From Al Jazeera:
Honduran coup leaders tighten grip
Zelaya has said that he will return to Honduras at the weekend
The Honduran congress has given police expanded powers to move against opponents of the military-backed interim government in the wake of a coup which deposed the elected president.
Congress passed laws on Wednesday which will allow police to arrest people in their own homes without a warrant during a nightly curfew that has been in place since Manuel Zelaya was ousted.
“The deputies have decided to suspend several liberties, among them the liberties of free movement and association – people can be arrested for 24 hours without having any rights,” Al Jazeera’s Mariana Sanchez, reporting from the capital, Tegucigalpa, said.
The move is in defiance of increasing pressure on Honduras to reinstate Zelaya to the presidency and came hours after Zelaya said he would return home at the weekend.
The Organisation of American States (OAS) had earlier given Honduras a 72-hour deadline to restore Zelaya to the presidency or face expulsion from the 35-nation body.
“We will wait 72 hours in order to continue with this process [to return to Honduras],” in light of the OAS decision, Zelaya said in Panama City, where he had travelled to attend the inauguration of the new Panamanian president.
“My return to Honduras is scheduled for the weekend,” he said without specifying an exact day. …
… Insulza said on Wednesday that he had delivered an “ultimatum” to Honduras after an emergency meeting of the OAS.
“If within 72 hours the reinstatement doesn’t happen, the assembly … will meet again to suspend Honduras,” he said, from the OAS headquarters in Washington DC, the US capital.
The OAS condemnation of Honduras followed a resolution by the UN General Assembly calling for the “immediate and unconditional” return of Zelaya to the Honduran presidency.
Al Jazeera’s Monica Villamizar, reporting from San Pedro Sula, the Honduran commercial capital, said the protests were evidence that the coup had left the country deeply polarised.
“The police said for the moment that they have avoided a full-scale confrontation, but tensions are clearly mounting and anti-riot troops have cordoned off government buildings and shielded supporters of the military-installed government,” she said.
“Zelaya supporters have called for a general strike until he returns. Many said he was a president who was helping the poor.
The US has not legally classified the removal of Zelaya as a coup, as this would automatically lead to the suspension of aid to Honduras, an impoverished nation of 7.2 million people.
See also here.