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Restore Civil Liberties, Protect Human Rights

Witness for Peace joined human rights organizations and faith groups to sign the statement below.

Honduras: Restore Civil Liberties, Protect Human Rights

September 29, 2009

We call on the de facto government of Honduras to restore constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, respect human rights and freedom of expression, accept international monitoring and mediation, and establish dialogue with the constitutionally elected administration of President Manuel Zelaya. We call on all parties in Honduras to resolve this conflict through peaceful means.

We are greatly concerned about the Micheletti government’s decision to suspend constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties through the decree published on September 26th, 2009 in the official government newspaper. We are also concerned about the violations of human rights and freedom of expression that have taken place since President Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras on September 21st. We call upon the government to immediately cease excessive use of force by police and military directed at peaceful protestors; arbitrary detentions; and harassment, surveillance and attacks against human rights defenders. We urge the government to cease acts of hostility and harassment directed at the Brazilian Embassy. We are gravely concerned about restrictions upon the freedom of the press, including the suspension of guarantees of freedom of expression included in the September 26th decree and actions to cut off power to, occupy and close media outlets.

We urge the de facto government to immediately accept Organization of American States mediators, and call upon the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress to accept the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to conduct a visit to verify the reports of human rights abuses since September 21st. We further call upon the government to provide access to other UN and OAS special rapporteurs to monitor the human rights situation.

Finally, we urge the U.S. State Department to advocate strongly for protection of human rights and civil liberties, and to use all diplomatic means to restore constitutional order in Honduras and support, in conjunction with Organization of American States, a process for national dialogue.

Jean Stokan Director Institute Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Reverend John L. McCullough Executive Director and CEO Church World Service

Vicki Gass Senior Associate for Rights and Development Washington Office on Latin America

Robert E. White President Center for International Policy

Jennifer Atlee Co-Director Quixote Center John A. Nunes President and CEO Lutheran World Relief Viviana Krsticeviv Executive Director Center for Justice and International Law

Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo, Executive Minister Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate on International Issues United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries LaMarco Cable Program Associate for Advocacy and Education Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ

James E. Winkler General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society United Methodist Church T. Michael McNulty Justice and Peace Director Conference of Major Superiors of Men Sara Stephens, Executive Director Bart Beeson, Program Associate Center for Democracy in the Americas

Mary B. Campbell Associate Director for Companionship, Advocacy and Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, Global Mission Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Erin Kliewer Executive Director STITCH Amanda Martin Director Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA Eric LeCompte National Organizer SOA Watch John Lindsay Poland and Susana Pimiento Chamorro Co-Directors Fellowship of Reconciliation Task Force on Latin America and the Caribbean Marie Dennis Director Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns Nan McCurdy President CEPHRI, Ecumenical Committee of English Speaking Church Personnel, Nicaragua Stephen Coats Executive Director US Labor Education in the Americas Project- USLEAP Kristen Moller Executive Director Global Exchange Dave Robinson Executive Director Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement Rob Dzelzitis Executive Director May I Speak Freely Media Laura Carlsen Director, Americas Program Center for International Policy Sharon Hostetler Executive Director Witness for Peace Barbara Mecker Staff Liason, Latin America/Caribbean Committee Loretto Community Mary Ellen McNish General Secretary American Friends Service Committee Sarah Aird Board Member Amnesty International USA


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