Honduran congress discusses amnesty for coup makers

10:59, January 13, 2010      

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The Honduran Congress on Tuesday started to discuss an amnesty for all those involved in the coup of June 28, 2009, which ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Jose Saavedra, the Congress leader, summoned the session to discuss the possibility of granting an amnesty for those involved in the coup.

The possible amnesty has aroused controversy among the different sectors of the Honduran society, as some think that it is the only solution to the political crisis in the country since the coup, while others reject it considering it will give impunity to those who committed crimes.

The National Front Against the Coup, who are Zelaya's supporters, have rejected the amnesty projects and they believe that the Congress will approve it because it will benefit those Congressmen and soldiers involved in the coup.

Congressmen Edmundo Orellana said that "it is evident that the political crimes against the democracy, the state and the republic were done from the National Congress, it was there where the coup was planned."

Zelaya also rejected the possibility of an amnesty, despite in case it is given, he could leave the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he had been staying since Sept. 21, 2009.

Zelaya said "the coup cannot remain unpunished and it cannot be hidden." he added that the violations to the human rights, the illegal detentions and other crimes committed since he was ousted must be punished.

Meanwhile, Saavedra told local radio station Radio America on Monday that "we have to seek different ways, different mechanisms to strengthen and boost the reconciliation of Honduras, and (the amnesty) is an issue that can collaborate, so the National Congress is obliged to open a debate about it."

President-elect Porfirio Lobo has been insisting on the amnesty as the only solution to the crisis in the country and to achieve the international recognition of his administration to start on June. 27.

Lobo said on Monday that "the most important is to understand (that with the amnesty) the state will forgive the political crimes... so if there is not an amnesty there will not be forgiveness."

Meanwhile, President of the Committee for the Defense of the Human Rights Andres Pavon said on Tuesday that even though the Honduran Congress approved the amnesty, many organizations in Honduras will present a demand to the International Court against those with responsibility on the coup.

Source: Xinhua
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