free without prior censorship. Those who abuse this right or by direct or indirect means restrict or prevent the communication and circulation of ideas and opinions are responsible before the law."
78: "The freedoms of association and assembly [meeting] are guaranteed as long as they are not opposed to public order and decency [good morals].
81: "Every person has the right to move freely [freedom of movement], to leave, enter, or remain in the national territory.
"No one can be obliged to move their domicile or residence, except in special cases and in accord with the requirements set down by the Law."
84: "No one can be arrested or detained unless there is a written order from the competent authority, issued in accord with the legal formalities and for a reason previously established by law.
"Nevertheless, the offender in flagrante [caught in the act]may be apprehended by an person for the sole purpose of handing that person over to the authorities.
"The person arrest or detained ought to be informed at the time and very clearly of his/her rights and of the deeds which are imputed to him/her; furthermore, the authorities ought to permit the person to inform a relative or a person he or she knows of his/her detention.

The military can act to enforce this alone or with the police.
Freedom of movement can be restricted when the government communicates it through the national announcements on TV and radio.
There is a prohibition of "Every public meeting which is not authorized by political or military authorities."
It is also forbidden to publish in any media (written, televised, or on the radio) something that "offends human dignity or public officials, attempts against the law and government resolutions; whatever attempts (a crime) against peace or the public order." Any groups that do this can have their frequencies shut off.

Every person who is out during the curfew or is thought by the police and military to be a suspect in regard to causing harm to persons or property, and those who join together to commit criminal acts is to be detained. There are several conditions put on the arrest procedures "to avoid future accusations for supposed crimes of torture."

The existence of this document has been acknowledged by coup regime authorities. I don't know if this has to be affirmed by the Honduran Congress, but the "Executive Decree" says it goes into effect when it's published in La Gaceta, an official document of the Honduran government, and when it is received by the Secretary of the National Congress.

Is this a democracy?


Unknown said...

When Zelaya says:

“I call on you to mobilize throughout Honduras, and that everyone who can come to Tegucigalpa to fight in the final offensive."

When many of the pro-resistance blogs, radio and TV stations are also urging Zelaya followers to go to Tegucigalpa and protest violently.

I fail to see any sign of Christianity in those statements.

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

The remark of Joche is not a response to the blog entry.
But I would note that most of the calls are for nonviolent action - not violence.

Doug Zylstra said...

It definitely seems as if this decree was meant to be more an an ace in he hole than something they actually wanted to put in vigor right away. Not sure what that says about their intentions, but it does seem odd.

La Gringa said...

John, I wonder if you ever watched or listened to the two stations which were shut down? They went far beyond voicing opinions. They often invented things to panic the public -- like murders and invasions. They encouraged breaking laws and violence. They also encouraged hate. I've just been sent links to several anti-Semitic programs.

Just Saturday on Channel 36, Isdras challenged a caller by asking him if he would get a gun and go to the Presidential Palace to "take out" Micheletti. The caller answered yes.

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

I am not defending what they are saying. I am raising a question about whether it can be said to be a democracy if basic human rights are rescinded.
As to callers calling for the death of Micheletti I remind you of the comment on your blog who called for the death of Zelaya. I do see that it has been removed and I'm glad.