Zelaya addresses UN via cell phone

Ousted Honduran president urges world body to restore rule of law in his country.

    Zelaya spoke over a mobile phone held by
    Patricia Rodas, his foreign minister

    Zelaya has been holed up for a week in the Brazilian embassy, which is besieged by forces loyal to the interim government that took power after Zelaya was deposed on June 28.

    The de facto government, which is headed by Roberto Micheletti, upped the ante on Sunday, threatening to close Brazil's embassy for harbouring Zelaya and denying entry to four mediators from the Organisation of American States (OAS).

    The interim government also announced stricts limits on civil liberties for 45 days and shut down a radio station aligned with Zelaya. A television channel was also taken off-air.

    'Forgiveness'

    Micheletti said late on Monday that he may move to restore civil liberties and re-open television and radio stations loyal to Zelaya by the end of the week.

    He said that he wanted to "ask the Honduran people for forgiveness'' for the restrictions his government imposed.

    Honduran soldiers had raided a radio
    station allied to Zelaya [Reuters] 
    Micheletti said he would discuss lifting the measures with court officials "as soon as possible," adding: "By the end of this week we'll have this resolved.''

    He also repeated his pledge not to attack the Brazilian embassy, and even sent "a big hug'' to Brazil's president, a day after giving him a 10-day ultimatum to expel Zelaya or move him to Brazil.

    His government also said it would welcome an advance team from the OAS into the country from Friday and said an OAS commission of foreign ministers could visit on October 7.

    Zelaya was forced from the presidential palace and into exile on the same day that he planned to hold a non-binding referendum on the constitution.

    Opposition politicians, the supreme court and the military accused Zelaya of trying to win support for an extension to his single term as president.

    Zelaya denied those claims, saying that the public vote was aimed at constitutional reforms necessary to improve the lives of the poor.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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