domingo, 23 de mayo de 2010

International pressure puts the President of the CSJ(Honduran Supreme Court of Justice) on the run

* France asks Honduras to Consolidate the rule of law

The judges who remain on hunger strike protest will not stop until the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) rectifies and annuls the dismissal actions that have been described as illegal and as a political persecution carried out against them.

With these statements the president of the Association of Judges for Democracy (AJD), Guillermo Lopez Lone, reacted after the president of the CSJ, Jorge Rivera Aviles said no layoffs have been reported and therefore the judges had abandoned their jobs.

The statements by the president of the CSJ, "I think they are not fully adjusted with the reality from the institutional point of view of what an administrative procedure is. On the one hand he can not say that we are not dismissed, yet I say with all due respect, dismissal is a reality, that decision was fully taken in the Court on May 5, by a decision of 10 judges in favor and 5 against. "

."I could say in a very subjective way what the president of the CSJ is intending to express and I think that faced with the many pressures at international level, the complaint was made and has been taken not only by human rights organizations, but by governments in Europe and Latin America in relation to the dismissals being unfair, they are illegal, he is really trying to step out by saying that no layoffs have occurred and that they are not firm, "Lopez Lone said.

On Wednesday May 12 the record was ratified and thus practically the dismissal of 4 judges that we have been talking throughout this hunger strike has been reaffirmed, then what is needed is only a purely formal notification of these dismissals, we could not sit idly by hoping that would occur, he said.

He added that "what we had to look for was our right to protest reacting to these dismissals and to really make sure that this news is known by the citizenship, known by the international community to assess what the current situation of the judiciary is, where it different opinions to those ones that the the CSJ holds are not tolerated.

López Lone pointed out they will not return to their positions as long as the dismissals are kept firmly within the CSJ, because what could happen is if they decide to suspend the strike and return, what could happen is that within a few days a written notice of dismissals could get to them.

"We are here because we believe that this decision is arbitrary, unjust and illegal and we have made given many and enough documents and evidence to the Directorate of Personnel of the judiciary to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and other international bodies in order to justify that indeed has no legal foundation, "said the trial judge in San Pedro Sula.

He added that before an act of this nature a reaction of this kind takes place, recurring to social protest even at the expense of our lives and our health by putting on a hunger strike indefinitely until the CSJ rectify that decision of our dismissal, I think that we would be willing to return to our jobs.
The international community has expressed its condemnation of the political persecution that the current regime has executed against dissenting voices that have condemned the coup d'état of June 28 and because they have stated that the current regime is composed of characters who supported the rupture of constitutional order .

In addition organizations like the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) who made a recent visit to the country and the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil) have described as unacceptable the dismissals and have complained that there intimidating actions against freedom of expression and independence of judges who were fired.

It also emerged that the Spanish cooperation might be conditioning financial support, which for years it has provided the Honduran judicial system, until they reinstate the fired judges.

Today the fifth day on hunger strike for judges Guillermo López Lone , Ramón Enrique Barrios and Luis Alonso Chévez is marked, who along with Pablo Munguia Michael Urbina and Teodoro Santos, activists of the Large Movement for dignity and Justice (Madj) demand the settlement of the judiciary.

THIS was even happening before:

Supreme Court to Lobo Sosa: "No Thanks"

by RNS

The chief justice of the Honduran Supreme Court, Jorge Rivera Avilez, in response to question from the press, said that Porfirio Lobo Sosa, in discussions with him, asked him to postpone the dismissal of judges who opposed the coup d'Etat. But the Supreme Court asserted its independence and specifically claimed it would not "go backwards".

Sosa said yesterday that he asked the Supreme Court not to "take any actions that were not appropriate for the peace and stability in Honduras."

Izaguirre, court spokesperson, told reporters that what Lobo Sosa asked of his boss (Rivera Aviles) was that he postpone the dismissal of the judges.

Izaguirre is quoted as saying

"The president of the Court promised that he would make the proposal to the whole court, and in the whole court it was batted around and they said this is a decision which has been made."

Izaguirre indicated that the 10 justices who voted for the firings are not willing to reconsider their decision.

Political Expediency

by RNS

On May 7 the Honduran Supreme Court dismissed 4 judges and a magistrate allegedly for participating in political activity opposed to the coup. It has taken no action against those judges who marched in favor of the coup. We blogged about their dismissal at the time. At the time, NGO's like the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) denounced the dismissals as "significant reprisals" and as a "clear intimidating message" for other justices in Honduras. No one in Honduras said much of anything about it, except the Frente de Resistencia.

Fast forward to yesterday, when the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) released a statement on the state of human rights in Honduras after a fact finding visit to the country. The IACHR release called out the dismissal of the judges as particularly troubling.
"Of particular concern are the acts of harassment directed against judges who participated in activities against the coup d’état. The Commission met with members of the Association of Judges for Democracy who were dismissed from their posts by the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ). Notwithstanding the formal reasons that could be argued by the Supreme Court, the reasons that motivated the process and the final decision are undoubtedly linked to participation in anti-coup demonstrations or to having expressed an opinion against the coup d’état. The inter-American human rights system has repeatedly underscored the central role of the judiciary in the functioning of a democratic system. It is unacceptable that those persons in charge of administering justice who were opposed to the democratic rupture would face accusations and dismissals for defending democracy. The IACHR urgently calls for a reversal of this situation that seriously undermines the rule of law."
Suddenly there's a flurry of condemnations of the Supreme Court's action. UD party member Marvin Ponce introduced a bill to form a commission to study the dismissal in Congress, but the President of Congress, Juan Orlando Hernandez suspended discussion saying it needed more time than could be allotted to the discussion yesterday. Also yesterday Porfirio Lobo Sosa, in Spain, said it was hurting his efforts to win recognition for Honduras. Then he said
"This is a subject that I've discussed with the President of the Court (Jorge Rivera Avilez), and I said you should not take any action that is not appropriate for peace and stability in Honduras, and although they suggested that they were not going to do it, they did."
Lobo expressed support for the Congressional investigation.

The question is, where were these people 12 days ago when the Supreme Court acted? Why did it take them this long to express their concerned. Could it be there's only concern now because there's political cover in the IACHR report for being concerned? Only time will tell.


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