AFGJ one of 107 Co-Signers on Letter to OAS

To Whom It May Concern:

Just days after the June 28, 2009 military coup d’etat overthrew the constitutional, elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, the Organization of American States voted unanimously to suspend Honduras from the OAS.

Since that time the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on multiple occasions has confirmed the existence of human rights crises in Honduras, most recently in a report on April 1, 2011. The IACHR reports cited violent disproportionate use of force against protests; the lack of an independent judicial system and the firings of judges for political reasons; that the governmental Truth Commission has not assigned investigators nor initiated investigations of human rights crimes.

Other international human rights organizations and human rights entities in Honduras have also documented the continuation of the human rights crises, impunity and lack of rule of law during the current regime of Porfirio Lobo. The reality is contrary to the presentations of the government of the United States and of Porfirio Lobo that claim that Honduras has restored constitutionality and reconciliation and thus, should be readmitted to the Organization of American States.

We believe that the regime of Porfirio Lobo should not be rewarded for continuing the repression and impunity. On the contrary, international pressure should be increased until real rule of law and human rights guarantees are restored.

Therefore, we make this call:

1. To the international community to condemn the more than 200 political assassinations, continuous harassment, threats and attacks against defenders of human rights and the countless beatings, persecution, detentions, and toxic gas attacks against Honduran citizens.

2. To the Organization of American States to continue the suspension of Honduras and no consideration of reinstatement until:

§ There is an end to the human rights violations and impunity for crimes against humanity in Honduras. The crimes must be investigated and the intellectual authors as well as the material perpetrators brought to justice and punished.

§ All the political exiles, including former President Manuel Zelaya, are able to safely return to Honduras and to exercise their full rights as citizens with no fear of persecution.

§ The Honduran people convene a National Constituent Assembly, (democratic popular and participatory) the only mechanism for a return to constitutional order.

§ The National Front of Popular Resistance is recognized as a legitimate political-social force entitled to freedom from political persecution and guaranteed protection for all civil and human rights.