[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
25858: Hermantin(News)Report: U.N., government doing little on violence (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted on Thu, Jul. 28, 2005
Report: U.N., government doing little on violence
Amnesty International says that U.N. peacekeepers and the Haitian government
have done little to disarm violent groups and stop human rights violations.
BY JOE MOZINGO
U.N. peacekeepers and the Haitian government have done little to disarm a
population awash in guns, root out armed militants and stop widespread human
rights violations by police, including summary executions, Amnesty
In a report to be released today, the human rights organization paints a
picture of official complacency that has allowed Haiti to sink ever deeper into
violence, impunity and despair.
Amnesty International called on U.N. troops to immediately begin the forced
disarmament program they promised following Sept. 15 -- their official deadline
for groups to voluntarily hand over their weapons.
''Haitians remain mired in a human rights crisis despite the presence of a U.N.
peacekeeping force,'' wrote Amnesty researcher Gerardo Ducos. ''In fact, little
tangible progress has been made to protect human rights '' since the ouster of
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide early last year.
The report is one more volley in a barrage of human-rights reports decrying the
violence that dogs Haiti and criticizing the peacekeepers and an interim
government that seems unable to rein it in.
Many observers, including Amnesty, fear that elections scheduled for later this
year could cause even more turmoil as various groups and their armed supporters
struggle for power.
The 38-page Amnesty report, titled ''Haiti, Disarmament Delayed, Justice
Denied,'' lays out a detailed case that police are continuing a pattern of
human rights violations that began under Aristide, and that the U.N. troops
that often accompany them are not doing enough to stop the abuse.
''The support that [peacekeepers] may have with the Haitian population fades
away with every abuse reportedly committed with impunity by the national
police,'' wrote Amnesty.
In one case, the human rights group alleged, police raided a home in the Fort
National neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on Oct. 26., ordered 13 people to lie
on the ground and executed all of them.
While Amnesty lays direct blame for the violence in Haiti to a range of
perpetrators -- members of the now disbanded armed forces, pro-Aristide gangs,
rebels that overthrew Aristide, police, common criminals -- it says the
inability of the interim government to control the country allows the bloodshed
Ducos also called two detainees -- Gerard Jean Juste, a pro-Aristide priest
arrested last week; and former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, arrested last year
-- little more than ``political prisoners.''
Other people -- particularly leaders of pro-Aristide gangs -- are killed in
''Nobody even knows who does what,'' said Ducos. ``That's the problem. You can
never answer for your crimes because you get a bullet between your eyes.''