[HCCN] Honduras: an illegitimate government/election

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Mon Nov 30 20:16:57 EST 2009


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2009
3:23 PM

CONTACT: National Lawyers Guild (NLG)
Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator, communications at nlg.org,  
212-679-5100
Susan Scott, Co-Chair, NLG International Committee 415 669-1745 or  
syscott at prodigy.net

National Lawyers Guild Calls for the US to Disavow the Legitimacy of  
Elections in Honduras
NEW YORK - November 30 - The National Lawyers Guild calls on  
President Obama and the U.S. Department of State not to recognize the  
elections in Honduras, which was conducted under the control of an  
illegitimate coup government.

In the week leading up to Sunday's elections, several NLG members  
went to Honduras to document conditions there. Tanya Brannan and  
Kevin Breslin reported numerous repressive measures taken by military  
and police under command of the Coup government. "While CNN reports a  
70% turnout at the elections, even the official Honduran electoral  
agency admits a mere 1.7 million Honduran voted yesterday," said  
Brannan. "So even by the government's own admission, some 70% of  
Hondurans voted not to legitimize the military coup. Can our  
government do any less?"

Yesterday, member Tanya Brannan stood outside the U.S. Embassy in  
Honduras in protest of the U.S. government's apparent support of the  
election. The demonstration drew substantial attention from the  
Honduran national police, including their elite riot squad, the  
Cobras, who came out in force. As one bystander observed, "The U.S.  
government has brought out their helicopters and Honduran riot police  
to repress a handful of their own citizens trying to exercise their  
right to free speech. What are they afraid of?"

The National Lawyers Guild has been monitoring the situation in  
Honduras since the military removed the duly elected president,  
Manuel Zelaya, on June 28. A climate of fear, intimidation and the  
suppression of the most basic rights of free association and speech  
has resulted in the closure of media outlets that are opposed to the  
coup. There has been widespread militarization, along with  
assassination, detention, threats, rape, surveillance and harassment  
of the leadership and supporters of the coup resistance.

Having analyzed the legal and constitutional issues involved and  
sending delegations to Honduras, the NLG has verified that the  
election of November 29, 2009 were not free, fair or transparent, and  
the United States government should join the international community  
in refusing to recognize its legitimacy. It should speak out  
forcefully against the coup, close down all U.S. military operations  
in Honduras, and block all U.S. aid and trade that benefits the  
illegal coup and its supporters.

In August, the NLG sent a joint delegation to Honduras with the  
Association of American Jurists and International Association of  
Democratic Lawyers to meet with members of the Honduran Supreme Court  
and other government officials supporting the coup and leaders of the  
coup resistance and social movements. Their preliminary report,  
including an analysis of the constitutional issues, is available on  
the website of the NLG International Committee:  http:// 
www.nlginternational.org/com/main.php?cid=1.

###
The National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic and  
progressive change in the structure of our political and economic  
system. Through its members--lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers  
and legal workers united in chapters and committees--the Guild works  
locally, nationally and internationally as an effective political and  
social force in the service of the people.
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