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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Embassy NOT a haven claims de facto government

The de facto government told the AP that the embassy will not be a haven for Zelaya. "The inviolability of the diplomatic mission does not imply the protection of delinquents or fugitives from justice" said Micheletii's Foreign Minister Advisor, Mario Fortinthe.

Micheletti repeated that there never was a coup, just a "constitutional succession" ordered by the courts and approved by Congress. More about this in a later post.

In a column published in the Washington Post today he wrote: "Coups do not allow freedom of assembly. They do not guarantee freedom of the press, much less respect for human rights. In Honduras, these freedoms remain intact and vibrant."

I'm sure that was written by his PR firm, Lanny Davis, several days ago, because everything it says about Honduras is false, and was false when written. Constitutional guarantees have been suspended via a de facto government decree, including the right of assembly, freedom of the press, and the Interamerican Human Rights commission today decried their lack of respect for human rights over the last 24 hours. Lanny Davis doesn't mind bending the truth for his clients, as he showed in his "debate" with Greg Grandin on the Democracy Now website.

The AP article is also somewhat incredulous of Micheletti's writing since right after the quote above, it continues "Meanwhile Micheletti closed airports and borders and baton-wielding police fired tear gas to chase thousands of demonstrators away from the embassy..."

In fact, by cutting off the water, electricity, and telephone to the Brazilian embassy, the de facto government is in violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a UN treaty.

Article 31 of that convention deals with "inviolability of the consular premises". Point 3 of that article reads
the receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the consular premises against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.
Blasting loud music is certainly a disturbance of the peace; and the cut off of services is arguably a failure to protect the premises against damage and the impairment of the dignity of the diplomats.

Update:: CNN has an online report that quotes Brazilian Foreign Minister Nunes Amorim, saying the cut-off of utilities was a "very serious" move and violated international law.

They also report the response from the Honduran police:

utilities were turned off in the area surrounding the embassy to discourage looting.

Good of them.

No comments: