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Honduran military government brings ICJ claim against Brazil

A press release from the ICJ Registrar has announced that an application has been filed by Honduras against Brazil.  The proceedings relate to “legal questions concerning diplomatic relations and associated with the principle of non-intervention” which allegedly arise from the fact that a number of Honduran exiles, including the ousted President, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, have taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy.  Rosales was diposed by the military in June 2009 in a coup d’etat.  He went into exile but then returned covertly to the country in September and sought refuge in the Brazilian embassy.  The military government currently in charge in Honduras alleges that the embassy is being used “as a platform for political propaganda and thereby threatening the peace and internal public order of Honduras” in violation of the principle of non-intervention as found in the UN Charter and the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.  This is a particularly controversial application given the international condemnation of the coup d’etat – see New York Times, After Losing Honduras, Ousted Leader Wins International Support.  Indeed, questions could be raised about whether or not the military government is capable of acting on behalf of Honduras, given that the UN General Assembly has explicitly called on “all states to recognise no government other than that of the Constitutional President, Mr. José Manuel Zelaya Rosales” – see BBC News, UN Backs Honduran Leaders Return; UN General Assembly Resolution 63/301, Situation in Honduras: democracy breakdown.

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