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Amnesty


International


Haiti


The Human Rights Tragedy
Human Rights Violations Since The Coup


January 1992


AMR 36/03/92


$3.00
Amnesty International 322 Eighth Ave. New York, N.Y. 10001


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amnesty international




HAITI

The Human Rights Tragedy

Human rights violations since the
coup


JANUARY 1992 SUMMARY Al INDEX: AMR 36/03/92





On the night of 29 September 1991, a military coup overthrew the democratically elected
government of Haiti. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a priest who had been elected in
December 1990 with over 67% of the popular vote, was detained the following day.
After negotiations between the military and the French, Venezuelan and US
ambassadors, he was allowed to go into exile in Venezuela. Brigadier-General Raoul
C&dras, Commander-in-Chief of the Haitian Armed Forces, assumed temporary control
of the country. On 9 October Supreme Court judge Joseph Nerette was sworn in as
Haiti's provisional president. Jean-Jacques Honorat, Executive Director of the Centre
Haitien des Droits et Libertes Publiques (CHADEL)), the Haitian Center for Human
Rights, was ratified by the Chamber of Deputies as provisional Prime Minister of Haiti
on 14 October.
The days immediately following the coup were marked by violent repression,
particularly in the poor communities, where support for President Aristide had been
strongest. Soldiers deliberately and indiscriminately opened fire into crowds, killing
hundreds of people, including children. In one neighbourhood soldiers reportedly raided
private homes and shot more than 30 unarmed people dead, then forced relatives and
other local people to bury the bodies. Other human rights violations were widely






reported, including torture and short-term arbitrary arrests without warrant, usually
accompanied by severe beatings.

On 4 October Amnesty International wrote to Brigadier General Raoul Cedras,
urging him to send clear instructions to the security forces to stop human rights
violations, to open thorough investigations into those that had occurred since the coup
and to bring the perpetrators to justice. (See Haiti: Human Rights Violations in the
Aftermath of the Coup d'Etat, October 1991, AI Index: AMR 36/09/91) No response was
received.

Since October Amnesty International has continued to receive reports of grave
human rights violations. Hundreds of people have been extrajudicially executed, or
detained without warrant and tortured. Many others have been brutally beaten in the
streets. Freedom of the press has been severely curtailed and property is being destroyed
by members of the military and police forces or by civilians operating in conjunction
with them. The military has systematically targeted President Aristide's political
supporters, including members of the Front National pour le Changement et la
Ddmocratie (FNCD), National Front for Change and Democracy; members ofLavalas,1
the political grouping supporting President Aristide; residents of poorer areas of Port-au-
Prince such as Carrefour Feuilles, Bolosse, Delmas, Bel Air and Cit6 Soleil; and those
in the rural areas, where most of the people supported President Aristide. Grassroots
organizations, which had flourished during the seven months of President Aristide's
government, have been virtually eradicated, their equipment and premises destroyed, and
most of their activists in hiding; women's groups, peasant development groups, trade
unions, church groups and youth movements have all been the victims of severe
repression. Even children have not been spared the violence in Haiti. Thousands people
have been forced into hiding. Since October tens of thousands of people have left Haiti
and more than 10,000 people have reportedly attempted to flee to the United States of
America (USA) in flimsy and unseaworthy boats. Over 8,000 of them have been
intercepted on the high seas by the US Coast Guard and have been taken to the US naval
base in GuantAnamo Bay, Cuba where their asylum claims are being assessed. Those not
considered to have a valid asylum claim are liable to be returned to Haiti. Amnesty
International believes that the US refugee screening procedure lacks certain essential
safeguards which must be allowed to asylum-seekers and which are required by
international standards.

The fate of many of those arrested has not been clarified and there continue to be
widespread reports of torture. Many of those tortured have sustained serious injuries but
have been refused medical attention in custody, and at least four people have reportedly
been tortured to death. Some of those arrested arbitrarily have reportedly been released
only after paying bribes demanded by the soldiers. Families who go to the prisons and
detention centres in search of their detained relatives have been intimidated by soldiers
and many are afraid to visit their relatives. This may worsen the situation of many
prisoners, as food is not always provided by the prison authorities and some prisoners
get their only meals from visiting relatives or other inmates.


As a candidate President Jean-Bertrand Aristide campaigned
under the slogan Lavalas -- a creole word for landslide or flood.






The reinstatement of chefs de section, rural police chiefs, has added to the climate
of fear and repression. Chefs de section, notorious for widespread human rights
violations in the countryside, had been disarmed and placed under civilian authority
during the administration of President Aristide. Amnesty International has received
reports of grave human rights violations, including killings and beatings, perpetrated by
former rural police chiefs who returned to authority after the coup.

The restrictions on public freedom in place in Haiti since the coup have made it
extremely difficult -- often dangerous -- to fully investigate reported human rights
violations. Members of the Catholic Church, journalists and others involved in the
collection and dissemination of information on human rights abuses have been threatened
and intimidated by members of the security forces. Even where specific cases have been
investigated and reported, it has not always been possible to acquire accurate follow-up
information. Reliable sources have estimated that over 1,500 civilians have been killed,
and the number of arrests reported to Amnesty International exceeds 300. But these
figures could substantially underestimate the extent of the human rights crisis in Haiti:
problems in communications and the climate of fear and repression have meant that
many human rights violations remain unreported.


KEYWORDS: COUPSI / EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION / TORTURE/ILL-TREATMENTI /
MASS ARREST / UNLAWFUL DETENTION / DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL /
INCOMMUNICADO DETENTION / HARASSMENT / SEXUAL ASSAULT / DEATH IN
CUSTODY / ILL-HEALTH / REARREST / POLITICALLY MOTIVATED CRIMINAL CHARGES /
EMERGENCY LEGISLATION / MILITARY / POLICE / POLITICIANS / POLITICAL
ACTIVISTS / RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS CATHOLICI / RELIGIOUS WORKERS CATHOLICI /
JOURNALISTS / BROADCASTERS / PHOTOGRAPHERS / TRADE UNIONISTS /
COMMUNITY WORKERS / PEASANT LEADERS / HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS /
STUDENTS I / JUVENILES I / CHILDREN / WOMEN / AGED / FOREIGN NATIONALS /
ARTISANS / BUSINESS PEOPLE / LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES / TEACHERS /
ARTISTS / MILITARY AS VICTIMS / POLICE AS VICTIMS / DOCTORS / JUDGES / CIVIL
SERVANTS / WOMEN' RIGHTS ACTIVISTS / PEASANTS / UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE /
REFUGEES / REFOULEMENT / USA /


This report summarizes a 39-page document (13,136 words),'Haiti: The Human Rights
Tragedy Human rights violations since the coup (AI Index: AMR 36/03/92), issued by
Amnesty International in January 1992. Anyone wanting further details or to take action
on this issue should consult the full document.

Amnesty International
National Office
322 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(212) 807-8400







amnesty international


HAITI

The Human Rights Tragedy
Human rights violations since
the coup


January 1992
Al Index: AMR 36/03/92
Amnesty International
National Office
322 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(212) 807-8400







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TABLE OF CONTENTS





Introduction . . . . . . . . . ..... 1
1.1 K killings ................................... 4
1.2 Torture and ill-treatment . . . . . . 6
1.3 Arbitrary or illegal arrests . . . . . . 7
1.4 Threats and destruction of property . . . . 11

2. Human rights violations against members of the clergy and religious
organizations ...................................... 13

3. Repression in the countryside ........................... 21
3.1 Killings in the countryside ....................... 21
3.2 Arbitrary arrests, torture and ill-treatment . . . 22

4. Human rights violations against journalists . . . . . 26

5. Human rights violations against trade unionists and members of grassroots
organizations ...................................... 29

6. Targeting of human rights monitors . . . . . . 31

7. Human rights violations against students . . . . . 32

8. Children as victims of widespread abuse . . . . . 34

9. W om en ... ....................................... 36

10. The situation of Haitian Asylum-seekers . . . . . 37







HAITI



The Human Rights Tragedy
Human rights violations since the coup




Introduction

On the night of 29 September 1991, a military coup overthrew the democratically elected
government of Haiti. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, an outspoken priest who had been
elected in December 1990 with over 67% of the popular vote, was detained the
following day. After negotiations between the military and the French, Venezuelan and
US ambassadors, he was sent into exile in Venezuela. Brigadier-General Raoul C6dras,
Commander-in-Chief of the Haitian Armed Forces, assumed temporary control of the
country. On 9 October Supreme Court judge Joseph Nerette was sworn in as Haiti's
provisional president. Jean-Jacques Honorat, Executive Director of the Centre Hardten
des Droits et Libertes Publiques (CHADEL)), the Haitian Center for Human Rights, was
designated by provisional President Nerette on 11 October and ratified by the Chamber
of Deputies as provisional Prime Minister of Haiti on 14 October.

The days immediately following the coup were marked by violent repression,
particularly in the poor communities, where support for President Aristide had been
strongest. Soldiers deliberately and indiscriminately opened fire into crowds, killing
hundreds of people, including children. In one neighbourhood soldiers reportedly raided
private homes and shot more than 30 unarmed people dead, then forced relatives and
other local people to bury the bodies. Other human rights violations were widely
reported, including torture and short-term arbitrary arrests without warrant, usually
accompanied by severe beatings.

On 4 October Amnesty International wrote to Brigadier General Raoul C6dras,
urging him to send clear instructions to the security forces to stop human rights
violations, to open thorough investigations into those that had occurred since the coup
and to bring the perpetrators to justice. (See Haiti: Human Rights Violations in the
Aftermath of the Coup d'Etat, October 1991, AI Index: AMR 36/09/91) No response was
received.

Since October Amnesty International has continued to receive reports of grave and
systematic human rights violations. Hundreds of people have been extrajudicially
executed, or detained without warrant and tortured. Many others have been brutally
beaten in the streets. Freedom of the press has been severely curtailed and property is


Amnesty International January 1992


Al Index: AMR 36/03/92








2 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



being destroyed by members of the military and police forces or by civilians operating
in conjunction with them. The military has systematically targeted President Aristide's
political supporters, including members of the Front National pour le Changement et la
Democratic (FNCD), National Front for Change and Democracy; members of Lavalas,1
the political grouping supporting the deposed President Aristide; residents of poorer
areas of Port-au-Prince such as Carrefour Feuilles, Bolosse, Delmas, Bel Air and Cit6
Soleil; and those in the rural areas, where most of the people are believed to support Fr.
Aristide. Grassroots organizations, which had flourished during the seven months of
President Aristide's government, have been virtually eradicated, their equipment and
premises destroyed, and most of their activists in hiding; women's groups, peasant
development groups, trade unions, church groups and youth movements have all been
the victims of severe repression. Even children have not been spared the violence in
Haiti. An estimated 200,000 people have been forced into hiding. Since October tens
of thousands of people have left Haiti, and more than 10,000 people have reportedly
attempted to flee to the United States of America (USA) in flimsy and unseaworthy
boats. Over 8,000 of them have been intercepted on the high seas by the US Coast
Guard and have been taken to the US naval base in GuantAnamo Bay, Cuba where their
asylum claims are being assessed. Those not considered to have a valid asylum claim are
liable to be returned to Haiti. Amnesty International believes that this procedure lacks
certain essential safeguards which must be allowed to asylum-seekers and which are
required by international standards.

The fate of many of those arrested has not been clarified and there continue to be
widespread reports of torture. Many of those tortured have sustained serious injuries but
have been refused medical attention in custody, and at least four people have reportedly
been tortured to death. Some of those arrested arbitrarily have reportedly been released
only after paying bribes to the soldiers. Families who go to the prisons and detention
centres in search of their detained relatives have been intimidated by soldiers and many
are afraid to visit their relatives. This may worsen the situation of many prisoners, as
food is not always provided by the prison authorities and some prisoners get their only
meals from visiting relatives or other inmates.

The return of chefs de section, rural police chiefs to military control has added to
the climate of fear and repression. Chefs de section, notorious for widespread human
rights violations in the countryside, had been disarmed and placed under civilian
authority as Agents de Police Communale (Community Police Agents), during the
administration of President Aristide. Amnesty International has received reports of grave



As a candidate President Jean-Bertrand Aristide campaigned under the slogan Lavalas a creole word for
landslide or flood.


Amnesty International January 1992


Al Index: AMR 36/03/92








Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 3



human rights violations, including killings and beatings, perpetrated by former rural
police chiefs who returned to authority after the coup.

On 17 December the de facto authorities issued a decree granting an amnesty for
"all citizens who were arrested, persecuted, tried or convicted for political crimes during
the period from 16 December 1990 to 27 September 1991" (tous les citoyens qui ont dtg
arretes, poursuivis, jugs ou condamnes pour delits ou crimes politiques durant la
piriode allant du 16 decembre 1990 au 27 septembre 1991). This included the 21 men
convicted for the failed coup staged by Roger Lafontant in January 1991 with the aim
of preventing President Aristide from taking power. The decree also provided for a
further reduction in the sentence of Luc D6syr, a former secret police chief convicted
in 1986 of torture and murder and sentenced to hard labour for life. His sentence had
been reduced to 30 years in 1989, and now -- reduced to five years -- has expired. There
is evidence that many of those covered by the amnesty, including two men convicted of
human rights violations and jailed in mid-1991, were indeed released in the early days
of the coup.

The restrictions on public freedom in place in Haiti since the coup have made it
extremely difficult often dangerous, to fully investigate reported human rights violations
and no systematic, independent monitoring of human rights violations has been possible.
Members of the Catholic Church, human rights groups, journalists and others involved
in the collection and dissemination of information on human rights abuses have been
threatened and intimidated by members of the security forces. Even where specific cases
have been investigated and reported, it has not always been possible to acquire accurate
follow-up information. Reliable information indicates that over 1,500 civilians have been
killed, and the number of arrests reported to Amnesty International exceeds 300. But
these figures could substantially underestimate the extent of the human rights crisis in
Haiti: problems in communications and the climate of fear and repression have meant
that many human rights violations remain unreported.


'Anfinesty International January 1992


AI Index: AMR 36/03/92








4 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



1. Human rights violations against politicians and supporters of President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide

President Aristide's landslide victory in the December 1990 elections was made possible
by the deprived majority of the Haitian people, the poor people of the towns and cities,
rural peasants and those in organizations working on their behalf. In the days
immediately following the coup, opponents of the military takeover became the victims
of severe repression. Soldiers deliberately and indiscriminately fired on civilians, killing
or wounding hundreds of people in the poor districts of Port-au-Prince alone. Some
people were shot during demonstrations against the coup, others were shot in deliberate
reprisals for attacks on military personnel. Military personnel also fired on vehicles in
the streets, including ambulances and cars taking doctors to hospitals, thus preventing
treatment of the wounded.

Repression intensified during the anniversary of the 16 December 1990 elections.
According to information received by Amnesty International, the security forces raided
areas where they believed there to be support for Father Aristide, and killings and
arrests were reported throughout the country. Most of those arrested many of them on
charges of sticking up posters of Father Aristide were severely beaten.

1. 1 Killings

At least 50 people were reportedly killed by the armed forces in Cit6 Soleil, Port-au-
Prince, on the night of 30 September. Two days later, on 2 October, soldiers shot and
killed at least 30 people and wounded many more in the same area, apparently in reprisal
for an earlier attack by a crowd on the local police post in which two policemen were
killed. On the same day, in the area of Lamentin 54, soldiers reportedly went on the
rampage following a riot in which one soldier was killed. Military personnel burst into
private homes in Lamentin 54 and shot dead more than 30 of the inhabitants, then forced
the survivors to bury the dead. Among those killed in the incident were a 17-year-old
boy and a man of 75.

Camille C6sar, aged 52, Director of the Port-au-Prince cemetery, and Paul Camille
Bazile, aged 50, who ran a community day care clinic in Carrefour, a poor district of
Port-au-Prince, were detained before witnesses by a military patrol on 2 October. Both
men were members of the FNCD. Camille C6sar, the son of a family targeted by the
Duvaliers, had returned to Haiti after more than 25 years in exile in the USA in order
to support the candidacy of President Aristide. The arrests were carried out by around
eight armed men, some in uniform, between Carrefour and Delmas 18, on the outskirts
of Port-au-Prince at around 11.00 am. Both men were taken to an unknown destination.
On 7 October staff at the Port-au-Prince morgue reportedly told relatives that the bullet-


Amnesty International January 1992


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 5



riddled bodies of the two men were lying in the morgue. By 9 October, when relatives
went to the morgue to make funeral arrangements, the bodies of Camille C6sar and
Camille Bazile had disappeared. It is believed that their bodies and those of many others
killed in the aftermath of the coup had been removed from the morgue on the orders of
the security forces and buried in mass graves.

Luckner Benjamin, aged 28, was reportedly shot by soldiers on 20 October, who
stopped the public bus he was travelling on in Carrefour and ordered the passengers to
get out. The first passenger to leave the bus was reportedly shot dead on the spot;
Luckner Benjamin was shot and wounded. The soldiers allowed the driver to take
Luckner Benjamin to the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, where he died after
undergoing surgery.

On the night of 31 October Or61lus C6raphin (or S6raphin), a woodworker, was
reportedly extrajudicially executed by four soldiers, who dragged him out of his house
in Port-au-Prince and shot him dead in the street. He was allegedly killed in reprisal for
his participation in the killing of a member of the tontons macoutes in January 1991.

On 15 December the Deputy for Pignon, North Department, Astrel Charles, was
killed by a former chef de section, who was reportedly arrested the following day. Astrel
Charles was a member of the Parti Agricole et Industriel National, National Agricultural
and Industrial Party.

A tailor known as Amos was reportedly detained and executed by three
government soldiers on 26 December. According to the information available to
Amnesty International, an army sergeant overheard Amos and a friend discussing the
possible return of President Aristide to Haiti. Later that evening, the same sergeant and
two soldiers arrested Amos at his house then reportedly took him to a nearby field and
told him to run away. After he started running, the soldiers reportedly opened fire;
Amos's body was found with three bullet wounds in the head and back.

Amnesty International has received testimonies indicating that the police have
extrajudicially executed prisoners. The manner in which these executions have been
carried out is reminiscent of practices under the Duvalier dictatorships.

On 12 November, for instance, soldiers beat and arrested at least 21 people after
a memorial mass for those killed since the coup. The mass was said by Father Antoine
Adrien, a radical priest who has himself been the object of intimidation, in the church
of St Gerard in Port-au-Prince. Among those detained was a 13-year-old boy, who was
severely beaten and kicked. The prisoners were taken to the 4th Police Company, known
as Cafeteria, in central Port-au-Prince, where they were again beaten. The boy later said


Amnesty International January 1992


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup


that the prisoners were taken during the night to a place about 90 minutes' drive from
the Caf&teria, where they were all lined up against a wall for execution by firing squad.
The boy's life was spared at the last minute, but the other 20 people were shot dead.
The boy was reportedly released only after his mother agreed to pay the police officers
$60 (60 Haitian dollars is roughly equivalent to 45 US dollars).

On 19 November at approximately 4pm a vehicle containing uniformed policemen
entered the zone of Damien near Port-au-Prince. Witnesses reported that the vehicle
stopped near a wooded area and that the police forced a man out of the car and shot him
at point blank range. After the police officers left the witnesses searched the body and
found an identity card belonging to 41-year-old R6nald Charles, a resident of Port-au-
Prince.

1.2 Torture and ill-treatment

Those arrested are routinely subjected to torture and ill-treatment, and at least four
deaths as a result of torture have been reported to Amnesty International. There have
also been numerous eye-witness reports of the security forces ill-treating or opening fire
on unarmed civilians. Relatives of those being sought by the security forces have been
beaten when soldiers could not find the people they were looking for.

Evans Paul, the mayor of Port-au-Prince, was arrested by approximately 20
soldiers on 7 October at the Mais GAt6 airport in Port-au-Prince, where he had gone to
meet diplomats from the Organization of American States. He was then scheduled to go
to Venezuela for talks with ousted President Aristide. Before his arrest, Evans Paul had
reportedly received a personal assurance of safety from General Raoul Cedras,
Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and had been accompanied to the airport by
guards provided by General C6dras. Evans Paul was severely beaten with fists, military
helmets and gun muzzles at the time of his arrest and while being taken to the Camp
d'Application, a military training school. After his arrival officers prevented the soldiers
from continuing the beatings. Several hours later, he was taken to the barracks in
Pdtionville, a wealthy Port-au-Prince suburb. He was reportedly ill-treated during the
journey. He was released later that evening and has since been in hiding. The beatings
left Evans Paul with fractured ribs and a back injury that has impaired his mobility. He
also sustained an eye injury which has impaired his vision and was burned with a hot
gun muzzle. Due to fears for his safety he has not been able to come out of hiding and
ob-tain proper medical treatment. Evans Paul is also a leader of the Konfederasyon Inite
Democratic, Confederation of Democratic Unity, which supported President Aristide in
the December 1990 elections, and has been a prominent opposition figure in previous
regimes. He was imprisoned and ill-treated in 1980 under the dictatorship of Jean-Claude
Duvalier and again arrested and severely ill-treated in November 1989 during the


Amnesty International January 1992


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup


government of General Prosper Avril. His house was attacked and severely damaged by
soldiers in the first days of the coup.

On 8 October 19-year-old Ch6neker Dominic reported that he was severely beaten
when two army trucks containing approximately 30 soldiers came looking for his father,
a businessman and well-known supporter of President Aristide in the town of J6r6mie,
Department of Grande-Anse. When Ch6neker Dominic refused to disclose his father's
whereabouts, soldiers beat him repeatedly with a baton. He said he was unable to walk
for a week after the beating.

On 28 October, Ernst Charles, a long-standing supporter of President Aristide,
was attacked by uniformed police officers. He was reportedly so badly beaten that he
bled from his ears and his mouth. The beating stopped only when neighbours intervened.
Ernst Charles was reportedly ordered to report to the Cafeteria police station every three
days.

Teacher Jean-Claude Museau, known ar Klodi, was arrested on 30 December and
accused of sticking up posters of President Aristide. He was severely beaten on his head
and body, and was slashed with a hlade on his buttocks. He was released on 6 January
after appearing before the Parquet, Public Prosecutor's office. He died two days later,
apparently as a result of the severe treatment he had been subjected to. According to the
information available to Amnesty International, Jean-Claude Museau was not given
medical assistance during his detention, despite many appeals from relatives and others.
A soldier reportedly replied to one such appeal by saying "we should have killed that
one he's giving us too much trouble". At least three more deaths have been reported as
a result of torture.

1.3 Arbitrary or illegal arrests

Emmanuel ("Manno") Charlemagne, a well-known singer in Haiti and a staunch
supporter of ousted President Aristide, was arrested on 11 October. According to
information received from the family of Manno Charlemagne, he was arrested by
uniformed soldiers who forcibly entered his home in Carrefour without a warrant.
Earlier, two truckloads of soldiers had arrived in the area of C6te Plage in Carrefour and
carried out several arrests. The soldiers then went to Manno Charlemagne's home,
where they beat him in front of his family before taking him away. Manno Charlemagne
was accused of being a "criminal", of "possession of arms without the necessary permit"
and of "incitement to violence". He was subsequently released on 18 October by order
of the Tribunal Civil, Civil Court, of Port-au-Prince, which declared his arrest illegal.
- A- Manno Charlemagne was leaving the National Penitentiary accompanied by one of
his lawyers a group of men in civilian clothes approached him, claiming to have an order


Amnesty International January 1992


Al Index: AMR 36/03/92







8 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



for his arrest. When challenged to produce the written warrant, they refused to do so
and brandished their weapons. Manno Charlemagne was then forced into a waiting car
and taken to an unknown destination. It was later discovered that he was taken to the
National Penitentiary, where he was held for a week before being released on 25
October. Manno Charlemagne went into hiding after his release and has now left the
country.

On 15 October Antoine Izmdry, a wealthy businessman who helped finance Father
Aristide's presidential campaign, was arrested at his home in Port-au-Prince by more
than 70 military personnel. He was held without charge for over a week at the National
Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince before being charged with "inciting the public to riot" on
23 October. He had been brought before the Commissaire du Gouvernement, Public
Prosecutor, for Port-au-Prince four times during the week, but the Public Prosecator had
failed to appear. He was released on 25 October. The following evening soldiers
ransacked the house of Antoine Izm6ry's brother and threatened the family. Antoine
Izm6ry, who had been arrested and ill-treated in January 1990 during a serious
clampdown on opposition figures by the government of General Prosper Avril, went into
hiding. In mid-December his name headed a tontons macoutes death list broadcast by a
pirate radio station.

Rodrigue Jacques, aged 25, a worker with the state telephone company, Thlkco,
was reportedly taken from his workplace on 21 October by four men in plain clothes
carrying guns and army equipment. His family inquired at police stations and army
installations, but all denied holding him and no news of his whereabouts has emerged.
The names of 10 other people who were reportedly arrested in early October in different
areas of the country and subsequently "disappeared" were made available to Amnesty
International. The list included the name of Adonis Jean-Paul, a member of the Comite
Revolutionaire des Chomeurs Halriens, Revolutionary Committee of Unemployed
Haitians).

Raymond Toussaint, a member of the Comite National des Congr&s des
Mouvements Democratiques (KONAKOM), National Committee of Congress of
Democratic Movements, and of a rural development group known as CODEP, was
arrested on 25 October and reportedly ill-treated. According to information received by
Amnesty International, Raymond Toussaint was arrested without a warrant by uniformed
soldiers, who came to his home in Artibonite and accused him of "spreading propaganda
in favour of President Aristide". Raymond Toussaint was taken to the army barracks in
Petite Rivibre, where he was reportedly severely beaten. He was subsequently
transferred to Saint Marc prison, where he was said to be in poor health because of ill-
treatment. He was allegedly denied access to his lawyer, visits by his family or medical
treatment. He was released in late November.


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Solange Lafontant, the wife of Rend Pr6val, Prime Minister of President Aristide's
government, was arrested by soldiers on the morning of 26 October. She was accused
of possessing a firearm without the necessary permit (apparently her permit had
expired). She was released later the same day. Prior to her arrest, her name had been
announced over the government-controlled Radio Nationale on a list of people ordered
to report to armed forces headquarters in Port-au-Prince. Rend Preval has taken refuge
in a foreign embassy. R6gine de Volcy, sister-in-law of former Minister of Public Works
Frantz V6rella, was arrested on the morning of 6 December, but released the same day.
Soldiers told her that the army was arresting the relatives of Frantz Vdrella as a way of
finding him.

Up to 30 people were arrested by soldiers without warrant on 27 October in the
Carrefour-Feuilles district of Port-au-Prince. Soldiers also forcibly entered and searched
a day-care centre in the area. The same solders threatened parents if they did not send
their children to school the following Monday. Many of those who oppose the coup have
refused to obey the government's demands that children return to school from the
beginning of November.

Serge Etienne, aged 35 and a former member of the armed forces, was arrested
without a warrant by soldiers at his home on 27 October. He was accused of incitement
to riot on the day the coup took place, but the family believe he has been arrested
because he is a Lavalas supporter. He was held at the Service d'investigation et de
recherches anti-gang, Anti-gang Investigation Service, where his access to his relatives
was severely restricted.

At approximately 10pm on 15 November, a military street patrol from the traffic
division, discovered Adelin T616maque writing "Viv Titid", Long-live Titid (Titid is a
nickname for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide) on a wall in his neighbourhood of
Delmas 6. The army shot at him and then followed him on foot when he ran away. They
finally caught up with him and beat him severely in front of witnesses. He was then
taken away. On 17 November his parents made inquiries with the traffic division of the
armed forces. They reportedly mocked the family and said that he was not being held
there. The traffic division suggested the parents try the Cafiteria, who denied holding
him. When Adelin T616maque's parents returned to the traffic division the officers there
suggested they look for their son at the National Penitentiary, but the National
Penitentiary also denied holding him. The parents returned again to the traffic division
of the armed forces, who this time reportedly suggested that their son may have been
executed and that they should look for his body. Amnesty International is concerned that
Adelin T616maque may have been extrajudicially executed.


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10 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



Also on 15 November some 40 youths in Cite Soleil, a district of Port-au-Prince,
were reportedly arrested by a group of uniformed military agents and men in civilian
clothes. The youths were suspected of preparing to leave the country. They were beaten
in full view of Cit6 Soleil residents and were forced to identify the houses of other
youths who were thought to be preparing to leave.

On 30 November soldiers went to the home of Dr Margareth Dufour (n6e
Degand), a medical surgeon, and her husband Christian Dufour, a French citizen, who
was confined to bed following a serious accident. The soldiers were reportedly looking
for Jean-Robert Sabalat, the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the government of
President Aristide, who is a neighbour and friend of Margareth Dufour. Jean-Robert
Sabalat, whose house was searched without a warrant by soldiers in mid-October, has
been in hiding since the coup. The soldiers were accompanied by ajuge de paix, justice
of the peace, and they reportedly declared that they found grenades and ammunition
belonging to Jean-Robert Sabalat in Margareth Dufour's house However, reports have
indicated that the soldiers brought the weapons into the house in order to incriminate
Jean-Robert Sabalat. Since the soldiers could not find Jean-Robert Sabalat, they arrested
Margareth Dufour, and reportedly accused her of harbouring him. Following her arrest,
Jean-Robert Sabalat issued a statement denying possessing weapons. Margareth Dufour
was taken to the P6tionville military barracks, but was later released.

Other officials reportedly arrested include G6rard Jules, the Justice of the Peace
at Cayes-Jacmel, South-East Department, along with the FNCD mayor of the town and
three others; Jocelyne Balonquet (also reported as Palenquet), a civil servant with the
Ministry of Education; Donald Prosper, mayor of Saint Marc, Artibonite, and his two
deputies; and Fanovil Dorn6vil, a member of the Communal Assembly of the 5th Section
of Bastien in Verrettes, Artibonite. Judge Milot was arrested in Limb6, North
Department, for a short period, as was the Justice of the Peace for Arcahaie, Artibonite,
Pierre Charles Douz6. Carlo Jean Rateau and his brother Jean Richard Rateau, both
artists and supporters of President Aristide, were also arrested.

Many arrests took place in the days prior to the first anniversary of the December
1990 elections. In Carrefour Feuilles, for example, about 30 youths were reportedly
arrested by soldiers. Their neighbourhood, like several other in Port-au-Prince, was
repeatedly "visited" by soldiers in early December, in an apparent effort to frighten the
residents out of staging demonstrations of support for President Aristide during the
election anniversary.


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 11



1.4 Threats and destruction of property

In the early days of the coup, armed soldiers forcibly entered and searched without
warrant the houses of officials of President Aristide's Government, including those of
Prime Minister Ren6 Pr6val; Minister of Information Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassbgue;
Minister of Economy and Finance Marie-Michele Rey; former Foreign Minister Marie
Denise Fabien Jean-Louis and presidential advisor Claudette Werleigh. All of these
officials had gone into hiding immediately after the coup took place.

In mid-October the home of Max Montreuil, President of the Comitis de quarter
du Cap-Hallien, Neighbourhood Committees of Cap-Haitien, was attacked with gunfire,
ransacked and set on fire. Max Montreuil was a long-term target of previous military
regimes. He had been arrested in January 1990 and expelled to the Dominican Republic,
when the government of President General Prosper Avril arrested scores of opposition
figures and declared a state of siege. The home of Marc Antoine Noel, the Director of
the Fonds d'Aide Economique et Sociale (FAES), Fund for Economic and Social Aid,
was fired on by a group of soldiers on the night of 12 October and two FAES cars were
stolen by a group of 10 soldiers on the same occasion.

Amnesty International is also concerned at "hit lists" which are being broadcast
or disclosed to the public in an apparent attempt to maintain the climate of fear and
intimidation. On 1 November the High Command of the Armed Forces reportedly
announced over Radio Nationale, National Radio, that they had uncovered a plot by
"anarchists" against the people of Haiti; a list of 45 people sought in connection with the
alleged plot was read over the radio. The list included the private secretary of President
Aristide, Henri Claude M6nard; trade union leaders; former Minister of Public Works
Frants V6rella and other government officials.

On 15 December a pirate radio station calling itself Radio Volontaires de la
Security Nationale-57 (VSN-57) broadcast a list of 96 individuals and some 200
organizations to be suppressed. The extensive list included journalists, businessmen,
political activists, government officials (including former Minister V6rella), radical
priests, Bishop Willy Rom61lus of J6r6mie, an active critic of the current authorities, and
friends of President Aristide. The name of the radio station is derived from the initials
of the disbanded Volontaires de la Securitg Nationale (Volunteers for National Security),
the official name of the notorious tontons macoutes. 1957 was the year in which
Frangois Duvalier came to power. In the broadcast, the speaker called on the tontons
macoutes to mobilize against supporters of President Aristide: "When you find them ...
you should know what to do .... Go and do your job ... crush them, eat them, drink
t" eir blood". The list was later rebroadcast by National Radio in the guise of news
coverage.


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12 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



Since the appearance of the list, Amnesty International has learned that the military
attempted to arrest one of the people listed and raided the house of another. The man
they were seeking was not there, but other residents of his house were reportedly beaten
and furniture and other items were destroyed.


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 13



2. Human rights violations against members of the clergy and
religious organizations

Members of the church who are real or perceived supporters of President Aristide are
being targeted by the armed forces. More than 50 Roman Catholic priests reportedly
went into hiding shortly after the coup. Lay Christian workers and members of church-
sponsored development organizations are also at risk. At least eight priests, one nun and
eight members of church groups have been arrested, and dozens more have been
threatened and harassed by soldiers.

S6natus and Fritzner Nosther, both Christian activists and supporters of President
Aristide, were arrested by members of the security forces on 4 October and taken to
Thiotte military barracks, in the locality of Jacmel, South-east Department. Both men
were reportedly ill-treated.

The headquarters of the Programme Regional d'Education et du Developpement
(PRED), Regional Education and Development Programme, in Leon near J&r6mie,
department of Grande-Anse, were attacked by soldiers on 19 October. Soldiers arrested
Father Eddy Julien, a Roman Catholic priest and Director of PRED, who was accused
of "inciting subversion". Eddy Pierre, a worker at PRED, was also reportedly arrested.
Both men were subsequently released without charge. During the attack, the soldiers
damaged equipment and took away office machinery, including typewriters. Before the
attack Father Julien had received threats from members of the former tontons macoutes
in Leon.

Jocelyne Lange and the wives of Jean Claude Avena and Jean Baptiste Cherazade,
were arrested in late October reportedly because they were all members of a Christian
Base Community in Limb6, North Department. All three of the women were released
the following day.

Several priests and monks in the area of Les Cayes were reportedly being sought
by the army in the wake of a general strike on 21 October. In Laborde, a district of Les
Cayes, the presbytery of Father Lanpi was ransacked by soldiers. The Sacr6 Coeur
Christian Brothers house was also ransacked and Brother Enold Clerism6 arrested by
soldiers and held for several days. In Dusis, the presbytery of Father Claudel Wagnac
was searched and the priest himself arrested. He was released shortly afterwards.

Sister Loretta Philistin, director of the Catholic primary school in Ranquitte, North
Department, was arrested on 8 November by the sergeant of the local police post. She
was beaten and then released.


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14 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



Foreign priests were also subjected to arrest and ill-treatment. On 17 November,
Father Julian travelled from his parish of Barahona in the Dominican Republic to Banane
in the parish of Thiotte, in the locality of Jacmel, South-east Department, in order to
celebrate mass. As he was leaving the church in the company of Augustin (no surname
given), the church sacristan, both men were arrested by members of the armed forces.
The Bishop of Barahona in the Dominican Republic intervened and was able to obtain
the release of Father Julian. Augustin however, was badly beaten and taken to the
Thiotte military barracks.

On 18 November Father Jean-Claude Pascal Louis, the parish priest of Baron,
near Saint Raphael, North Department was arrested by members of the armed forces,
reportedly in connection with the closure of schools in the area. He was subsequently
taken to the barracks in Baron. He was released after the intervention of the Bishop of
Cap-Haitien, and subsequently went into hiding, fearing further reprisals by the armed
forces. Other priests reportedly arrested include Father Danier Roussibre of GonaYves,
Artibonite; Father Lexilien Pierre of Bas-Limb6, North Department; and Father Marc
Fivez of Thomassique.

During the month of October, CARITAS, a foreign Catholic church agency, had
several of its offices searched. In Dondon, North department, soldiers fired on the
convent of the Canadian Roman Catholic order of Saint Joseph de Vallibres, which
reportedly closed as a result.

In another incident in October, a Roman Catholic priest, Father Cherry, from the
diocese of Cap-Haitien, North Department, was threatened by former tontons macoutes,
who reportedly did not like the theme of the sermon given by the priest at the Sunday
Mass. The theme was "it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven
than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle". The priest subsequently went
into hiding.

On 4 November soldiers opened fire on the cathedral in Gonaives after a mass in
honour of the local patron saint was concelebrated by the Bishop of Gonaives,
Monseigneur Emmanuel Constant, and 10 other priests. Several soldiers in civilian
clothes were inside the cathedral during the mass and a group of armed soldiers in
uniform were posted outside. The soldiers began shooting after the mass ended;
cartridges were later found inside the church. As the priests tried to leave, soldiers
blocked their vehicles and accused them of preaching violence and of belonging to the
Service de SecuritW de la Presidence (SSP), Presidential security service, a personal
security force set up under President Aristide and made up of civilian and military
personnel. The armed forces had cited the creation of the SSP as one of the reasons why


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 15



they had staged a coup. The soldiers arrested three young people, who were later
released.

At about 11pm on 9 November the parish priest of Ballan, Father Marcel Boussel, a
Belgian national, was taking a sick man to hospital in Cap-Haitien when soldiers began
shooting at his car. Neither Father Marcel nor his passenger were wounded in the attack.
Some hours later soldiers went to the convent in Ballan looking for Father Marcel, who
had by this time gone into hiding.

On the evening of 18 December a group of about 20 soldiers and civilians armed
with iron bars, pick axes and stones forcibly entered the presbytery of St-Gerard Church,
in Carrefour Feuilles. They tried to remove the priest from the church, but he refused
to leave. The assailants claimed that a forbidden political meeting was taking place in
the presbytery. When it became clear that no such meeting was being held the men left,
although they detained and beat a child found outside the church.


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16 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup


1 Victims of military repression in the aftermath of the coup laying on the floor of the morgue at the
Htpital G6neral de Port-au-Prince (Port-au-Prince's General Hospital), 2 October 1991.


0.TINAL


*- ,


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2 Pdnitentier National (National Penitentiary), Port-au-Prince.


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 17


3 Evans Paul, Mayor of Port-au-Prince, who was severely ill-
treated while in military detention. Linda J.Hirsch, 1990


4 Chavannes Jean-Baptiste (left), coordinator of the Mouvement
Paysan de Papaye (MPP) with two other members of the MPP from
Abriot allegedly tortured in August 1988.


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18 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup


5 Funeral of five of those killed in Gonaives on 2 October 1991.





























6 Frantz Moyiz (or Moise), aged 26, one of those killed by the army at Gonaives on 2
October 1991.


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 19


7 and 8 Several of the seven bodies found in a body dump in Titanyen (Port-au-
Prince), in early November 1991. The victims had their wrists tied and, according to
the photographer, had been finished off by a "coup de grdce". (Photo L. Giani)


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20 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup


9 Civilians victim of the violence following the coup at the Hopital G6n6ral (General
Hospital) of Port-au-Prince. (Photo: AP)


10 The military barracks at Verrettes.


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 21



3. Repression in the countryside

Despite difficulties in communications, there have been continuous reports of human
rights violations in the rural areas. Most of the reports have come from the departments
of the North, Centre, Artibonite and Grande-Anse. As in Port-au-Prince, human rights
violations have included extrajudicial executions and arbitrary short-term arrests
accompanied by torture and ill-treatment. Amnesty International has also noted with
concern the rising number of incidents of ill-treatment and intimidation of the population
by the security forces in the streets and in private homes. There have also been reports
that violations have been committed by former tontons macoutes and former chefs de
section, rural police chiefs notorious for the abuses they committed against the rural poor
under the Duvalier regimes and the regimes that followed. After President Aristide came
to power, chefs de section were instructed to turn in their weapons and were placed
under civilian authority as "agents de police communale". Some chefs de section well
known for their violations of human rights were dismissed and others reportedly retired.

Following the coup, however, many chefs de section and their deputies returned
to their posts and have reportedly been responsible for human rights abuses including
the extrajudicial execution of Senator Astrel Charles, the burning of the home of FNCD
Deputy Jean Mandenave, and the killing of two people and the arrest of 15 others in
Rossignol, Artibonite. Thirty houses were reportedly burned on the same occasion.
Amnesty International also learned of the arrest of at least one rural police agent in late
October or early November.

3. 1 Killings in the countryside

On 2 October seven people were reportedly shot and killed and seven others were
wounded in the town of Gonaives, Artibonite. Frantz Moyiz, aged 26, and Fred
Cheriska (alias T-Fred), aged 19, were both shot when the armed forces opened fire on
a demonstration in support of President Aristide. Fred Chdriska died on arrival at
hospital. Elisyen Dazm6 and his cousin Jean-Pierre Dazm6 were on their way to the
hospital on a motorcycle to inquire about the condition of Fred Ch6riska when soldiers
opened fire, killing them both. Line Joseph, aged 39, was killed early on the morning
of 2 October, when soldiers fired indiscriminately on people in the D6tour Laborde
district of Gonaives. Navwa Odena, aged 35, was reportedly shot dead in the street by
soldiers in the Trou-Sabl6 district of Gonaives. Farilien Predestin, aged 33, was shot
dead in unknown circumstances. Gdrard Janit, aged 34, died of a heart attack in the
Pont-Gaudin district of GonaYves, after the military began opening fire in the area and
one of his young brothers, Makenzy Janit, was threatened and reportedly violently
beaten by the army.


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22 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



More than 10 people were killed in early October, when a over 1,000 supporters
of the previous chef de section of Marecage, including armed civilian agents of the
police, attacked the town residents. At least 26 houses were ransacked and their contents
destroyed or stolen. Many of the surviving residents were forced to flee the area.

R6g6 Vorb6, aged 45, was wounded by members of the armed forces on 19
October in the town of Petit-Goave, and was taken to hospital for treatment. The soldiers
reportedly traced him to the hospital and killed him.

A young woman known as Antoune, the mother of a seven-month-old baby, was
reportedly shot dead in Bonneau, North Department, on 18 December. She had been
among a small crowd celebrating the arrival of fuel in Bonneau. A soldier who
apparently thought that the people were demonstrating in favour of President Aristide
opened fire on the celebrating crowd. Antoune was hit and cried for help. The soldier
prevented anyone from assisting her, and allegedly threatened to shoot some nurses who
wanted to help her.

3.2 Arbitrary arrests, torture and ill-treatment

In Saint Marc, Artibonite, seven people were reportedly arbitrarily arrested in the days
immediately following the coup. Sen Siyis was reportedly arrested after going to the
military headquarters to collect his bicycle, which had been taken from him by soldiers
during a curfew. The local judge refused to intervene in the case. The military initially
demanded $5,000 for his release, then agreed to accept $3,000 Sen Siyis was released
on 7 October, reportedly after paying $2,000, and was given until 7 January 1992 to pay
the remaining $1,000.

Seven people were wounded by gunfire when soldiers opened fire on 2 October
on demonstrators marching in support of President Aristide in Gonaives. Among those
wounded were 11-year-old Garina Sainfort and 16-year-old William Pierre. In Gonaives
alone, 55 people reported having been beaten by the security forces or civilians acting
in conjunction with them during the first three weeks of October. The victims included
women and children, who were reportedly beaten with clubs, sticks, iron bars and the
rifle butts. Several people were hospitalized as a result of the beatings they had received
many suffered fractures to their arms, legs or ribs. Others received blows to the head,
face and back. One man, whose surname is Tazen, was reportedly beaten in the district
of Anba Pointe, Gonaives, because a soldier found him listening to the "Voice of
America" on the radio.

Venes Cado, a resident of Mardcage, was arrested between 9 and 11 October. He
was taken to the prison in Hinche, the capital of the Centre Department, where he was


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 23



reportedly badly tortured. He was subsequently released, but was said to be seriously
ill as a result of the torture.

In J6r6mie, department of Grand-Anse, several people were reportedly arrested
during the week of 14 October. All were accused of being in possession of clandestine
newspapers, which were being produced as a result of the closures of newspapers and
radio stations. Those arrested were reportedly held at the prison in J6r6mie.

Paul Laroche, a 33-year-old teacher of literacy, was arrested by soldiers on the
evening of 15 October in Port-au-Prince and taken to the Anti-gang Investigation
Service. He is reported to have been severely beaten and tortured and on 17 October was
taken to the state hospital for treatment, bleeding from his right ear and with sub-
conjunctival haemorrhages in both eyes. The right side of his face and both buttocks
were swollen from beatings and his abdomen was distended due to intestinal perforations
sustained during torture. After five weeks in hospital, Paul Laroche was returned to the
National Penitentiary in very poor health, where he was held until his release on 13
December. An international human rights delegation which visited Haiti in early
December reported seeing Paul Laroche in very poor health, chained to his bed at the
infirmary of the National Penitentiary. They reported that he was deaf in his right ear
as a result of the beatings, and had lost some visual capacity in his right eye. He was
also unable to walk without support.

Smith Joseph, a 29-year-old father of three, was arrested by six soldiers on 16
October in Gonaives, on suspicion of speaking against the army. He was held for three
days in prison, during which time he was beaten. He received blows to his right ear, his
right eye and his left wrist. He was released without charge.

Eveillard Premilus, the communal police agent of Verrettes in Artibonite, was
arrested in late October by order of the local military commander and sent to Saint Marc
prison. According to reports, the former rural chef de section, now returned to the area,
had stated that Eveillard Premilus should be killed so that the dogs could eat his remains,
because he had allowed people to demonstrate for the return of President Aristide.

Patrick Frantz Beauchard and his brother-in-law, Saurel Gomez, were arrested on
2 November in Hinche, Central Department, and were detained at the military barracks
there. Patrick Beauchard was subsequently transferred to the National Penitentiary in
Port-au-Prince but later released. No new information on the whereabouts of Saurel
Gomez has been received. No reasons for their arrest were given by the authorities, and
sources in Haiti believe they were arrested because of their support for President
SAiistide, or in a reprisal against Patrick Beauchard for his alleged participation in a
failed coup against former President Avril. Patrick Beauchard, a former sergeant in the


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24 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



Haitian Armed Forces, had initially supported the 1988 coup led by General Prosper
Avril, but subsequently began to make demands for radical changes in both the armed
forces and government administration. He was arrested a month later on suspicion of
preparing a further coup. He was released without charge in December 1988 but was
dismissed from the army. In December 1989 Patrick Beauchard was arrested a second
time and accused of plotting against the security of the State. Other opposition leaders -
- Marino Etienne, Evans Paul and trade unionist Jean-Auguste Meyzieux -- had been
arrested one month earlier on the same charges. The four men, who were severely ill-
treated in custody, were released as a result of an amnesty in February 1990.

Several arrests were reported in Hinche between 1 and 4 November. One of those
arrested was Jaquelin Kebreau, a judge nominated by the government of President
Aristide. The judge had worked with the Justice and Peace Commission of the Roman
Catholic Church in Hinche. He was subsequently released.

At least four people were reportedly arrested by the Security forces in Darbonne,
in the district of Logane, West Department, during the week of 10 November. The
arrests were carried out at night, without a warrant. None of those detained was
reportedly brought before a tribunal. Relatives were refused access to the prisoners and
those arrested were reportedly beaten by the security forces. In some cases the prisoners
were released only when relatives agreed to pay sums of money, in one case $300.
Many of those imprisoned were allegedly arrested after being identified by paid
informers as having been involved in the destruction of the police post in Darbonne on
30 September, the day the coup took place. These informers were reportedly paid a
bonus for each person they identified.

Frangois Destin, 24, a member of the Association des jeunes pour la liturgie,
Association of Youth for the Liturgy, was reportedly arrested without a warrant on 10
November in Ravine Achen, Artibonite. He remained in detention for a week in
Verrettes, where he was tortured with a technique known as the djak -- a baton is
wedged under the thighs and over the arms of the victim who is then beaten repeatedly.
On 17 November he was transferred to Saint Marc prison, and was released in early
December.

On 15 November a group of armed civilians working in conjunction with the
armed forces reportedly arrested Leridor Simon and Anelo Paul in Mar6cage,
Thomonde, in Centre department. Both men had been in hiding since the killings in
Mar&cage in October. Both men were reportedly beaten upon arrest. Ophlene Sortilus
was also reportedly arrested and beaten. She was subsequently released after paying $50.


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Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup 25



On 1 December an elderly woman known as Dieula was reportedly arrested in the
area of Charrier, first communal section of Verrettes, Artibonite. She had reportedly
been watching the military go into the area looking for communal leaders and threatening
and harassing the local people and said: "When are all these things going to finish?".
She was released the next day after payment of a "large sum" of money.

On 15 December in Arcahaie, Artibonite, dozens of people were reportedly
arrested. Among them were Justice of the Peace Pierre Charles Douz6 and supporters
of President Aristide. In one reported case, the military severely beat the aunt of one of
those they were seeking, as he was not at his house when they arrived looking for him.

On 6 January Dieuleme Jean-Baptiste, a KONAKOM militant and a member of
the Comite Central pour les Droits Humains et le Dtveloppement des Paysans, Central
Council for the Human Rights and Development of Peasants, was reportedly arrested in
Liancourt, Artibonite. The reasons for his arrest were not disclosed. He was taken to the
military barracks in Verrettes and reportedly severely tortured. His wife, Suzanna
Janack, a member of the same committee, who was six months pregnant at the time of
Dieuleme Jean-Baptiste's arrest and reportedly wanted by the military, went into hiding.
Dieuleme Jean-Baptiste was released two days later, and had to be hospitalized due to
the harsh treatment he had received.

Also on 6 January several people were reportedly beaten by soldiers in Bizoton,
as a result of a dispute between a woman and a man. Reports indicated that the woman
slapped the man, who was a soldier, in the face. The soldier left and returned with a
number of other soldiers; they subsequently fired several rounds of ammunition into the
house they thought the woman was hiding in, and tried to force local residents into
disclosing her whereabouts. Bizoton residents have been severely.intimidated by the local
military, who have reportedly publicly stated that they are going to "finish with the local
people".


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26 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



4. Human rights violations against journalists

Since the beginning of the coup, the news media have been consistently targeted by the
security forces. Despite public assurances that freedom of expression would be
guaranteed, Amnesty International has learned of numerous incidents of journalists and
others working in the Haitian news media being singled out as targets for human rights
violations, including extrajudicial execution, arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment. On 30
September many radio stations, which are the main sources of information in Haiti, were
closed down or placed under military control. ,The offices and equipment of many of
these stations were destroyed or damaged. Other stations simply stopped broadcasting
because they feared reprisals from the security forces. Only those radio stations under
government control are now permitted to broadcast inside the country. People found
listening to foreign broadcasters, including Radio France Internationale; the Voice of
America, which transmits in Cre61e from the USA; -and Radio Enriquillo, a Roman
Catholic radio station operating from the Dominican Republic, have been arrested and
beaten by the security forces. Journalists found in possession of clandestine information
sheets, which are being disseminated throughout the country, were also targeted by the
security forces. National and foreign correspondents have reportedly suffered
intimidation by the security forces; many have had cameras, film or notes destroyed or
confiscated, and some have been threatened.

Immediately following the coup several radio stations, including Radio Harti
International, Radio Cacique and Radio Caratbe, were attacked by soldiers in order to
force them to stop broadcasting. Equipment was stolen or destroyed. On 4 October
soldiers reportedly attacked Radio Lumidre, wounding five staff members. In J6r6mie,
Grand-Anse, soldiers destroyed the transmitter of the T&t Ansanm, Heads Together,
radio station, which belongs to the Roman Catholic church. The staff of the station
reported being threatened by soldiers.

On 29 September Radio Nationale director Michel Favard broadcast a warning of
the military coup. Shortly after the broadcast soldiers barged into the station, arresting
Michel Favard and demanding to know the sources of his information. He was
subsequently released.

Jacques Gary Sim6on, known as Jacky Caraibe, a journalist and director of Radio
Caralbe, was detained on 30 September, when a group of soldiers arrived at his home
and beat him severely in the presence of his family. The soldiers tookhim to an_.
unknown destination. His dead body was later found in the Delmas 31 district of Port-
au-Prince, bearing marks of severe torture. According to information received by
Amnesty International, his eyes had been gouged out and his teeth knocked in.


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In the first weeks after the coup, Amnesty International also received reports that
newspaper vendors attempting to sell opposition newspapers had been shot at by
members of the armed forces in Port-au-Prince. It is not known whether there were any
casualties. In Delmas 2, a district of Port-au-Prince, a group of 26 people were
reportedly listening to the foreign radio station Voice of America when a group of
soldiers fired on the group, killing three. Many others in the group were beaten, and
several were arrested and severely beaten in custody. In Desdunes, Artibonite, five
people were reportedly beaten and arrested by soldiers in early October after they were
found listening to foreign radio stations. All the detainees were taken to the Saint Marc
prison. At least one of the detainees, identified as Dieufaite Chdrilus, was subsequently
released.

Jean-Mario Paul, a journalist with the privately-owned Radio Antilles
International in Petit-Goave, South-east department, and a supporter of President
Aristide, was reportedly arrested in Port-au-Prince on 9 November by seven armed men
in civilian clothes and one police officer. Jean-Mario Paul was severely tortured in
custody after being transferred from Port-au-Prince to Petit Goave, South-east
department. Soldiers put him in the "toad" position, in which a victim's neck is tied to
his legs and he is beaten on the back and buttocks. Over a month later he was reportedly
transferred to Petit-Goave Hospital, seriously ill and in need of urgent medical attention
as a result of the torture. On 16 December he was returned to Petit-GoAve prison,
allegedly for reasons of security. Jean-Mario Paul was readmitted to hospital over the
Christmas period in need of further urgent medical attention. By the beginning of
January 1992 Jean-Mario Paul was back at Petit-Goave prison, reportedly in a stable
physical condition.

Jean-Mario Paul has been charged with burning down a police precinct and a court
house and "disarming" a policeman in a town near Petit-GoAve. Radio Antilles
International maintains that Jean-Mario Paul was working at the time of the incident.
Jean-Mario Paul's house in Petit GoAve had been attacked and burned after the coup, and
he had fled to Port-au-Prince, where he was subsequently arrested.

Nicolas Sorenville from Radio Nationale, National Radio, was arrested, along with
Marcel Beaublanc a journalist with Radio Plus, in Mirebalais, Central department by
soldiers on 8 November. Both men were taken to the military barracks in Hinche, capital
of Central department, but were subsequently released.

Claudy Vilm6, a photographer with the Haitian magazine Haiti-Relais, was
reportedly arrested in mid-November by four men dressed in civilian clothes and
- p. sumed to be soldiers, who forced him into their vehicle, which carried no licence
plates. He was beaten and threatened and asked for the address of journalist Clarence


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Renois of Radio Mdtropole. His photographic equipment was destroyed. He was released
later that day.

On 10 December Fel1ix Lamy, the Director of Radio Galaxie, was abducted by
seven unidentified man who forcibly entered the radio station after he broadcast a story
filed days earlier by Ives-Marie Chanel of the Inter-Press Service Third World News
Agency about a possible rebellion within the armed forces. Both Radio Galaxie and
Radio Tropiques FM had used the story on their broadcasts. The following day, the
Assistant Director and two journalists from Tropiques FM were reportedly summoned
to police headquarters and questioned about the source of the broadcast. Ives-Marie
Chanel went into hiding following reports that he was being sought by the army.

A delegation from Americas Watch, the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees
and Physicians for Human Rights visited Haiti in early December and reported the
names of other journalists arrested since the coup. The list included Hdrald Gabliste and
Jean-Pierre Louis of Radio Antilles Internationale; Lucianna Giani, an Italian freelance
journalist; Frere Roday; Philiare from Radio Cacique; Mich6 Sully of Radio Galaxie;
Fernand Billon of Radio Soleil; Masner Beauplan of Coll tif Kiskeya in Hinche, Central
department; and Jean-Robert Philippe of Voice of America. Other journalists physically
assaulted and threatened by the security forces include Thony Belizaire of Agence France
Presse; Sony Bastien and Lilianne Pierre Paul of CollectifKiskeya; Jean-Laurent Nelson
of Radio Plus; Edwige Balutansky of Reuters; and Marcel Dandin of Radio Haiti-Inter.


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5. Human rights violations against trade unionists and
members of grassroots organizations

Popular organizations have been particularly targeted for repression by the security
forces and their civilian counterparts. These have included trades unions, grassroots and
peasant organizations, women's groups and literacy organizations, all of which have
been virtually paralysed since the coup. Most of their members have been forced into
hiding as a result of a systematic campaign of violence unleashed against them; others
have been arrested and ill-treated. The offices of many such groups have been ransacked
and their files and equipment looted or destroyed.

Uniformed members of the armed forces arrested various members of the
Association des Moniteurs d'Alphabetisation, Association of Literacy Teachers, between
15 and 16 October in the districts of Carrefour Feuilles and Delmas, Port-au-Prince.
Reports have been received that members of Kay Fanm, a women's group, were arrested
in the Cit6 Soleil district of Port-au-Prince around the same time. Their families have
reportedly been denied information on their whereabouts. A few days later, members of
the Association des Mouvements d'Organisations Populaires, Association of Popular
Organization Movements, were reportedly arrested in the Carrefour district of Port-au-
Prince.

On 20 October Joseph Manucy Pierre, a leader of the Centrale Autonome des
Travailleurs Hartiens (CATH), Autonomous Centre'for Haitian Workers, was arrested
without a warrant at his home in Port-au-Prince by a group of soldiers, and accused of
illegal possession of a firearm. Relatives deny the accusation and report that no firearms
were found during a military search of the house. Joseph Manucy Pierre was held for
several days at the National Penitentiary before being released without charge.

At 5.00 am on 21 October Lutece Marius and approximately 10 other peasants
were arrested by soldiers in Bocozelle, Artibonite. According to peasants who escaped
arrest, the soldiers entered the house of Lutece Marius and the houses of the 10 others
and took them away without a warrant. All of those arrested are members of the Groupe
de DIfense des Planteurs de l'Artibonite, Planters' Defence Group of Artibonite, a
peasant land reform pressure group. They are also supporters of President Aristide.

Other peasant groups and grassroots organizations that supported President Aristide
have reportedly been targeted for military harassment. The offices of the Mouvement
Paysan de Papaye (MPP), Papaye Peasant Movement, were attacked and ransacked by
soldiers. The MPP has been a long-term target of the armed forces under previous
military regimes in Haiti. The leadership of the MPP has reported that soldiers from
Hinche, capital of the Central Department, were drafted into Papaye to seek out the


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entire leadership of the MPP, including president Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, Vilga
Jacques, Moy Alvarez and Jean Enihol Casimir. On 16 October MPP member Aldajuste
Pierre, president of Kosmika, an MPP cooperative, was arrested by soldiers in Hinche.
He was reportedly very badly beaten, and was subsequently transferred to the military
hospital in Hinche with blood in his urine. Another leader of the MPP, Dr Dieudonn6
Jean Baptiste, the brother of MPP's president Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, was arrested by
police in Port-au-Prince on 17 December. He was subsequently released. Ten days
earlier soldiers had ransacked the home of Chavannes Jean Baptiste, only one week after
the home of two Belgian voluntary workers with the MPP, was ransacked by soldiers.

On 15 November a group of over 30 soldiers searched the premises of the
Mouvement Paysan SoleilLeve, Rising Sun Peasant Movement, in Jdrdmie, Grand-Anse.
They claimed to be looking for arms. They returned the following day, 16 November
and arrested Fleurant Robert, a leader and spokesperson for the Movement, which has
publicly expressed its opposition to the coup.

Also in November the house of Fadine Jeanty, a member of the peasant
development organization Tet Kolle, another long-term target of the security forces, was
ransacked on 10 November. She and other members of Tet Kolle have reportedly gone
into hiding.

Trade unionists Abel Pointdujour and Evans Fortund of the Syndicat de
I'Electricite d'Ha'ti, Electrical Workers' Union of Haiti, were arrested on 17 December
in Port-au-Prince, while trying to negotiate payment for electrical workers who had been
dismissed since the coup. They were subsequently released. Duckens Rafael, the General
Secretary of the Electrical Workers' Union, went into hiding after his name appeared on
a list of trade unionists and other grassroots leaders being sought by the armed forces
in November.


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6. Targeting of human rights monitors

On 12 October, the house of human rights lawyer Jean-Claude Nord, Secretary General
of the Ligue des Droits de l'Homme, Human Rights League, was searched by members
of the armed forces. Jean-Claude Nord was subsequently arrested and then released
without an explanation.

Maria Tdrentia Dehoux, a human rights activist formerly working with CHADEL,
was arrested in Port-au-Prince on 23 October at the funeral of Pastor Sylvio Claude, a
well-known and controversial opposition figure and former presidential candidate killed
by a crowd in the first hours of the coup. Maria Terentia Dehoux was reportedly taken
by soldiers to the National Penitentiary, where she was accused of belonging to an illegal
political movement. She was released without charge the same day. She had been
wounded in September 1988 during an attack on the parish church of President Aristide
in Saint Jean Bosco, a poor area in Port-au-Prince.

Virginie Senatus, responsible for the women's section of the Centre Lafontant
Joseph de Promotion des Droits Humains, Lafontant Joseph Centre for the Promotion
of Human Rights, was arrested during a student gathering at the Universite d'Etat
d'Halti, Haiti State University, in Port-au-Prince on 12 November. She was subsequently
released. (See Section 7, Human rights violations against students).

On the evening of 12 November armed civilians and soldiers arrived at the home
of the Head of Publications of the Joseph Lafontant Centre for the Promotion of Human
Rights, Loby Gratia, demanding to know his whereabouts and those of Executive
Director Raynand Pierre and other members of the Centre. According to Loby Gratia's
wife, the men had a list of people they were looking for. Raynand Pierre reported to
Amnesty International that he had been warned by friends the week before not to go out
on the street too frequently. He and other members of the Centre Lafontant Joseph for
the Promotion of Human Rights have gone into hiding. The Centre was active in
denouncing the widespread human rights violations in Haiti following the coup.

Amnesty International also learned that the offices of the Centre Oecuminique des
Droits de I'Homne, Ecumenical Centre for Human Rights, were ransacked on the night
of 18 November.


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7. Human rights violations against students

On 12 November students from the Federation Nationale des Etudiants Hafriens,
National Federation of Haitian Students, gathered at the campus of the State University
of Haiti for a press conference and to demonstrate in support of the return of President
Aristide. As the students and local residents began chanting slogans and clapping hands,
policemen stormed the campus, beating students and chasing foreign journalists away.

Many students ran for safety into the Faculty of Science building,. Eyewitnesses
said that uniformed policemen and armed civilians threw stones at the building before
breaking in. The students inside were reportedly brutally beaten with batons andriffle-
butts. More than 100 students were subsequently arrested, along with several journalists,
including Italian reporter Lucianna Gianni.

Military trucks reportedly took one group of the arrested students and journalists
to the Anti-gang Investigation Service, while another group of about 50 was taken to the
National Penitentiary. The journalists were reportedly released shortly after arrest, as
were some of the students. According to the testimony given to a foreign delegation2
by several students held at the National Penitentiary, they were questioned by the wife
of de facto Prime Minister Jean-Jacques Honorat, who runs a prison visiting service
within CHADEL, and promised they would be released if they agreed to state on her
radio program that they had not been ill-treated. The students were reportedly not
allowed visits by family or lawyers.

On 14 November the doyen, president, of the Port-au-Prince civil court declared
the students' arrest illegal and ordered their immediate release. However, officials at the
Anti-gang Investigation Service refused to release the students they were holding,
reportedly because they decided that the decision to release the students should be taken
by the police. Most of the students were released within two weeks. But some 30
students apparently remained in detention in mid-January 1992.

One student released reported being beaten with batons by a cordon of soldiers on
entering the Anti-gang Investigation Service: "At Anti-gang, two lines of soldiers were
waiting for us; they beat us with their batons on the back, thorax, kidneys and face...
I received three punches..." The same student said that on arrival at the National
Penitentiary they were again forced to go through lines of soldiers: "There were still two
lines of soldiers who were there to beat us, as well as a third to hold us by the collar to
force us to proceed more slowly, so that we would receive more blows. At that moment


2 See Return to the Darkest Days Human Rights in Haiti since the coup, by Americas Watch, National
Coalition for Haitian Refugees and Physicians for Human Rights, December 1991, p. 9.


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I lost consciousness, I was beaten so badly." A female student had her arm broken as
a result of beatings she received.

Another student held prisoner at the National Penitentiary reported being beaten
singled out by a soldier and beaten on his stomach and his head. His left eye and his jaw
were was reportedly injured. Released students reported that some of their fellow
students had sustained wounds that subsequently became infected because they did not
receive any medical care during the nine days they were in detention.


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8. Children as victims of widespread abuse

Children were not spared the violence that followed the coup; they were among the
hundreds of victims of extrajudicial execution, arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment. At least
25 children have been arrested since 30 September, and there have been numerous
reports of children being beaten by the security forces on the lookout for their relatives
or others. Institutions working on behalf of street children have also been targeted.

On 1 October, 17-year-old Jacques Sdus Jean-Gilles was reportedly killed and five
other people wounded in an attack by the security forces on the premises of Father
Aristide's orphanage for street boys, Lafanmi Selavi. Another 17-year-old child was
reported killed on 2 October together with over 30 others, in Lamentin 54. On 30
November, five-year-old Farah Michel was reportedly extrajudicially executed by a
police officer in the Cit6 Soleil district of Port-au-Prince.

On 2 November, 16-year-old Napoldon Saint Fleur, who was trying to prevent
some soldiers from ill-treating his mother in Cap Haitien, shouted "A bas l'armee! Vive
Aristide!", "Down with the Army! Long Live Aristide!". The soldiers reportedly beat
him severely, and took him away. Prisoners later released from Cap Ha'itien prison
reported that a young man had been severely tortured there, and human rights workers
believed it could have been Napoleon Saint Fleur.

At least two young girls were among the more than one hundred students arrested
on 12 November in Port-au-Prince. Fourteen-year-old Mama and 16-year-old Marjorie
Garre were arrested, severely ill-treated and held for several days at the National
Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince. Also on 12 November, a 13-year-old boy was arrested
with 20 adults after a memorial mass for the victims of the repression following the coup
outside the church of St-G6rard in Port-au-Prince. The child was severely beaten by
policemen from the 4th Police Company, and he was saved from execution by firing
squad only after he had been lined up against a wall with the other 20, who were all
killed. The child was taken back to the police station, where he was beaten again, and
only released after his mother agreed to pay $60. Another young boy was reportedly
beaten outside St-Gerard church on 18 December after a group of about 20 uniformed
military and civilians forcibly entered the presbytery of St-G6rard and tried
unsuccessfully to get the priest out of the church.

On 24 November Judith Larochelle, aged 14, was reportedly arrested in Port-au-
Prince near the quay where boats leave for Jdr6mie. She was apparently arrested in place
of her cousin, whom the army had accused of stealing $15, and whom they could not
find.


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In late November the premises of the Centre d'Education Populaire, Centre for
Popular Education, an organization that provides aid to street children and youths, were
ransacked and much of its equipment destroyed. A young boy was arrested in Pignon,
North Department, in early December, reportedly because he stopped to look at a picture
of President Aristide on a church wall. Soldiers scolded him for looking at the picture,
then accused him of sticking it up himself. The boy was severely beaten after the
soldiers tried to force him to take the picture down, which he could not do because he
was too small to reach it. He was eventually released after several hours in prison.

In mid-December Amnesty International learned that about 20 street boys aged
between 10 and 15 years were being detained at the National Penitentiary among the
adult population. They had reportedly been arrested by the security forces because they
were "children of Aristide", meaning that they belonged or that they were thought to
belong to Lafanmi Selavi. Prison conditions at the National Penitentiary have for years
been extremely harsh, and many inmates have suffered ill-health as a result of
malnutrition, poor hygiene and lack of medical treatment. In the past three months,
conditions at the National Penitentiary have reportedly deteriorated even further.

Also in mid-December a soldier entered the house of an elderly woman in Bolosse-
Martissant, Port-au-Prince. The woman was getting ready to leave for the provinces with
her daughters and granddaughters, as her family had suffered harassment for the military
since the coup. The woman was not present when the soldier came, and he reportedly
beat the young girls and searched the house, claiming that he was looking for the
woman's son. The woman then returned to the house, saw the soldier and tried to run
away. The soldier caught her, beat her badly and dragged her through the street. She
was reportedly bleeding profusely from her face. He let her go only after neighbours
collected $20 and gave it to him. Other reports of children beaten by soldiers have been
received by Amnesty International.


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36 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



9. Women

Amnesty International has also learned that several young women, one as young as 14,
were raped by the military, most of them in the first days of the coup. According to
local human rights groups, most of the rapes have not been reported, and even in
reported cases the victims have requested their identities to be kept secret. Several
Dominican women working at a bar in Port-au-Prince said in an interview on Dominican
television that they had been raped and beaten by soldiers. One of the women, who
identified herself as Milly Felipe Hernandez, said she had been gang-raped by 15
soldiers, and that she watched as her friend was killed when she tried to telephone
relatives for help. The women were reportedly escorted back to the Dominican Republic
by Dominican diplomats.


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10. The situation of Haitian Asylum-seekers

Since the coup of 30 September, thousands of people have fled from Haiti. It is
estimated that tens of thousands have gone overland to the neighboring Dominican
Republic. Others have left the country by boat, some 1,500 landing in Cuba, and many
more apparently intending to seek protection in the USA. By the end of 1991, over
8,000 Haitian asylum-seekers had been intercepted by US Coast Guard ships before
reaching US territorial waters. In November the US Government asked other countries
in Latin America and the Caribbean to accept Haitian asylum-seekers, and Honduras,
Venezuela, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago each agreed to grant temporary refuge to
some of the asylum-seekers. The others who have been intercepted by US Coast Guard
ships are being interviewed by the US authorities to assess whether they have a valid
claim for asylum in the US.

On 18-19 November the US authorities returned over 500 asylum-seekers against
their will to Haiti. In a statement on 18 November the US State Department announced
that only those who might qualify for asylum would be allowed to proceed to the US to
lodge an asylum claim, and that about 50 such people had so far been identified. The
others, apart from those who had been granted temporary refuge by other countries in
the region, would be returned to Haiti. The statement added that the US Government did
not believe that the asylum-seekers sent back to Haiti would face persecution there. On
19 November a Federal Court in Miami issued an order temporarily prohibiting the US
authorities from returning any more asylum-seekers to Haiti pending further examination
of the issue. The US Government appealed the decision, but a series of court rulings
continued to prevent the US Government from forcibly returning any Haitian asylum-
seekers who have been intercepted at sea. The government's appeal against these rulings
was due to be heard on 22 January 1992. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, the
US authorities may be able to start returning the Haitian asylum-seekers immediately.
By mid-January 1992 over 1,600 of the Haitians intercepted by the US authorities had
been "screened in" and will be allowed to proceed to the US to lodge an asylum claim.
However, Amnesty International is concerned that the US authorities have not given
Haitian asylum-seekers a full and fair examination of their reasons for fearing to return
to Haiti, and that those returned could include many people who would be at risk of
serious human rights violations in Haiti.

Article 33 of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees,
which is binding on the USA, prohibits refoulement -- the forcible return of any person
to a country where they risk serious human rights violations. In order to ensure that such
people are properly identified and given effective protection from forcible return, it is
essential that the US Government grants all asylum-seekers access to a full and fair
procedure for determining the merits of their asylum claims. Amnesty International is


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38 Haiti: Human rights violations since the coup



concerned that the US Government has not given any such opportunity to the Haitian
asylum-seekers currently seeking protection in the USA. They are "screened" at
Guantanamo, the US naval base in Cuba, in order to ascertain whether they are likely
to have a claim for asylum and so may be allowed to proceed to the USA to lodge their
asylum claim; others are liable to be returned to Haiti. But this screening procedure
lacks certain essential safeguards which must be allowed to asylum-seekers and which
are required by international standards. These essential safeguards include the right of
every asylum-seeker to appropriate legal advice and, if their application for asylum is
rejected, the right to have an effective review of their case before being expelled from
the country where they seek asylum.

Since September 1981 a bilateral agreement between the governments of the US
and Haiti has permitted the US authorities to intercept outside US territorial waters
Haitians trying to reach the USA and return them to Haiti. The US Government contends
that under this arrangement no one is sent back who may have a legitimate claim to
refugee status. However, of the more than 20,000 Haitians interviewed at sea in the 10
years from September 1981 to September 1991, only about 30 were permitted entry to
the USA to pursue their asylum claims.

The US State Department maintains that the asylum-seekers sent back to Haiti will
not face persecution there, and that "there is no indication that persons returned by the
US under the interdiction programme are detained or subject to punishment". However,
Amnesty International is seriously concerned that those who have tried to leave the
country following the coup could be perceived as government opponents and, as such,
become targets for abuses perpetrated by the security forces and armed civilians acting
with them. Amnesty International knows of several cases in past years where asylum-
seekers who were refused asylum in the USA and returned to Haiti were imprisoned and
in some cases ill-treated on their return. Moreover, many Haitians deported from the
USA after having completed criminal sentences there have been imprisoned in Haiti for
months without any apparent legal basis for their detention. Amnesty International
therefore believes that large numbers of those who have fled Haiti in recent weeks could
indeed be at risk of serious human rights violations if returned there.

Amnesty International's concerns on this issue were highlighted by an incident
which took place in the district of Cit6 Soleil, Port-au-Prince, on 15 November 1991.
A group of Haitian military officers, some uniformed and some in plain clothes, arrested
several young men they suspected of preparing to leave the country. The young men
were severely beaten in full view of Citd Soleil residents and were forced to identify the
houses of other youths who were thought to be getting ready to leave. About 40 young
men were detained and their current whereabouts are not known. In late December a
group of people preparing to board a "canter" (one of the boats in which Haitians


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undertake the sea journey to the USA) were severely beaten and some were arrested in
Montrouis, Artibonite.

Amnesty International has been unable to assess the situation of those asylum-
seekers that have been returned to Haiti. They have reportedly been placed under the
care of the Haitian Red Cross upon arrival, and from there sent back to their villages.
However, most of the refugees come from La Gonave island or areas in the North-West
where communication and information gathering has been the most difficult, and it has
proved virtually impossible to monitor their situation. However, Amnesty International
views with concern the report that 73 Haitians returned "voluntarily" from Venezuela
on 3 December were thoroughly questioned, searched and taken to police headquarters,
where they were fingerprinted and photographed.

In late December Amnesty International requested permission to visit the base at
GuantAnamo to interview Haitian asylum-seekers and to assess the screening procedures
used there, but the request was refused by the US authorities. At the time of writing
(mid-January 1992), the organization was awaiting a reply to its request for
reconsideration of the refusal.


























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