Honduran police remove Zelaya supporters from public building

13:38, October 01, 2009      

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The Honduran police on Wednesday removed at least 57 supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya from a public building in Tegucigalpa which they had occupied for months.

Since the June 28 political-military coup against Zelaya, some of the president's sympathizers had occupied the National Agrarian Institute (INA) building to express their support to the deposed leader.

According to police spokesman Orlin Cerrato, the removal operation was carried out in line with a new government decree issued on Saturday, which stipulates the suspension of some Constitutional rights and guarantees.

The decree orders the immediate removal of people who occupy public institutions, and prohibits demonstrations that disrupt public order.

Cerrato said that the police would take the same action in similar cases in the future.

Rafael Alegria, a farmers' leader, said after the police operation: "They (the de facto government) are desperate, they are using an illegal decree, which has not been approved by the Congress. This is a Fascist act."

The Honduran Congress and the electoral Supreme Tribunal have questioned the decree and requested its suspension.

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