Honduras clamps down with return of ousted prez

Reporters Without Borders reports

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya’s reappearance in Tegucigalpa has prompted a new wave of censorship of the national and international press. The de facto government’s response to the news of his return and his appeal to the army to “turn its rifles on the enemies of the people” has been to impose an immediate curfew, keep the international press away from the pro-Zelaya demonstrations and do everything possible to silence the few independent and opposition media still operating.

“This clampdown on the media in Honduras is unacceptable,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We condemn the attempts of the de facto authorities to ensure that a serious situation goes unreported and we urge them to respect the rights of Honduran citizens, especially the right to free expression and free movement.”

Full report.

This is the same provisional government that a handful of conservatives in the United States argue are actually upholding rule of law in Honduras.

Zelaya was a shadow of Hugo Chavez and was hardly a committed friend of democracy. Yet until he moved in a military manner to take power, he was under the rule of Honduran law. The vote he wanted to have to extend his term in office was denied by the courts and the congress. Eventually all he could get was an unbinding straw poll.

Had Zelaya been given more powers most likely he would have moved against the Honduran free press. But we will never know that now.

As distasteful as Zelaya is, he was elected in a fair vote. And he was ousted in a anti-democratic coup.

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Filed under Harassment, Honduras, Press Freedom

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