Jailed Honduran farmers on hunger strike for Zelaya


The protest comes as representatives of Zelaya and the regime led by Roberto Micheletti agreed to restart talks next week aimed at resolving the political crisis, sparked when soldiers ousted Zelaya at gunpoint on June 28 and kicked him out of the country. Zelaya's surprise return on September 21 -- to the Brazilian embassy, where he is currently holed up -- triggered a new wave of protests and a clampdown on civil rights, but also boosted efforts to break the deadlock.

"We're being charged with sedition because we are calling for the return of our president to end all this," said Ramon Diaz, 43, one of the hunger strikers being held at the National Penitentiary in Tegucigalpa. "The lawyers have said that they want to lock us up for the maximum term, 10 years," Diaz told reporters from the prison, located just outside the capital.

Diaz and 54 other Zeyala sympathisers were arrested on Wednesday after police and soldiers violently ousted protesters from government offices they had taken over. "We are starting a hunger strike to demand a just trial, the restitution of president Zelaya, and respect for our right to the land," said Benedicto Flores, 48, another jailed farmer.

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