US citizens in Honduras Protest Outside Embassy
US citizens in Honduras Protest Outside US Embassy
Election Day, November 29
At 3 p.m. today a number of North American citizens held a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa denouncing the repression in Honduras in these days leading up to the elections, while calling on their own government not recognize the illegal elections taking place today.
The seven U.S. citizens represented a number of human rights organizations, including Rights Action, the Quixote Center, and the National Lawyers Guild, all of which also had human rights watchers in various locations around the country.
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The group denounced a wave of abuses including illegal detentions, raids of the houses of leaders of the resistance movement, and intimidation of the population in general with threats of incarcerating those refusing to vote.
“To date we have received denunciations from various communities here in Tegucigalpa including the Colonia Villa Nueva, La Kennedy, Hato de Enmedio, as well as communities in the interior of the country, such as Tocoa, Santa Rosa de Copan, and San Pedro Sula,” the group reported in a communication to the press. They denounced the tear gassing of a peaceful demonstration in San Pedro Sula, injuring five of their human rights observers as well as a number of Hondurans.
The demonstration drew substantial attention from the Honduran national police, who came out in force, including their elite riot squad, the Cobras. At one point a helicopter circled above as the small group chanted, “Obama! Attention! Say no to these elections!” 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 groups called on President Obama and the Department of State not to recognize the electoral process or its results which would only serve to support yet another act of an illegitimate regime and another attack on the will of the Honduran people and their fervent desire for due process and democracy.
Rights Action & National Lawyers Guild