Amnesty International: UN brings cold comfort to Haiti's brutalized civilians

Demand release of Father Gerard Jean Juste
Stop UN massacres of civilians
Amnesty International Human Rights Report- Haiti: Disarmament delayed,
justice denied - July 28, 2005

The Wire
July, 2005
(Amnesty International, go to:zilibutton )

UN brings cold comfort to Haiti’s brutalized civilians

A year since the deployment of the UN peacekeeping force, the Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), little has improved for the island’s civilian population. Police brutality, arbitrary detention, unlawful executions, rape and other grave human rights violations are commonplace. The interim government, which came to power in March 2004 following President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s ousting, has shown little resolve to work with MINUSTAH towards effectively stabilizing the country. The result is a climate of near-anarchy, bolstered by a corrupt and brutal police force.

The Haitian National Police (HNP) has been implicated in several reported killings and attacks over the last year. In October 2004, at least nine young people were reportedly shot dead in the Fort National neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. The killings occurred after four police vehicles and an ambulance arrived in the area, bearing individuals dressed in black uniforms with the word “Police” written on their backs.

Faces hidden in balaclavas, they reportedly ordered the occupants of a house to lie on the ground and shot them without provocation or apparent motive. Despite numerous witnesses and other evidence, representatives of the HNP have consistently denied such an incident ever took place.

The response of the authorities to such crimes has been to justify police actions and discredit the victims, systematically branding them “bandits”. There is a lack of political will, resources and mechanisms to establish whether police officers are guilty of human rights violations. No independent commission to investigate police abuses has been established. The Civilian Police component of MINUSTAH has carried out investigations into some cases but the findings have not been made public. There have been no prosecutions for extrajudicial killings, ill-treatment or other human rights abuses.

Even when crimes are “investigated”, there is a marked absence of procedure. Scenes of shootings are not protected; forensic and ballistics evidence is contaminated, removed or disappears. Some of the dead are allegedly taken to a well-known rubbish dump in Titanyen, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Others are taken to the National University Hospital’s morgue. Autopsy reports are non-existent. Some parents of victims refrain from going to the morgue for fear of reprisals or because they cannot afford to pay to take the corpse away for a proper burial. Unclaimed bodies at the morgue are reportedly disposed of at Titanyen along with other waste material from the hospital.

MINUSTAH’s remit is to ensure a secure and stable environment for the political process to develop unhindered in Haiti. More specifically, this means restructuring and reforming the HNP through vetting, training and monitoring police officers. However, MINUSTAH has been criticized for its lack of strong action to prevent human rights abuses, principally those perpetrated by Haitian police officers, and risks losing credibility in the eyes of the Haitian people.

MINUSTAH must continue to assist in the restructuring and training of the HNP and other law enforcement agents, ensuring that this includes training in international human rights and humanitarian law. Only with a professional, accountable police force can good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights become a reality for Haiti.

See Haiti: Disarmament delayed, justice denied (AMR 36/005/2005), available from mid-July.

Solidarity Day Pictures & Articles
May 18, 2005
Pictures and Articles Witness Project
Click photo for larger image
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme - on "Wanted poster" of suspects wanted by the Haitian police.
"Dread" Wilme reported killed July 6, 2005

Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme speaks:
Radio Lakou New York, April 4, 2005 interview with Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme
Urgent Action
Alert- Demand a Stop to Killings
in Cite Soleil:

Background Info,
Sample letters and Contact information provided, April 21, 2005

Crucifiction of
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme,
a historical

Charlemagne Peralte - The old Bandit King of Haiti
* In 1919 the US murdered him and put the body on public display

Urge the Caribbean Community to stand firm in not recognizing the illegal Latortue regime:

Selected CARICOM Contacts
zilibutton Slide Show at the July 27, 2004 Haiti Forum Press Conference during the DNC in Boston honoring those who stand firm for Haiti and democracy; those who tell the truth about Haiti; Presenting the Haiti Resolution, and; remembering Haiti's revolutionary legacy in 2004 and all those who have lost life or liberty fighting against the Feb. 29, 2004 Coup d'etat and its consequences
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