Honduras coup abuses not crimes against humanity: ICC

28th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

The International Criminal Court said on Wednesday it would not open a full investigation into abuses committed in Honduras after the 2009 coup, ruling they were not crimes against humanity.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that after a preliminary inquiry and a "thorough factual and legal analysis of the information available" she had determined the strict legal requirements "to open an investigation into the situation in Honduras have not been satisfied."

Former president Manuel Zelaya was taken from his bed in his pyjamas by soldiers in a 2009 military-backed coup which reportedly led to widespread rights abuses in the impoverished Central American nation.

"Based on the information available, human rights violations were committed on 28 June 2009 and in its aftermath, and these were directly attributable to the authorities which had seized power in the coup," Bensouda said in a statement.

But she said that the abuses which lasted until late January 2010 "do not constitute crimes against humanity."

The Rome Statute under which the ICC came into being in 2002 as the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal sets strict legal requirements on crimes against humanity which distinguish them from "general, chronic and structural violence," Bensouda said.

"After carefully weighing the information available against the legal requirements of the Rome Statute, I have concluded that there is no reasonable basis for my office to proceed with an investigation."

Bensouda insisted however that the ICC's decision did not "minimise the crimes committed in Honduras or their impact on the victims."

Honduras is already known as the world's deadliest country with a homicide rate of 90 murders per 100,000 people, according to the United Nations in 2012.

© 2015 AFP

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