[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
26207: Haiti Action (announce) ***URGENT ACTION*** Stop Massacres of Haitian civilians in poor neighborhoods (fwd)
From: Haiti Action Committee <email@example.com>
September 5, 2005--Help Stop Massacres of Haitian civilians in poor
Urgent, send a letter now!
August 2005. People living in Port-au-Prince?s poor neighborhoods are often
vulnerable than the prominent political prisoners, the police don?t arrest
them, they just kill them, knowing that no one outside Haiti will object. With
the government?s most prominent critics safely behind bars, the police are
silencing grassroots activists and opposition voters in the poor neighborhoods
that have been a bastion of the Lavalas party.
On the weekend of August 6 - 7 through Monday August 8, residents of the
neighborhood of Solino reported that machetes were distributed out of a
National Police car to civilian ?attaches? or police supporters who went on a
horrific killing spree dismembering bodies of a number of people, particularly
women and placing their body parts in black plastic bags later discovered by
dogs in a community ditch.
On August 10 police stormed the Bel-Air neighborhood, ostensibly to combat
gangs, but many of those killed, including a pregnant teenager, were clearly
not gang members. Witnesses report that civilian police supporters did much of
the killing, while the police looked on. On August 11, people claiming to be
working with the police lynched 10 more people, and residents of Bel-Air
reported the police systematically distributing machetes to supporters.
Ten days later, on the weekend of August 20 - 21, there was a series of
most notably two attacks by police working with machete-wielding death squads
in the neighborhood of Grande Ravine. The first took place at a soccer match on
Saturday at a Catholic church/school complex, where death estimates range from
10-50. The next day the attackers raided a residential neighborhood in Grand
Ravine, burning at least 4 homes and killing at least 5 young men.
In all cases UN-Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) troops were either securing the
area, accompanying the police or were in close proximity when the massacres
occurred according to neighborhood residents. Victims were either hacked to
death by red shirted mercenaries or hacked and then finished off by the police.
Their crime, they were allegedly Lavalas supporters.
While the head of MINUSTAH, Juan Gabriel Valdes recently denounced summary
executions by civilians his declaration was hardly enough to undo the UN?s
complicity. Since MINUSTAH has control over the Haitian police according to
their mandate and with over 7,000 soldiers and police officers, they have the
power to stop these massacres that are escalating as Haiti?s elections schedule
for this fall approach. The Security Council mandates that MINUSTAH is to
?protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.?
Action: MINUSTAH has failed miserably. The UN special Rapporteur on
Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions is a special unit under the High
Commission for Human Rights with a mandate to respond to reports of summary
executions by police and civilians cooperating with them. The current special
Rapporteur is Philip Alston, a respected human rights advocate from Australia.
Please write him or Juan Valdes. Contact information follows:
Mr. Philip Alston
Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.
Fax 011 41 22 917 90 06 or email:
Mr. Juan Gabriel Valdes
Special Representative of the Secretary-General
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
Dear Mr. Alston:
I am writing to urge you to make an urgent appeal to the Interim Government of
Haiti (IGH) and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
regarding the recent series of extrajudicial executions by Haitian police and
associated civilians, including attacks in Bel-Air on August 10 and in Grande
Ravine over the past weekend.
Witnesses report that dozens of people were shot or hacked to death with
machetes at a football game on Saturday, August 20, and that 5-6 were killed on
Sunday at their homes. The August 10 Bel Air massacre claimed ten lives. This
violence appears to be escalating as Haiti?s elections scheduled for this fall
MINUSTAH reported that it would investigate the Bel-Air killings. But the
Mission has announced investigations into several police killings over the last
year, including a Prison Massacre on December 1, 2004, and a series of police
killings in October 2004. Despite these promises, not a single UN investigation
of any human rights violations by Haitian police has been made public to date.
You should also urge MINUSTAH to take a stronger role in stopping these
killings. The Mission has a Security Council mandate to ?protect civilians
under imminent threat of physical violence,? and has two posts in Bel-Air and
one across the street from Saturday?s football massacre, but it failed to
intervene in any of these massacres.
----- End forwarded message -----