Dec. 3 (UPI) — Human rights activists and opposition groups spoke out against a nightly curfew following violence in response to the Honduras’ contested presidential election.

The government imposed a 10-day curfew prohibiting anyone except cargo transport workers, emergency health workers, government workers, and people involved with the election and electoral parties from being outside between 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. amid protests over the unsettled election.

“The executive decree orders the arrest of any person found outside the circulation hours established by the authorities or who is suspected of causing damage to persons or property,” the government’s coordinating minister, Jorge Ramon Hernandez said.

Army and National Police also were ordered to clear demonstrators or people committing illegal activities from public areas, highways, bridges, and private or public buildings.

At least one person was killed after both incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez and opposition leader, TV star Salvador Nasralla, claimed victory.

Opposition protesters said the election was rigged in favor of Hernandez after he emerged with a slim lead with more than 95 percent of the ballots counted.

An opposition protest was planned for Sunday in the capital of Tegucigalpa, as human rights advocates such as Wilfredo Mendez denounced the curfew as a means to stifle demonstrations.

“The curfew is just a means to suppress dissent to this fraudulent election and increase repression,” Mendez said.

Human rights groups also accused police of using excessive force and gunfire against protesters.

Authorities said the curfew was put in place “to guarantee the safety of the people” by curbing violence, looting and the construction of barricades by protesters.

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