independent human rights expert covering Haiti says he is deeply
shocked at the situation of hundreds of prisoners held without
trial in Haitian prisons
Port-au-Prince, November 30, 2005 (AHP)
The United Nations independent expert covering human rights in
Haiti, Louis Joinet, declared Monday that he is deeply shocked
at the detention of hundreds of prisoners without trial in Haitian
prisons, including former leaders, cadres and activists of the
government of Jean Bertrand Aristide.
Concluding a twelve day mission to Haiti, Louis Joinet said he
considers this situation to be a genuine national tragedy.
He said he was particularly disturbed at the imprisonment of former
Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who has been on a hunger strike for
the past several months.
Mr. Neptune was imprisoned in June 2004 after organizations that
fought against his government accused him of involvement in an
alleged massacre said to have taken place on February 11, 2004
in a hamlet of Saint-Marc named La Scierie.
During a previous mission to Haiti, Mr. Joinet declared that what
took place in that region was not a massacre but rather clashes
between two rival bands for control of the city's port.
The human rights official also cited the case of Father Gérard
Jean-Juste who has been incarcerated in the absence of precise
charges at the moment he was viewed as a possible presidential
candidate. Father Jean-Juste was arrested last July inside a church
in Port-au-Prince where he had come to co-officiate at the funeral
ceremony for a young poet and journalist, Jacques Roche, who was
murdered after being kidnapped.
It would be better if the judicial authorities would release people
who are imprisoned without charge, Joinet advised, adding that
when a detainee is kept in prison beyond the limits of the law,
he becomes a political prisoner.
Many other members and supporters of the Aristide government including
former Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert, former member of the
House of Deputies, Amanus Maette, and activist/singer/songwriter
Annette Auguste, all of whom are imprisoned under similar circumstances,
consider themselves to be prisoners of conscience.
Louis Joinet said that while he does not know the exact size of
the prison population, more than 1,700 detainees are held in the
overcrowded National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, only several
dozen of whom have been charged.
Some observers have said that the criticisms of Louis Joinet are
the most intense to have been made at any time over the past two
years by a member of the international community regarding the
inefficiency and corruption of the Haitian judicial system.
Mr. Joinet also said he has observed a very significant improvement
in the area of security compared with what he saw on his last
He said however that he is disturbed at the increase in the level
and intensity of violence toward women.
He declared that "85 % of the human rights violations in
Haiti concern women, and that 47% of these violations involve
sexual assault against minors".
AHP November 30, 2005 12:30 PM
Rights Official Deplores number of prisoners detained without
trial in Haiti
29 November 29, 2005
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti_A U.N. human rights official criticized
Haiti’s justice system for jailing hundreds of people without
charge, including an activist priest he compared to a political
Louis Joinet’s comments Monday marked one of the strongest
recent condemnations of Haiti’s inefficient and corruption-prone
justice system from a member of the international community.
The exact size of Haiti’s prison population isn’t
known, but the overcrowded National Penitentiary in the capital
of Port-au-Prince holds more than 1,700 inmates, only a few dozen
of who have been charged.
"If the Haitian judiciary does not have the means to try
the people it detains, it should be compelled to release them,"
Joinet, the Haiti expert of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights,
told The Associated Press.
Joinet was speaking following a two-week visit to assess human
rights conditions in the impoverished Caribbean nation of 8 million.
He is scheduled to present his findings to the United Nations
Joinet also condemned the jailing of several allies of ousted
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, including former Prime Minister
Yvon Neptune and popular Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Gerard
Neptune has spent more than a year in jail on accusations of masterminding
the killings of political opponents. Jean-Juste has been jailed
since July for alleged involvement in the abduction and slaying
of a well-known Haitian journalist. Both men deny the charges.
Joinet said the charges against Jean-Juste "seem quite weak"
and questioned the motives for detaining the priest, who had been
seen by some as a potential presidential contender in upcoming
"When a prisoner remains in jail longer than what the law
allows, he becomes a political prisoner. This seems to be the
case for Jean-Juste," said Joinet."
Haitian officials weren’t immediately available for comment.
Joinet’s visit comes as Haiti’s interim government
and the United Nations struggle to prepare for national elections
scheduled for early next year, the first polls since Aristide
fled into exile amid a February 2004 revolt.
The elections have been pushed back several times because of logistical
snags and violence blamed on street gangs.
Fr. Jean-Juste Must Be Released Immediately;
Haitian Prisoner of Conscience Diagnosed with Life-Threatening
By Bill Quigley, Loyola University
New Orleans School of Law
Bill is a volunteer lawyer for Pere Jean-Juste with the Institute
for Justice and
Democracy, www.ijdh.org assisting Mario Joseph of the
Bureau des Advocats Internationaux. Bill can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 832.489.6408 in the US or 011.509.401.4822
There is new urgency in the call for the immediate release of
Pere Jean-Juste from the jails of Haiti - the priest is seriously
Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste is an internationally recognized advocate
for justice and democracy in Haiti. Often callled the Martin Luther
King, Jr of Haiti, Pere Jean-Juste has been in prison without
charges since he was arrested July 21 after being
beaten by a mob in a church in Port au Prince. None of his attackers
were arrested. Demonstrations of support for Fr. Jean-Juste have
occurred frequently in the poorer areas of Haiti and in many other
Amnesty International, Human Rights First, the International Association
of Democratic Lawyers, members of the Irish Parliament and leaders
of the UN Commission on Human Rights have called for his release
and the release of all political prisoners in Haiti.
The unelected Haitian government, which seized power after overthrowing
the democractically elected government of President Jean Bertrand
Aristide, has refused to respond to internal and international
pressure. The unelected appear intent on leaving Fr. Jean-Juste,
former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and others in jail without
trial until after the country's frequently postponed elections.
The first comprehensive medical report on Fr. Jean-Juste was just
released by US physician John Carroll MD, who examined the priest
in September 2005 and again in December 2005. The complete report
is available on the website of the Institute of Justice and Democracy
in Haiti http://www.ijdh.org. Dr. Carroll's report noted increased
white blood count, swelling in the lymph nodes in his neck and
arms, and intermittent hearing loss. The doctor, who is board
certified in internal medicine, concludes that "the causes
for these findings are numerous including hematolgic [blood] cancers,
metastatic [spreading] cancer, and a host of infectious
Dr. John Carroll insists that "Father Jean-Juste needs an
extensive medical work up, CAT scan, and surgical biopsy...and
to beging appropriate treatment immediately.
Many cancers of the blood have a good prognosis when treated early
Pere Jean-Juste, in jail and out, always urges everyone to fight
for human rights, real democracy and release of political prisoners.
He advises us to "keep up the struggle, freedom is coming
It is time once again for the international community to join
in solidarity with the people of Haiti and to demand without ceasing
the release of Fr. Jean-Juste.
US citizens are urged to contact the US Embassy in Haiti and demand
that they do everything possible to secure the immediate release
of Fr. Jean-Juste. The switchboard number is 011.509.222.0200.
Faxxes can be sent to the US Embassy 011.509.223.9038. Emails
can be sent to the human rights officers in the
embassy, Ms. Dana Banks email@example.com or Kevan Higgins firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr. Jean-Juste must be released immediately.
Haiti does not need another martyr for human rights.
John A. Carroll, M.D.
Medical Exam of Father Gerard Jean-Juste
Date of Exam: 12-1-05
I had the opportunity to examine Father Gerard
Jean-Juste in September, 2005 and again on December 1, 2005 in
penitentiary annex where Father is imprisoned. Father's chief
are neck pain and back pain. Father complains of intermittent
difficulty which he blames on the swelling in his neck. His past
Physical exam (related to chief complaints and positive findings)
reveal the following:
Neck: Multiple enlarged lymph nodes that are
mobile and have a rubbery consistency. The nodes are bilateral
(both sides of the neck), in the anterior and posterior triangles,
and above the clavicles (collarbones).
The nodes are nontender and are not draining.
Axillary regions (armpits): Very enlarged 10
centimeter nodes in both
axillary regions with same consistency as above.
Back: Mild tenderness on percussion over thoracic
Labs and Chest X Ray: Complete Blood Count (CBC)
drawn on 11/3/2005
revealed an abnormal increased percentage of lymphocytes (a type
blood cell). A chest x ray was performed in November, however
has no access to this and thus I could not review it.
Assessment: Father Jean-Juste has massive lymphadenopathy
in the cervical and axillary regions along with an abnormal complete
The lymph nodes have increased in size since my exam in September,
Causes for these findings are numerous including hematologic cancers,
metastacic cancer, and a host of infectious diseases.
Plan: Father Jean-Juste needs an extensive medical
work up, CAT scan,
and surgical biopsy of the cervical and/or axillary lymph nodes
to determine their etiology (cause) and to begin appropriate treatment
immediately. Many cancers of the blood have a good prognosis when
treated early by specialists.
John A. Carroll, M.D.
The Chicago Medical School, 1980, M.D. Board Certified Internal
Associate Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine and Surgery,
University of Illinois School of Medicine Peoria, 1989-2001
Emergency Department Attending Physician Saint Francis
Medical Center, Peoria, Illinois, 1989-2001
Founder and Medical Director of Haitian Hearts
Action Alert: Demanding Immediate Release of Fr. Gerard Jean Juste
Parliamentarians Demand Free and Fair Elections In Haiti,
November 16, 2005
We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned that the forthcoming
elections in Haiti, now postponed, should be conducted in a free,
fair and open manner when they take place.
In order to achieve this we strongly urge that all political parties
and groups, including the Fanmi Lavalas party headed by Jean-Bertrand
Aristide be enabled to participate and to organise on an equal
basis, and without restrictions.
Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste and
all political prisoners be released and enabled to participate
in the elections. President Aristide and all political exiles
be allowed to return to Haiti, and enabled to participate in the
The people of Haiti, regardless of social class or place of residence,
be given equal access to polling stations and equal opportunity
to vote at the last election, there were over 10,000 polling stations;
it is planned to hold the next election with 600.
The votes shall be recorded and counted in an open and transparent
manner. All state forces and all forces and representatives of
the United Nations shall be charged with ensuring that the elections
are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.
Above all, the violent repression directed mainly at the Famni
Lavalas party by the interim government of Gérard Latortue
must cease. This repression has been documented in Human Rights
reports by Amnesty International and others. We believe that the
elections should not be held unless and until these conditions
are met. If the interim government is unable or unwilling to help
create these conditions, it should resign.
Caoimhín O Caoláin
Aongus O Snodaigh
House of Representatives Votes to Block Arms
Transfers to Brutal Haitian Police: Foreign
Aid Bill Includes Lee Measure to Ban Arms to Haiti
Press Release from Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Ninth Congressional District of California
U.S. House of Representatives
For Immediate Release Contact: Nathan Britton
11/04/05 (202) 225-2661
Foreign Aid Bill Includes Lee Measure to Ban Arms to Haiti
(Washington, DC) - The House today approved a foreign aid spending
measure that included an amendment by Congresswoman Barbara Lee
(D-Oakland) that bans the sale and transfer of arms for use by
the Haitian National Police and requires a State Dept. report
on the involvement of Haitian police in criminal activity."The
people of Haiti remain targets of political violence, torture
and in some cases murder, and too often the perpetrators of this
violence are the Haitian National Police, armed with US weapons
free of charge," said Lee. "This amendment is necessary
in the effort to restore democracy. Haiti desperately needs humanitarian
assistance, and sending weapons only exacerbates Haiti's struggle
with violence and the criminal activity within the Haitian National
Lee's amendment, which was included in the FY 2006 Foreign Operations
Appropriations Conference Report, prohibits all arms transfers
and sales by the State Department for use by the Haitian National
Police and requires an investigation into implications of senior
and rank-and-file members in corruption, kidnappings, and narcotics-trafficking,
as documented by the State Department's International Narcotics
Control Strategy Reports. Since 2004, as many as 3,000 weapons
have been transferred to Haiti free of charge from the United
States, and in all probability have gone to arm the Haitian National
Police force. The United Nations and human rights groups have
expressed concern about the involvement of Haitian police in political
violence and human rights abuses.The bill was approved by a vote
of 358-39 and now awaits approval in the Senate before going to
the White House and becoming law.
Nathan BrittonCommunications DirectorOffice of Congresswoman Barbara
Lee1724 Longworth House Office Bldg.ph 202 225-2661
fax 202 225-9817
who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it:
See, the first US occupation and administration of Haiti
and how, then too, President Wilson of the US called the US. marines
exploits on behalf of New York bankers and multinationals, an
exercize in "civilizing" and "developing"
the "corrupt,," "failed" and "inept"
blacks of Haiti....Charlemagne
Inquiry into Occupation and Administration of Haiti," The
U.S. Senate Investigates the Haitian Occupation
interview Haitians about marine conduct in the guerrilla war against
and Recommendations by the Commitee of Six Disinterested Americans
People Were Very Peaceable": The U.S. Senate Investigates
the Haitian Occupation
Truth about Haiti: An NAACP Investigation
position of the sham elections
Standing on Truth, Living without Fear: HLLN's position on foreign-sponsored
elections under coup d'etat, dictatorship and occupation | Haitian
Perspectives by Marguerite Laurent, October 31, 2005
responds regarding position taken on sham elections,Windowsonhaiti
There are no free rides
“We’re Not Participating In Selections!” Says
Haitians in Haiti
(May 27, 2005) Ezili
Danto Witness Project
Fanmi Lavalas denounces Marc Bazin and his renegade Fanmi Lavalas
Condemn Sham Elections in Haiti
“Be true to the highest within your soul and then allow
yourself to be governed by no customs or conventionalities or
arbitrary man-made rules that are not founded on principle.”
Ralph Waldo Trine