TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – The interim Honduran government on Monday revoked an emergency decree that prohibited large street protests and limited other civil liberties following the return of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.
The decree, which resulted in dozens of arrests and the closing of two pro-Zelaya media outlets, “has been completely revoked,” interim President Roberto Micheletti said at a news conference with U.S. congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican.
Micheletti did not say whether the lifting of the decree would take effect immediately. He had said in a morning television interview it would be formally repealed today when the new order is published in the government’s official gazette.
Honduras’ interim leaders issued the emergency order Sept. 27 in response to “calls for insurrection” by Zelaya as the ousted president sought refuge in the Brazilian Embassy after sneaking back into the country. He remains holed up in the embassy with dozens of supporters amid international diplomatic efforts to end the crisis.
The decree empowered police and soldiers to break up public meetings, arrest people without warrants and restrict the news media, with armed troops stationed throughout the capital to enforce the order.
The main effect of the order was to close down the two main pro-Zelaya media outlets, Radio Globo and Channel 36, and it blocked protest marches for several days.