Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Right of Free Assembly Revoked.

The de facto government's Minister of Security has issued a "law" that requires all public activities, be they rallies, marches, or public meetings must notify the national police 24 hours in advance, and must at that time tell the police who is promoting the event, the starting and ending time, and the route any march might take. There's not a word of this law published in a Honduran newspaper so far.

This is a direct violation of article 79 of the contitution the de facto government professes to love so much. Article 79 states:

Every person has the right to assemble with others, peacefully and without arms, in public rallys or transitory groups, in relation with their common interests of whatever kind, without any previous advisement or special permission.

Open air meetings of a political nature can be subject to a regimen of special permission only with the goal of guaranteeing public order.

The new "law" failes the test above because it governs all public meetings, regardless of purpose. Open air religious services are restricted. Religious processions such as happen for a saint's celebration, or guancasco are restricted. Celebrations of a win of the Seleccion Nacional ina World Cup match are restricted under the law.

One by one the de facto government is putting in place the same restrictions that it "lifted" on Monday when it published the rescension of the unconstitutional executive decree PCM-M-016-2009. First it gave the military control of policing what the media can broadcast and instructed CONATEL to act on what the military reports and shut down such media. Now they restrict the right of free assembly.

These are not the conditions for holding transparent elections.


phoenixwoman said...

So, um, did they publish this new decree in La Gaceta?

They're gonna have to come for Micheletti with butterfly nets. This is absolutely bonkers, especially with the UN monitors in country. If the resistance is clever, they'll designate all of their marches religious assemblies.

Every day I think it can't get crazier.


rns said...

There's no mention of anything having been published in La Gaceta. What happened was that National Police Spokesperson Danilo Orellana told the press gathered at the Presidential palace that the Security Minister had issued this regulation in a "communicado". There is nothing in the Honduran press about it, only in the Spanish press.

I think the frente should meet as the model railroad club!