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25516: Wharram - news - House OKs Lee's Haiti measure (fwd)
From Bruce Wharram <email@example.com>
"Inside Bay Area"
House OKs Lee's Haiti measure
Bill would prohibit the U.S. from giving arms and ammo to national police,
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Inside Bay Area
The U.S. government would be barred from giving weapons to Haiti under an
amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee and approved by the House on a voice
vote Tuesday night.
"The Haitian National Police are intimidating, murdering and executing the
poor and political opposition with weapons transferred free of charge from
the United States to the government of Haiti, and this is simply
unacceptable," said Lee, D-Oakland.
Lee's amendment to the foreign operations appropriations bill, which still
needs Senate approval, would stop the State Department from giving excess
arms and ammunition free of charge to the Haitian National Police force. As
many as 3,000 weapons have been transferred to Haiti since last year.
The United Nations and Amnesty International have expressed concern about
Haitian police involvement in political violence and human rights abuses.
Lee said the United States "must not be complicit in helping to arm
criminals and human rights abusers."
Lee introduced her amendment with support from John Conyers, D-Mich., Maxine
Waters, D-Los Angeles, and Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich. These and other
Congressional Black Caucus members have decried the early-2004 ouster of
former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristede and questioned the U.S.
government's role in it.