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Commission Confirms Rights Violations in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA — A delegation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights confirmed that coup leaders in Honduras have committed violations of human rights.

Amnesty International said protesters were being beaten and arrested by police and the military. (AFP) The group also said that "only a return to institutional democracy" will allow Honduras to restore individual rights.

Latin American governments have been seeking a reinstatement of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya who was ousted in a June 28 coup.

The Organization of American States has suspended Honduras's membership in the body over the coup.

Amnesty International said Wednesday that protesters in Honduras were being beaten and arrested by police and the military for opposing the de facto government.

The London-based rights organization said it has collected evidence of mass arrests and violence against protesters by authorities since the interim government came to power in the June 28 bloodless coup.

"Mass arbitrary arrests and ill treatment of protesters are a serious and growing concern in Honduras today," said Amnesty researcher Esther Major.

"Detention and ill treatment of protestors are being employed as form of punishment for those openly opposing the de facto government and also as a deterrent for those contemplating taking to the streets to peacefully show their discontent with the political turmoil the country is experiencing."

Major said interviews with protesters including students detailed how police beat them with batons after their arrest at a peaceful demonstration on July 30 in the capital Tegucigalpa.

In a statement, Amnesty said harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and attacks as well as restrictions imposed on media outlets in Honduras were also concerns.


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