Haiti : still crying out for justice / Amnesty International.

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Haiti : still crying out for justice / Amnesty International.
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HAITI


Still Crying Out


For Justice





[EMBARGOED FOR 22 JULY 1998]


amnesty international





HAITI

Still Crying Out For Justice

July 1998 SUMMARY Al INDEX: AMR 36/02/98
Nearly four years after the restoration of a democratically-elected government and despite
the progress that has been made in some areas. Haiti is still struggling precariously to
consolidate the gains that have been made and to end impunity for human rights violations.
The government of President Ren6 Garcia Preval is facing serious economic, social and
political problems. Although the scale of serious human rights violations continues to be
much lower than that which pertained under the de facto military government of General
Raoul Cedras (29 September 1991 15 October 1994). the building of the kind of strong
institutions which are necessary for a society in which the protection and promotion of
human rights can be guaranteed has been slow. Faced with serious violence from several
quarters. some of which may be politically-motivated. the new police force has been
responsible for serious human rights violations. While the authorities have taken some
measures to root out such practices. few. if any. of those suspected of perpetrating such
abuses have been prosecuted. At the same time. perpetrators of human rights violations
committed while the military were in power remain largely free and unpunished. The
Haitian Government has so far failed to establish a strong legal framework, based on
international human rights standards, that is capable of guaranteeing the right to unimpeded
access to justice for the victims of human rights abuses. both past and present. Amnesty
International believes that. if not tackled with urgency. their failure to do so may have dire
consequences for the respect and protection of human rights in Haiti for many years to come
and \will continue to undermine progress made in other fields.
The attached report describes general developments relating to the administration
of justice. including the failure of the authorities to give serious and sustained attention to
implementing the recommendations contained in the report of the National Commission of
Truth and Justice. While some efforts have been made to prosecute those responsible for
past human rights violations, in most cases the trials that have taken place have suffered
from serious shortcomings and those concerned have in many cases been acquitted. The
report also draws attention to the obligation on foreign governments to cooperate with the
Haitian Government in attempting to bring human rights violators to justice, including by
prosecuting them in their own courts if such persons enter their territory. In this context,
Amnesty International calls on the US Government to return intact to the Haitian
Government the 160.000 pages of documents seized by US troops in 1994 from army, police
and paramilitary offices in Haiti. It calls on the Haitian Government to ensure the security





of those who might be identified in such documents as being responsible for human rights
violations and to ensure that any legal proceedings initiated on the basis of such information
be carried out in accordance with international standards for a fair trial. The US Congress
should consider conducting an independent investigation into the possible direct or indirect
involvement of US officials in human rights violations in Haiti at the time of the de fact
military government. Any US citizen found responsible for such violations should be held
to account for their actions.
The failure to address the question of impunity for past human rights abuses,
compounded by the failure to make speedy progress on the question of judicial reform as
well as by the political crisis facing the country since June 1997, has created an atmosphere
in which human rights violations continue to flourish. Torture and ill-treatment, carried out
mainly by the police but also occasionally in prisons, continues to be a serious concern. The
police force has also been responsible for some extrajudicial executions and several deaths
and injuries resulting from the use of excessive force. Several other killings in suspicious
circumstances require thorough and impartial investigations in order to establish whether
those responsible may have been acting on the orders of government officials or influential
people close to the government. Deficiencies in arrest and trial procedures have led to
arbitrary detentions. Apparent frustration at the perceived lack of justice to be obtained
through official channels or the absence of policing in some areas continue to lead to a
Nworrying level of lnchings. particularly in the countryside.
The general situation in Haiti remains extremely fragile and Amnesty International
believes that it is imperative for the Haitian Government to demonstrate that it has the
political will to end impunity for human rights violations, past and present, by implementing
the recommendations made in the attached report as a matter of urgency. The
recommendations include giving the highest possible priority to the process of judicial
reform: implementing the recommendations of the National Commission of Truth and
Justice: providing adequate reparation to the victims of human rights violations; continuing
efforts to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations, past and present, in
accordance with international fair trial norms: ratifying the UN Convention against Torture
and other international and regional human rights standards: and sending a strong message
to all police and prison personnel that human rights violations will not be tolerated. The
United Nations. the Organization of American States. foreign governments and other
international and regional bodies. including financial institutions, must work as closely as
possible with the Haitian authorities and with each other to support such efforts in whatever
way they can in accordance with internationally-established human rights principles. The
future of human rights in Haiti is on the edge of a dangerous precipice. Failure to act NOW
ma\ hale dire consequences.

KEYWORDS: IMPUNITY /POLICE I / SECOND GOVERNMENTS /
LEGISLATION / UN / ICCPR / HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS / MASS
KILLING / TORTURE/ILL-TREATMENT / EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION /
USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE / CIVIL DEFENCE / ARBITRARY ARREST /

This report summarizes a -page document ( words), : HAITI Still Crying Out For Justice
(Al Index: AMR 36/ /98) issued by Amnesty International in July 1998. Anyone wishing
further details or to take action on this issue should consult the full document.





HAITI

STILL CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE


INTRODUCTION ................................................... 2
Political background ........................................... 2
The international presence ............ ........................... 3

NATIONAL COMMISSION OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE ................... 7

THE JUSTICE SYSTEM ......................................... 10

IMPUNITY FOR PAST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ................. 15
Action taken to bring human rights perpetrators to justice ............. 15
The right to a fair trial Haiti's international obligations .......... ... 17
Trials of human rights violators currently under preparation ........... 18
a) The massacre of Raboteau. Gonaives. on 24 April 1994 (18): b)
The massacre near Jean-Rabel on 27 July 1987 (19)
Impunity the obligations of foreign governments ............... ... 20

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS SINCE 1994 .......................... 24
The human rights record of the Haitian National Police ............... 24
Recent allegations of torture and extrajudicial execution .......... ... 26
Allegations of ill-treatment and excessive use of force by specialized police
units .................. .............. ............ 27
Parallel security corps ................................. . 29
Disciplinary m measures and training ........................ . 31
A rbitrary detentions ............ .......................... .. 33
Police investigations of suspicious killings ................... 35
Ill-treatm ent in Haitian prisons ..................... ..... . 36

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ......................... 39
I. Recommendations to the Haitian authorities .............. ... 39
Regarding Justice and Impunity (39): Regarding Policing (41):
Regarding Prisons (42)
II. Recommendations to the US and Haitian authorities ........... 43
III. Recommendations to the US and other governments ........... 43
IV. Recommendations to international organizations and governments
involved in providing economic and technical assistance to Haiti 44


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HAITI

STILL CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE1

INTRODUCTION

Nearly four years after the restoration of a democratically-elected government and despite
the progress that has been made in some areas. Haiti is still struggling precariously to
consolidate the gains that have been made and to end impunity for human rights violations.
The government of President Ren6 Garcia Pr6val is facing serious economic, social and
political problems. Although the scale of serious human rights violations continues to be
much lower than that which pertained under the de facto military government of General
Raoul C6dras (29 September 1991 15 October 1994). the building of the kind of strong
institutions which are necessary for a society in which the protection and promotion of
human rights can be guaranteed has been slow. Faced with serious violence from several
quarters. some of which may be politically-motivated. the new police force has been
responsible for serious human rights violations. While the authorities have taken measures,
albeit insufficient, to root out such practices, few. if any. of those suspected of perpetrating
such abuses have been prosecuted. At the same time. perpetrators of human rights
violations committed while the military were in power remain largely free and unpunished.
Upon returning to power in October 1994. former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide talked
of "justice and reconciliation". Both he and President Preval have from time to time
declared their commitment to ending impunity but real progress to establish a judicial
system which can effectively address the issue has been piecemeal and plagued with delays.
The Haitian Government has so far failed to establish a strong legal framework, based on
international human rights standards. that is capable of guaranteeing the right to unimpeded
access to justice for the victims of human rights abuses. both past and present. Amnesty
International believes that. if not tackled with urgency. their failure to do so may have dire
consequences for the respect and protection of human rights in Haiti for many years to
come and will continue to undermine progress made in other fields.

Political background

President Pr6val assumed office on 7 February 1996 replacing Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who
had been constitutionally prevented from standing for a second term. A former prime
minister under ex-president Aristide and a supporter of the Lavalas movement which
brought the latter to power, he committed himself to continuing the institutional reforms


This report was completed in April 1998 and takes account of events that occurred up to
and including March 1998.


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initiated by his predecessor. However, serious splits have appeared within the Lavalas
movement, between the OPL, formerly the Organisation politique Lavalas, Lavalas
Political Organization, but now known as the Organisation dupeuple en lutte, Organization
of People in Struggle, and the Famille Lavalas. Lavalas Family, headed by Jean-Bertrand
Aristide. who is expected to stand again for the presidency in the year 2000. The divisions,
primarily arising from arguments over economic policy as well as the outcome of the April
1997 senatorial elections, have seriously weakened President Prival's administration and
led to delays in the implementation of many proposed measures, including the judicial
reform bill first presented to parliament in August 1996. The dispute led to the resignation
of Prime Minister Rosny Smarth in June 1997. He stayed on as caretaker prime minister
until September 1997. However, since his resignation, President Preval has been unable to
find a replacement who is acceptable to parliament. Many ministerial posts, though not all,
are also vacant. The parties are also divided over when the next legislative elections should
take place. A February 1995 Electoral Law established that they should take place in
November 1998 in order to restore the regular electoral cycle which was disrupted by the
1991 coup d'etat. However. many parliamentarians argue that the Constitution, which
entitles them to a four-year mandate ending in mid-1999, should take precedence.

Incidents of apparent criminal violence, in some cases directed at government
opponents and in others appearing to deliberately target government officials and police
officers, the provenance of which have been hard to determine, have continued to plague
the country. The activities of armed criminal gangs. many of them involved in drugs
trafficking and other kinds of contraband, have become a serious problem for the
inexperienced police force. some of whom themselves have allegedly been tempted to
become involved in such activities. Former members of the disbanded army and
paramilitary groups who worked with them are also believed to possess large amounts of
arms and are feared by some to be behind some such gangs and to be seeking by such
means to destabilize the government. The divisions within the Lavalas movement have also
occasionally manifested themselves in violent ways. In addition, the failure of the
authorities to ensure a secure environment for the general population, particularly in rural
areas. as \well as frustration at the ineffectiveness of the justice system. has continued to
lead to instances of "popular justice",. including the lynching of at least three police officers
in the early months of 1998.

The international presence

The United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS) have maintained
an almost continuous civilian presence in Haiti since 1993 through the joint Mission civil
international en Haiti (MICIVIH). International Civilian Mission in Haiti. In December
1997 its mandate was renewed by the UN General Assembly until 31 December 1998. The
Assembly reaffirmed the international community's commitment to continue technical,


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economic and financial cooperation with Haiti in support of its economic and social
development and its commitment to strengthen institutions responsible for dispensing
justice and guaranteeing democracy, respect for human rights, political stability and
economic development. Its mandate is to: (a) verify full observance by Haiti of human
rights and fundamental freedoms: (b) provide technical assistance at the request of the
Government of Haiti in the field of institution-building, such as training of the police and
establishment of an impartial judiciary: and (c) support the development of a programme
for the promotion and protection of human rights in order to promote a climate of freedom
and tolerance propitious to the consolidation of long-term constitutional democracy in Haiti
and to contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions.2 It currently has bases in
Port-au-Prince. Cap-Ha'tien. Les Cayes, GonaYves, Jeremie, Hinche, Jacmel, Port-de-Paix
and Fort Liberte.

The UN military\ contingent. which also included a police component and was
originally envisaged to remain in Haiti for a relatively short time after it had restored the
democratically-elected government in October 1994. was finally withdrawn in November
1997. However. on the grounds that there was a continuing need to support the newly-
established police force. the UN Security Council voted in November 1997 to replace what
was then known as the UN Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH) with a unit of 300
civilian police to be known as the UN Civilian Police Mission in Haiti, usually known by
its French acronym MIPONUH3. who were mandated to remain in the country until 30
November 1998. Their task is "to continue to assist the Government of Haiti by supporting
and contributing to the professionalization of the Haitian National Police"4.

Under a separate bilateral agreement between the US and Haitian Governments, a
US Support Group. made up of some 500 US troops. is mandated to remain in Haiti until
December 1998 to provide humanitarian and civic assistance.

Many other international agencies, such as the UN Development Program (UNDP),
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). financial institutions such as the
International Monetary Fund (IMF). the World Bank and the Inter-American Development
Bank. foreign government aid agencies (such as the US Agency for International
Development (USAID) and their Canadian and French counterparts). as well as numerous
non-government organizations have also been operating programs and projects in Haiti in
many different fields since 1994 or before. However, some Haitian non-governmental


UN General Assembly. A'52 L.65. 15 December 1997.

A Mission de police des Nations Unies en Haiti

UN Security Council Resolution 1141 (1997), S/RES/1141 (1997), 28 November 1997


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organizations (ngo's) have questioned the nature of some of the international assistance that
has been provided, for example, in the realm of judicial reform5, and complained at the lack
of consultation with the Haitian people, as well as of the apparent lack of coordination in
some instances between the different aid donors. While primary responsibility for planning
and coordinating judicial reform efforts lies with the Haitian Government, it is essential that
the international organizations and aid donors work as closely as possible with the Haitian
Government, as well as with each other, to ensure that the various projects that are under
way to support judicial reform are both appropriate for Haiti and consistent with
international standards and that they are implemented as a matter of urgency. International
financial institutions should also evaluate the possible impact of their programs on the
ability of the Haitian Government to guarantee respect and protection of all human rights.
In his report to the UN General Assembly in October 1997. the independent expert on
Haiti. Adama Dieng. said the following:

"97. Today's political actors must also bear their share of responsibility because
of the confrontation in which they are engaged. which could plunge the country into
an unprecedented political crisis. Laudable efforts have been made to improve the
operation of the police force and conditions in the prisons, but much remains to be
done. Howe er. the progress made could be wiped out unless there is an in-depth
reform of the outdated Haitian judicial system....

"99. There is no point in masking the truth: the disarmament of Haiti cannot be
described as a success. There is therefore a real danger that after the last United
Nations soldier has left the demons of the past. with their cortege of disasters, will
reappear. This can be averted. provided that even one does his part. beginning with
the Haitians themselves. If the support of the international community were more
coordinated, it would be more effective and time and money could be saved. The
representatives of the international community have a tendency to criticize the
Haitian Administration as a matter of course. and rightly so, but they should attempt
some self-criticism. At present, the top priority must be to set up a competent and
effective judicial system."'.

Some Haitian ngo's are concerned that. once MICIVIH leaves Haiti, it will be
difficult for Haitian institutions to take on the kind of work the mission itself performs at


5 See. for example. "National Coalition for Haitian Rights Urges Change in International
Community Strategy' for Haiti". a briefing paper published by the National Coalition for Human
Rights in September 1997.

6 "Situation of Human Rights in Haiti Note by the Secretary General", A/52/499. 17
October 1997.


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present, such as monitoring the police, courts and prisons and human rights training and
promotion, unless greater priority is given to strengthening the institutional capacity of local
human rights groups, as well as government entities working in the field of justice. The
National Coalition for Haitian Rights has urged that the top priority for the remainder of
MICIVIH's stay in Haiti should be to help Haitian institutions throughout the country to
undertake these tasks and to build their organizational capacity7. MICIVIH is already
undertaking substantial work in this domain. However, given the still precarious situation
in Haiti. Amnesty International believes that such work should be strengthened as much as
possible so that Haitian human rights organizations will have the capacity and clout to be
able to continue effective monitoring and training and promotional activities without fear
of reprisals, once MICIVIH has left. The Haitian Government clearly also needs to further
develop and strengthen its own institutions devoted to the protection, promotion and
implementation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as to guarantee that
non-governmental human rights organizations are able to carry out their legitimate
monitoring and campaigning activities without hindrance.




























7 See the NCHR briefing mentioned in footnote 5.


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NATIONAL COMMISSION OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE

One of the potentially most important initiatives taken since the return to democratic rule
was the establishment by presidential decree in December 1994 of the Commission
national de vdritd et de justice (CNVJ). National Commission for Truth and Justice. Its
task was "to globally establish the truth concerning the most serious human rights violations
committed between 29 September 1991 and 15 October 1994 inside and outside the country
and to help towards the reconciliation of all Haitians, without prejudice to judicial remedies
that might arise from such violations". It was to try also to identify those responsible for
such violations and to recommend just reparations for the victims, as well as to recommend
reforms of state institutions and measures to prevent the resurgence of illegal organizations.
The Commission was made up of three Haitians: Franqoise Boucard (the president), Ertha
Elvs6e and Freud Jean. and three foreigners. Oliver Jackman from Barbados, Patrick
Robinson from Jamaica. and Bacre Waly Ndiaye from Senegal. Despite numerous practical
obstacles, including difficulties and delays in obtaining the required funding, the CNVJ
completed its work by the end of 1995 and the final report. entitled Si M Pa Rele ("If I
Don't Cry Out"). was handed over to President Aristide just as he was leaving office in
February 1996. He in turn passed it on to his successor. However. although the Haitian
Government is reported to have accepted its recommendations in principle, it has not acted
on them in a coherent or speedy fashion. Haitian ngo's also complained that initially only
a very limited number of copies of the complete report. which was written in French. had
been circulated within the country. Eventually. with the help of MICIVIH. more copies
were produced and distributed. However. no official creole version has been published
although LibK'c. a creole daily newspaper. has translated and published extracts from it.

One of the report's recommendations was that a follow-up committee should be set
up as soon as possible to oversee the implementation of the Commission's
recommendations. It x\as not until September 1997 that President Preval announced that
such a follow-up committee was to be set up. .At the time of writing, it appears that a
Bureau de poursuit.s et suivi. Proceedings and Follow Up Office. has indeed started work.
Its director. Danv Leonard Fabien. announced in January 1998 that meetings had been held
with victims in different parts of the country. He also announced a training program to help
them present complaints to the courts. The Bureau is also reported to be responsible for
studying compensation claims and establishing appropriate means of reparation. It has
reportedly been given a budget of five million gourdes (17 gourdes = 1 US dollar) by the
parliament to finance projects. such as the rebuilding of homes for victims.

The CNVJ report was based on interviews carried out with 8,650 people who
reported 19.308 violations. Of those, there were 1,348 complaints of violation of the right
to life, including 333 forced "disappearances", 576 summary executions (including


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massacres') and 439 attempted summary executions. The most frequently alleged violation
was that of torture, about which the CNVJ received 4,342 complaints. The CNVJ also
considered whether any of these violations could be considered "crimes against humanity".

Four special studies were also carried out by the CNVJ into: a) Rapes carried out
against women under the de facto military government; b) Excavations and forensic
anthropology9: c) A special inquiry into repression against the Haitian media and journalists
under the de facto military government: and d) A special inquiry into the Raboteau
massacre of 22 April 1994. A separate chapter was devoted to the kinds of repression that
were carried out and the type of repressive model used. including the resulting creation of
the phenomenon of refugees and internally displaced peoples. Another chapter analyzes
the structures of repression, examining in particular the functioning of the Haitian armed
forces and the paramilitary, in particular the FRAPH (at first known as the Front
revolutionnaire pour I'avancement et le progres haitiens. Revolutionary Front for Haitian
Advancement and Progress. later to become the Front revolutionnaire armed pour le progress
d'Hauti. Revolutionary Armed Front for the Progress of Haiti), and the links between the
two.

The CNVJ made a series of concrete recommendations. including the creation of
a "Special Reparations Commission for victims of the de facto regime"; special
recommendations relating to rape and sexual violence against women; detailed
recommendations relating to judicial reform and legislation: recommendations regarding
legal proceedings and sanctions for those identified by the Commission as responsible for
human rights violations: and that the Haitian Go emrnment should ratify international human
rights instruments to which it is not already a party.

In a separate confidential appendix. a list was drawn up of those identified as
responsible for the human rights v violations documented in the report.. As far as Amnesty
International is aware, it was envisaged that the names would eventually be passed on to
the courts so that, where there was sufficient evidence, those concerned could be
prosecuted. Amnesty International was concerned to learn that the list was recently
published by a Haitian newspaper. While understanding the frustration of the victims and
their relatives at the dela\ in following up the recommendations of the CNVJ. the


8 Defined by the Commission as "the summary execution of at least three people in a single
instance (unit of time or place)". 'execution sommaire d'au moins trois personnel dans un meme
evenement (unite de temps et de lieu. "

Resume of a report prepared by an international forensic anthropology team brought
together under the human rights program of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science (AAAS).


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organization is concerned that the publication of the list not only might lead those named
to go into hiding or flee Haiti, if they have not already done so, thus evading prosecution
but could also encourage reprisals to be taken against them. Some reports have also been
received that some of those who testified to the Commission (many of whom, reportedly
with their consent, were named in the main body of the report) have received threats from
former military and paramilitary personnel, some of whom are still living in the same areas
as the victims or their families and in some cases still occupy positions of power.

Amnesty International is calling on the Haitian Government to provide a full and
public report of what steps have already been taken, and what plans there are for the future,
to implement the recommendations of the CNVJ report. Any bodies set up to implement
the recommendations should be provided with adequate human resources and funding to
carry out their work. Steps should be taken to ensure the security both of those who
testified to the commission and those identified as being responsible for human rights
violations. Where there is conclusive evidence, the latter should be prosecuted in
accordance with international fair trial norms.


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Haiti: Still Crying out for Justice


THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

One of the key recommendations of the CNVJ report, and of international governmental
and non-governmental human rights bodies, was the need to reform the justice system at
every level as a matter of urgency. However, while significant resources have continued
to be assigned to strengthening the police, little progress has been made in establishing a
justice system that can provide full judicial guarantees.

In his report to the UN General Assembly in November 19970, the UN Secretary
General said the following:

"43. Institutional development has... been uneven. Reinforcement of the judiciary
has lagged behind that of the police, increasingly creating situations where the
police, frustrated by endemic judicial dysfunction, are resorting to taking the law
into their own hands. Judicial reform, revamping of the judiciary and improvements
to the administration of justice have been painfully slow and inadequate. Low
institutional capacity and a lack of leadership have had a negative impact on the
best efforts of MICIVIH and donors. Much remains to be done in this crucial area
to enhance the rule of law and respect for due process. The long-awaited
recommendations of the Judicial Reform Preparatory Committee" are expected to
be available in December 1997. The experience and expertise of MICIVIH continue
to be critical inputs to the process of renovation and reform from a conceptual and
functional point of view. Other institutions crucial to the promotion and protection
of human rights also require further consolidation....

-46. Though substantial, the progress achieved so far with respect to human rights
remains fragile, first. because of the embryonic nature of the new ethos and culture
which give priority to respect for human rights and accountability but are not yet
deeply rooted in these brand-new institutions. Secondly, the increased pressures
and challenges to law\ enforcement which might follow the end of the peacekeeping
presence could lead to the temptation to sacrifice accountability on the altar of
greater security effectiveness... Last but not least, important human rights
protection mechanisms and institutions are either still in their infancy (the Office
of the Ombudsman should commence functioning in November 199712) or require
further institutionalization and acceptance. as in the case of the Office of the


0o UN General Assembly document, reference A/52/687, 18 Novembre 1997

See below for details.

See below for details.


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Haiti: Still Crying out for Justice


Inspector General of the Haitian National Police. Other control mechanisms are not
yet functional (prison inspectorate and judicial inspectors). Civilian society
oversight mechanisms with regard to the police and prisons are still embryonic..."

In August 1996 the Minister of Justice, Pierre Max Antoine, presented a draft bill
on judicial reform to the Haitian Parliament. Since then both the Senate and the Chamber
of Deputies have presented amendments but. due to the ongoing political crisis which has
virtually paralyzed the work of parliament, a final version has yet to be agreed.
Nevertheless, in December 1997, after ten months of work, the Commission preparatoire
a la reform du droit et de lajustice, Preparatory Commission for the Reform of Law and
Justice, completed its report. The Commission, which received technical support from
MICIVIH and the European Union, was mandated to determine the reforms needed,
establish their cost and method of financing and set a timetable for putting them into effect.
Its report. which was due to be officially presented in early 1998. cannot be implemented,
however, until the judicial reform bill has been passed by parliament.

One issue which the Minister of Justice has recently flagged as in need of change
is the statute of limitations which applies under the existing Code of Criminal Procedure,
according to which no one can be indicted for a crime committed over ten years earlier.
Amnesty International would support such a move on the grounds that it would enable the
Haitian State to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for human rights
violations, in accordance with its obligations under international law, however long ago
they occurred. In the case of crimes against humanity in which category many past human
rights violations in Haiti. both during and prior to the rule of the de facto military
government. can be considered to fall international law does not permit a statute of
limitations. After the Second World War. Haiti was in fact one of the seventeen States who
first subscribed to the Statute creating the Nuremburg Tribunal". In 1950. as a
demonstration of the political will of the Haitian State to punish crimes against humanity,
it ratified the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Such political will was further demonstrated when reference to the punishment of crimes
against humanity was included in the mandate of the National Commission of Truth and
Justice. In a 1993 report. the UN Experts on the Question of Impunity for Perpetrators of
Human Rights Violations. further argued that the existence of a statute of limitations can
in itself be used as a legal mechanism to justify impunity"4. Amnesty International
furthermore believes that the absence of a justice system capable of guaranteeing access to


"3 Annex to the Agreement for the Prosecution and Punishment of Major War Criminals of
the European Axis, signed in London on 8 August 1945.

1 Report to the Sub-Commission on the the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection
of Minorities. E/CN.4/Sub.2/ 1993/6.


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justice in the past, especially if that system was part of the system of repression, cannot be
invoked by a State to justify its failure to meet its international obligations". The report of
the National Commission of Truth and Justice concluded that, under the de facto military
government, the justice system had become "a tool of the repressive apparatus of the State"
and that the victims did not seek recourse through the courts because it was "illusory and
even dangerous" to do so. This was also the case under earlier administrations.

In March 1998, the Haitian Senate announced that a conference would be held to
consider proposals to amend the 1987 constitution. Any proposed amendments would
require approval by two thirds of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

Pending parliamentary approval of the judicial reform bill, the government has
undertaken a number of interim measures to try to address some of the most pressing
problems. For example. in November 1996. a commission, entitled Commission
consultative pour pallier la lenteicur de la justice penale, Consultative Committee to
Overcome the Slowness of Penal Justice. was established by presidential decree. Its task
was to formulate recommendations to the Ministry of Justice concerning cases of detainees
who had been held for long periods without being brought to trial. It found that, as of
September 1996, only 20.1% of the total prison population had been tried and sentenced.
As a result of a review of 226 cases of detainees held at the National Penitentiary and Fort
National only. 53 detainees were released. Recommendations were also made concerning
the speeding up of some 70 other cases. In the medium term, the Commission stressed the
need to carry out a series of important measures to improve the functioning of both the
judicial apparatus and the prison system. However. since the review was carried out, the
number of detainees awaiting trial has reportedly again grown significantly.

Although some progress. albeit limited, has been made with regard to judicial
matters and MICIVIH and others hale continued to work with Haitian officials to try to
ensure that the existing judicial system at least functions as well as it can, many problems
remain. Among problems mentioned in the UN Secretary' General's report of November
1997" were poorly conducted trials, a lack of police and judicial investigations. no material
or other evidence brought to court. an absence of witness testimony' and difficulties in
constituting juries. The report also noted that corruption and the incompetence of some
judicial officials resulted in gross miscarriages of justice. Amnesty International urges that
all such allegations should be investigated promptly and impartially.


This point is made in Article 16 of the Draft Convention on the Protection of All Persons
from Forced Disappearance, E/CN.4 Sub.2 1996'WG. /CPR.2. 7 August 1996.

S"The Situation of Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti Report of the Secretary-
General". A/52'687. 18 November 1997


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The establishment of a fair and efficient justice system in Haiti, accessible to all and
based on the implementation of international standards such as the Basic Principles on the
Independence of the Judiciary, the UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors and the UN
Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. is crucial to ending impunity for human rights
violations as well as to bringing about a society in which all human rights can be fully
respected and protected. In order to comply with these Principles, the necessary resources
should be provided. This is a long-term process which will require not only the support of
the international community but the maximum possible participation of the Haitian people
so that the changes that are brought about, while adhering to international standards, should
be appropriate and workable in the Haitian context. While recognizing that cost and
general lack of resources are major factors affecting the government's ability to quickly
implement some recommendations. including those put forward by the CNVJ. Amnesty
International believes that some measures could be implemented immediately with little
financial cost and would demonstrate the political will of the Haitian authorities to provide
a basic framework for the protection and respect of human rights.

For example, it would urge the Haitian Government to ratify international and
regional human rights instruments which it has not already ratified. These include the two
optional protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)"7,
the International Covenant on Social. Economic and Cultural Rights, the UN Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel. Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(subsequently referred to as "the UN Convention against Torture"), the Inter-American
Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (which it signed in 1986) and the the Inter-
American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons. It would also recommend
that Haiti recognize the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. As well
as the ICCPR. Haiti is already a party to the UN Convention of the Elimination of all Forms
of Discrimination against Women. the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the
American Convention on Human Rights. Haiti's obligations under such international
standards should eventually be incorporated into all relevant legislation, including the
constitution.

In April 1997. the National Assembly reportedly ratified the Inter-American
Convention Against Violence Against Women. In December 1997, in response to
recommendations put to it by the International Tribunal Against Violence Against Women
in Haiti, an ngo-sponsored event held in the capital the previous month, the President of the
National Assembly. Edgard Leblanc. announced that the parliament had committed itself
to following up on all the tribunal's recommendations during its session starting in January


17 Haiti ratified the ICCPR in 1991.


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1998. He also said that the parliament had agreed to ratify "early in the new year" the UN
Convention against Torture, and that they were planning to amend the penal and civil codes
by the end of 1999. Amnesty International welcomes this announcement and urges the
Haitian Government to give the highest priority to such measures.

As mentioned in the UN Secretary-General's report cited above, the Bureau du
Protecteur des Citoyens, Office of the Ombudsman, under the leadership of Dr Louis E.
Roy. was indeed inaugurated on 4 November 1997 and has started work. The post was
established in the 1988 constitution "to protect individuals against any kind of abuse in
public administration" but has never before been implemented. Amnesty International very
much welcomes this initiative and recommends that steps be taken to ensure that the scope
of the mandate of the Ombudsman can address all types of human rights violations
committed by officials or employees of all branches of government. Adequate funding
should be provided to the Ombudsman and his staff to enable them to carry out their work.


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IMPUNITY FOR PAST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Action taken to bring human rights perpetrators to justice

Since 1994. little real progress has been made in bringing to justice those responsible for
human rights violations, past or present. Upon President Aristide's return, victims of human
rights violations and relatives of victims were encouraged to lodge complaints at offices
called bureaux de doleances. complaints offices, which had been specially set up in most
large cities on a temporary basis. In some areas, scores of complaints were presented.
However, insufficient resources were provided to follow up the complaints and very few
reached the courts. In early 1996 MICIVIH transmitted to the Minister of Justice a list of
62 cases involving some 90 alleged FRAPH members which were before the courts, only
eight of whom had been convicted up to that point. A preliminary, partial survey carried out
by MICIVIH around the same time suggested that more than 250 former soldiers and
former attaches had also been named in complaints before the courts.

President Aristide also set up the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux. Office of
International Lawyers, to help the Haitian authorities prepare the trials of certain human
rights perpetrators. In 1995. the HNP established / 'Unite d'investigation special, Special
Investigative Unit. to investigate a wide range of serious crimes, including human rights
violations committed under the military regime or before. Only three prominent human
rights cases have so far been brought to trial"8:

* In 1995 in Les Caves Lieutenant Jean-Emery Piram was sentenced in absentia to
60 years' hard labour for the torture and murder of Jean-Claude ("Clody") Museau
in January 1992.
* In 1995. attache Gerard "Zimbabwe" Gustave was sentenced to life imprisonment
and several others. including former police chief Michel Franqois, were convicted
in absentia for the assassination of Antoine Izmery, a businessman and prominent
supporter of former President Aristide. in September 1993:.
* In July 1996 tm o men were acquitted of the assassination of Justice Minister Guy
Malary in October 1993 (see below).

Other investigations, including those of the 1994 massacre in Raboteau, which is
expected to come to trial later this year, and the 1987 massacre at Jean-Rabel are reportedly
continuing. Further details of these cases are given below. A few other cases have also
reached the courts following judicial action resulting from the lodging of complaints by the



'8 See Amnesty International report Haiti: A Question of Justice, AMR 36/01/96, January
1996. for further details of the first two cases referred to.


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victims and/or their relatives. Investigations into other cases appear to have made little or
no progress. For example, in the case of Father Jean-Marie Vincent, who was
extrajudicially executed in the capital on 28 August 1994"9, the authorities have reportedly
said that there is insufficient evidence to bring the case to court.

Following its observation of certain trials of individuals accused of human rights
violations carried out under the military government, MICIVIH noted that they had been
carried out "in an expeditious fashion without evidence or eyewitness testimony having
been presented or taken into consideration in the decision. Great importance thus seemed
to be given to satisfying rapidly a large majority of the population, who were keen to see
justice done against these former violators"20. On the other hand, the report also found that
some judges who were close to the former military government had unjustifiably released
several former chefs de section who had been arrested at the time of President Aristide's
return.

The acquittal in the Malary case brought consternation to many in Haiti.
Commenting on the case afterwards. President Preval reportedly said that "Haitian justice
has given itself a slap in the face". However, according to various sources, there were again
serious deficiencies in the proceedings deriving at least in part from the failure of the
authorities to reform the justice system. Failure to secure a conviction in the case and to
indict others suspected of involvement in the assassination of Guy Malary was also
attributed b\ some to fear of reprisals against witnesses and judges and prosecutors
investigating the case. as well as the failure of the US authorities to hand over documentary
evidence regarding the case it is believed they possess (see below). A former attache, who
had been detained in connection with another offence, was also mysteriously released in
September 1995 just as he was reportedly about to be interviewed about his alleged
involvement in the assassination of Guy Malary and others. and is believed to have fled the
country. Some sources suggest that he was a paid informant of the US Drug Enforcement
Agency in the early 1990s and that the Haitian authorities were put under pressure to release
him. The US authorities later denied that the man had any association with the US at the
time of Malarv's assassination. A CIA intelligence memorandum dated 28 October 1993.
which was made public in the context of a lawsuit in 19962'. furthermore alleged that the



19 Ibid

2' "Le Systeme Judiciaire en Haiti Analyse des aspects penaux et de procedure penale",
MIfCI17H. Mai 1996 ["The Justice System in Haiti Analysis of Penal Aspects and Penal Procedure",
MICIVIH. May 1996.]

:' The Nexw-York based Center for Constitutional Rights filed a $32 million lawsuit against
FRAPH in 1994 on behalf of Alerte Belance. a Haitian woman who was mutilated and left for dead in


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murder of Guy Malary was coordinated by army officials, including General Philippe
Biamby, and FRAPH members, including Emmanuel Constant. US officials subsequently
alleged that there was doubt about the reliability of the informant.

Further acquittals took place during 1997:

In July, a former soldier accused of fatally shooting Loukers Pierre in June 1991
and of giving orders for the killing of two other men, Antoine Pauleus and Julien
Berilus, in June 1992 was acquitted for lack of evidence. There were also said to be
procedural irregularities and problems with the composition of the jury.
In August, two former attaches accused of the murder of Macius Massillon in
September 1994 were acquitted for lack of evidence at a trial in Hinche.
In September, a former soldier accused of murder and another accused of
complicity in the murder were acquitted at a hearing in Jacmel after the prosecution
failed to produce any evidence or witnesses. Many jury members had also
reportedly failed to report to court. Police reinforcements reportedly had to be
brought in to contain the public's anger at the verdict. The soldier had been
accused of murdering Marie Delaine Nicolas in 1993 after she had refused his
advances. He had been detained by the military at the time and held in detention
ever since after being sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment by a court martial.
However, the army high command had never confirmed his sentence.

In one case where a conviction was secured that of the murder of peasant leader
Eluckner Elie in January 1994 Gamier Hilaire, a former soldier, and Bethany Pierre, a
former assistant to a chef de section2, were found guilty at a trial held in Hinche in July
1996 but were sentenced to only three years' imprisonment instead of the life sentence
prescribed for such crimes.

The right to a fair trial Haiti's international obligations

The failure to obtain a conviction in the Malary case and others appears to have encouraged
the authorities to take serious steps to ensure that future such cases which are brought to
trial, in particular the Raboteau case. are prepared more thoroughly and that every effort is
made to avoid the pitfalls encountered in earlier cases. Amnesty International welcomes
such efforts and would urge that such trials adhere to international norms for a fair trial.


late 1993 by men believed to be members of FRAPH. In the course of their investigations, they were
able to subpoena declassified CIA documents relating to the situation in Haiti at that time.

2: Former rural police chiefs who were disbanded following the return of President Aristide
in 1994.


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It would also urge the Haitian authorities to take all possible steps to ensure the safety of
all those involved in such trials, including victims, witnesses, court officials, lawyers and
defendants. Ensuring justice and the rule of law must be an integral part of the struggle to
end impunity and to this end the right of the victims to justice must be guaranteed while at
the same time ensuring that those responsible for human rights violations are tried fairly in
accordance with international fair trial norms. The problem of impunity will not be solved
by violating the rights of those suspected of carrying out human rights abuses.

Haiti's obligations under the ICCPR recognize, among other things, that every
person has the right to:

a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal;
be presumed innocent until proven guilty;
be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he or she understands of
the nature and cause of the charge:
have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his or her defence:
be tried in his or her presence. to defend himself or herself in person or through
a lawyer of his or her choice:
be provided with state-funded legal assistance here the defendant is unable to
afford a lawyer:
examine, or have examined, witnesses against him or her and to call witnesses to
testify on his or her behalf:
have the free assistance of an interpreter if he or she cannot understand the
language used in court:
not be compelled to testify against himself or herself or to confess to guilt:
appeal to a higher tribunal:
compensation if a final conviction is reversed or there is pardon by reason of a
miscarriage of justice:
not be tried or punished against for an offence for which he or she has already
been finally convicted or acquitted.

Trials of human rights violators currently under preparation

Two major cases are currently under preparation for trial, the first of which is expected to
ta:, e place later this year:

a) The massacre of Raboteau, Gonal'ves, on 24 April 1994

Raboteau is a heavily-populated shanty town which has grown up along the coast at
GonaYves. a city in the Artibonite department. Throughout the period of the de facto
military government, it was particularly targeted for repression by the army and


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paramilitary because of the strong support of its inhabitants for ousted president Jean-
Bertrand Aristide. As a result of a joint military and paramilitary operation which had
begun on 18 April 1994. an unknown number of people, believed to number between 20
and 50, lost their lives on 24 April 1994 after they were surrounded and attacked. Homes
were sacked and burned and men. women and children beaten. Many died from the
beatings or from gunshots while others drowned as they fled into the sea. The bodies of
many were never recovered since the survivors had to flee the area for their own safety.
The CNVJ report contains a study of the massacre based on 210 complaints presented to
it. It also commissioned a forensic anthropology investigation by a team of Inter-American
Forensic Anthropology Consultants. which was carried out in September and October 1995
with the assistance of MICIVIH and the University Hospital of Haiti in Port-au-Prince.
Among several cases examined were the remains of three alleged victims of the Raboteau
massacre.

The trial is expected to take place later in 1998 although no firm date has yet been
set. At the time of writing, at least 22 people, including former army captain Castera
Cenafils. who was in command of the district at the time, are in detention under
investigation for crimes connected with the massacre, including murder, attempted murder,
assault. torture, illegal imprisonment, abuse of authority, theft, arson and destruction of
property. Arrest warrants have also been issued for the three leaders of the 1991 military
coup Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras. Lt. Col. Michel Franqois and Gen. Philippe Biamby. all of
whom fled Haiti in October 1994. and seven other military officers. They are wanted for
their alleged role in masterminding the massacre.

One of those who had been arrested in connection with the Raboteau case. Wilbert
Morisseau. was able to escape following a confused incident at a court hearing in March
1997. Three prison officials \were later blamed and dismissed. A new arrest warrant was
issued for the man but. as far as is kno\n. he has not been re-arrested.

b) The massacre near Jean-Rabel on 27 July 1987

On 23 July 1987 some 200 peasants belonging to the Tet Ansamn. Heads Together. peasant
movement were reportedly killed after being ambushed by armed groups in the pay of local
landowners in a remote area near Jean-Rabel in northern Haiti. One of the landowners was
later said to have boasted that 1,042 communists" had been killed. The government at the
time, the Conseil national de gouvernement (CNG), headed by General Henri Namphy,
carried out an investigation, the findings of which failed to apportion blame. In 1991,
during former President Aristide's first few months in power. several landowners implicated
in the massacre were arrested but were released when the military took power. In 1995 the
HNP reportedly re-opened investigations into the case and eight arrest warrants were issued.
A prominent landowner was arrested but released later that year.


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In July 1997, the tenth anniversary of the Jean Rabel massacre, the Plate-Forme
des organizations haftiennes des droits humans (POHDH), Platform of Haitian Human
Rights Organizations, criticized the inaction of the government and announced that it
intended to carry out a national and international campaign on behalf of the Jean Rabel
victims.

In January 1998. three people wanted in connection with the Jean-Rabel massacre
were arrested. Five others are reportedly still being sought.




Impunity the obligations of foreign governments

Amnesty International believes that foreign governments have an obligation to assist the
Haitian Government in complying with international human rights standards and principles
regarding its own obligations to the victims of past human rights violations.

During and since the period of rule of the de facto military government, there have
been persistent allegations that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) may have been
conducting operations in Haiti which were in contravention of official US policy in Haiti
and which may have involved direct or indirect complicity in human rights violations.

In October 1994, US troops belonging to the Multinational Force (MNF) which
restored President Aristide to power. seized some 160.000 pages of documents and
photographs from army. police and paramilitary offices in Haiti and took them to the USA.
60.000 of the documents were reportedly taken from the headquarters of the FRAPH. It is
wide!\ believed that information contained in the documents could shed light on the
involvement of the Haitian army and paramilitary, as well as possibly US agencies and
citizens. in human rights violations during the period of military government. The Haitian
Government requested the US authorities to return the materials in their entirety. However.
the US authorities reviewed the documents and reportedly blanked out sections of them,
said to total over 100 pages. where reference is believed to have been made to US citizens
and possibly other matters relating to possible US government activities in Haiti. In
October 1996 the materials were transferred to the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince but the
Haitian Government has continued to refuse to accept them back unless they are intact.


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According to the 1997 annual report of the UN Working Group on Enforced or
Involuntary Disappearances23 and in response to requests for information regarding what
action had been taken to investigate "disappearances" that had occurred between 1991 and
1994, the Haitian Government informed the Working Group that, following the return to
constitutional order on 15 October 1994. it had found no files relating to the persons who
had allegedly "disappeared". It stated that it had been unable to report on the fate or
whereabouts of the persons reported as "disappeared" as all documents belonging to the
Haitian Armed Forces and FRAPH had been sent abroad by the multinational forces. It
expressed the hope that the return of the documents would permit it to elucidate the
reported cases of "disappearance". The UN Working Group agreed to raise the issue of the
files with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti, in the hope that
access to such information could be obtained. In his report to the 1997 session of the UN
Commission on Human Rights24. the Special Expert on Haiti said: "It is urgent for the
United States to settle the question of the confiscated documents once and for all so as to
avoid giving the impression that it wants to ensure the impunity of the authors of grave
violations of human rights". He called on the US authorities to return the documents "in full
and without delay". Furthermore. in the Draft Set of Principles for the Protection and
Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity presented by the Special
Expert on Impunity to the 1998 session of the UN Commission on Human Rights"2,
consideration was given to the preservation of archives bearing witness to violations.
Principle 17(c) calls for international cooperation in the communication or restitution of
archives by third countries "for the purposes of establishing the truth".

Amnesty International believes that the documents in question in this instance are
likely to contain information that could be crucial to the investigation of human rights
violations carried out under the de facto military government and urges the US authorities
to hand them over intact to the Haitian Government. Given that the documents were
removed in the context of a UN-sanctioned operation. Amnesty International would also
urge the UN Secretary-General to encourage the US authorities to return the documents
intact. Amnesty International also calls on the Haitian Government to take appropriate
measures to ensure the security of all those who might be identified in the documents as
being responsible for human rights violations or other activities of an incriminating nature,
as, well as the security of the documents themselves, and to ensure that any legal


3 E'CN.4'1997/34.

: ECN.4/1997 89.

-' The Administration of Justice and the Human Rights of Detainees Question of the
Impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations (civil and political). E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/20/
Rev.l.


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proceedings initiated on the basis of information contained therein will be carried out in
accordance with international standards for a fair trial.

Amnesty International furthermore calls on the US Congress to consider conducting
an independent investigation into the possible direct or indirect involvement of US officials
in human rights violations in Haiti at the time of the de facto military government and that,
should any US citizens be found responsible for such violations, they be held to account for
their actions.

Since the return of President Aristide in October 1994, many prominent members
of the army and the paramilitary have fled Haiti, including several against whom arrest
warrants had been issued in connection with human rights violations and other crimes. In
August 1995, in response to an extradition request by the Haitian Government, a US court
ordered former FRAPH leader and self-professed CIA agent Emmanuel Constant to be
returned to Haiti. At the time of his detention by US immigration officials, the then US
Secretary of State Warren Christopher noted that "the continued presence and activities of
Emmanuel Mario Constant... in the United States would have potentially serious adverse
foreign policy consequences for the United States and would compromise a compelling
United States foreign policy interest". However. in June 1996 Emmanuel Constant was
released from detention in the USA. reportedly as the result of a secret deal with the
authorities in which he agreed to drop a civil suit for "wrongful incarceration" which he had
brought against US officials. The US authorities have subsequently argued that returning
him to Haiti may cause further instability and expressed doubt that he would receive a fair
trial. The Haitian authorities have reportedly given assurances that he would receive a fair
trial if returned to Haiti.

In earl\ 1998 the Haitian Goxernment also sought the extradition of three of the
1991 coup leaders and se\ en other former military officers in connection with their alleged
involvement in the Raboteau massacre (see above). Former Lieutenant-General Raoul
Cedras is living in Panama and former Lieutenant-Colonel Michel Franqois is in Honduras.
Reports indicate that former General Philippe Biamby and the seven others may be in the
United States.

While the obligation to bring human rights violators to justice rests primarily with
the Haitian Government, other governments also share that obligation. This principle
should apply wherever such people happen to be, wherever the crime was committed,
whatever the nationality of the perpetrators or victims and no matter how much time has
elapsed since the commission of the crime. If suspected human rights violators are returned
to Haiti. the US and other governments should assist the Haitian authorities in any way they
can to ensure that they receive a fair trial, including by providing any evidence that might


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be in their possession or by providing appropriate legal expertise to assist in the preparation
and holding of the trial.


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HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS SINCE 1994

Amnesty International is concerned that the failure to seriously address the question of
impunity for past human rights violations, compounded by the failure to make speedy
progress on the question of judicial reform as well as by the current political crisis facing
the country, has created an atmosphere in which human rights violations will continue to
flourish. Torture and ill-treatment, carried out mainly by the police but also occasionally
in prisons, continues to be a serious concern. The HNP has also been responsible for some
extrajudicial executions and several deaths and injuries resulting from the use of excessive
force. There have also been several other killings in suspicious circumstances which
require thorough and impartial investigations in order to establish whether those responsible
may have been acting on the orders of government officials or influential people close to
the government. As already mentioned, the failure of the authorities to take effective action
to bring those responsible for human rights violations to justice or to stem the activities of
criminal gangs kno\\n as "zenglendos" has led to an ever growing tendency by the general
population to resort to taking the law into their own hands.

The human rights record of the Haitian National Police

The nely-established HNP. which became operational in July 1995. controversially
included some former soldiers" whom it was widely believed had not been adequately
screened to eliminate those responsible for human rights violations under previous
administrations. The new recruits received only four months of training and were deployed
in difficult conditions with a serious lack of resources and. above all, experience. While
it is clear that serious efforts have been and are continuing to be made to resolve the
problems. Amnesty International is concerned that HNP officers have continued to commit
serious human rights violations and that although many have been dismissed or referred to
the courts. fex\. if an\. have actually been brought to trial.

In the first five months of 1997. MICIVIH received allegations from over 100
individuals that they had been hit or beaten by police officers. It also raised with the
Haitian authorities more than 20 fatal shootings by police during the same period, about
half of which constituted human rights violations, mostly cases of excessive force.
However, it concluded that beatings and other abuses linked to the police were "not
systematic or routine".





6 The Forces armies d'Hawli (FADH). Haitian Armed Forces, were effectively dismantled
by President Aristide in 1995 but have not yet been constitutionally abolished.


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An earlier more detailed MICIVIH report, entitled "The Haitian National Police and
Human Rights" and published in July 1996, made the following observations:

"Many incidents of ill-treatment do not appear to have been premeditated and
frequently they occurred in contexts of tension and confrontation between police
agents and suspects during, or immediately following, the arrest. Some individuals
were roughly treated. knocked or thrown to the ground, or hit while being arrested.
Others were reportedly beaten while held in police custody. A significant number
of individuals alleged being ill-treated during interrogation, particularly during
1996. Victims of ill-treatment said they were subjected to blows, kicked, hit with
batons and the butts of pistols and in some cases with plastic tubing. Firearms
have at times been used to threaten or intimidate detainees. The beatings and ill-
treatment have occasionally resulted in serious injury... Furthermore, the mission
had recently received several allegations of individuals receiving electric shocks
while being questioned in a Port-au-Prince police station. In general this treatment
was inflicted during the first day or days of detention, while the suspects were being
questioned. In several cases police blindfolded the detainees, mainly during
questioning. The majority of these victims were individuals suspected of being
armed gang members, of having killed police agents. or participating in armed
robberies."27

In a meeting with Amnesty International representatives in February 1997, the
Inspector General of Police. Luc Eucher Joseph. who is responsible for investigating
complaints made against the HNP. admitted that mistakes had been made. However, he
said that additional training and the establishment of a chain of command structure had
produced improvements. His office had carried out investigations into many cases and those
found responsible for abuses had been dismissed and in some cases referred to the courts.
However. he complained about the slowness of the justice system. saying that in some
cases, even when there was compelling evidence requiring action by the judiciary, the latter
did not act quickly or seriously. This caused the police to lose faith in the judiciary and, in
some cases, to resort to taking justice into their own hands.

When questioned about allegations received by MICIVIH in 1996 that electric
shock torture had been used by police against detainees in some cases, the Inspector
General said that it had not been possible to establish whether or not it had occurred but he
gave assurances that such practices were no longer occurring. MICIVIH reported in its




27 Paragraphs 76-77, "La Police Nationale d'Haiti et les Droits de 'Homme ", MICIVIH,
July 1996.


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press release 7 February 199728 that it had not received any further reports of electric shock
torture after presenting its concerns to the police authorities. Amnesty International has not
received any such reports since then either.

Recent allegations of torture and extrajudicial execution

Among the most serious cases of torture and extrajudicial execution torture reported to
Amnesty International over the past two or three years are the following:

* On 5-6 March 1996 seven people were killed in a police operation against armed
gangs in Cite Soleil. a shanty town in the capital. A MICIVIH investigation found
that six had been shot in the head. Although a police investigation was carried out,
the findings were never made public and it is not known whether any action was
taken against those responsible.
On 6-7 June 1996 police from Carrefour police station in the capital detained four
suspects. drove them to a remote area where they shot them and left them for dead -
two survived. Three police officers were arrested in connection with the case.
In June 1996 police at Croix-des-Bouquets police station near Port-au-Prince fatally
shot tNwo detainees. leaving one body in a latrine, and beat two others to death. One
policeman was later arrested and charged with murder. Seventeen others were
disciplined.
* In November 1996 five men were killed by police in Delmas, Port-au-Prince. The
police alleged they were killed in a shoot-out but it later transpired that at least one
of the victims was handcuffed before he was shot. In January 1997 four police
officers were suspended in connection with the incident.
* In February 1997 police fatally wounded pawnbroker Nicholas Metellus at his
home in St Marc when they were seeking to arrest protesters who had blocked a
road. His killing sparked off further protests and a mob overran a police post in
nearby Freycineau. disarmed the police and set fire to the building. Police
reinforcements had to be called in from other areas to restore order. A total of 56
people were arrested in connection with the events, several of whom reported that
they were beaten with batons and handguns while under interrogation. It is not
clear whether any action was taken against those responsible for either the killing
of Nicholas Metellus or the subsequent allegations of illtreatment.
* In September 1997. an HNP agent reportedly tortured a civilian whom he suspected
of stealing his police radio. He reportedly took the man to a voodoo temple in
Delmas. Port-au-Prince, where he handcuffed him and bound his feet before beating



28 "The Human Rights Situation during the First Year of Office of President Rene Preval", 7
February 1997


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him with a baton, kicking him repeatedly and burning him with a hot iron on his
buttocks, neck and stomach. The policeman later took the man to a clinic for
medical treatment where he told the staff that the man had been attacked by a
zenglendo. The policeman and a civilian were later arrested.
On 21 September 1997, a man accused of participating in a "popular justice" killing
was reportedly arrested in Bassin Bleu, in north-western Haiti. and taken next day
to Gros Morne police station in the Artibonite department. The man later alleged
he was lain on a table inside the police station and beaten by three police officers
with a cable and batons while they interrogated him. Despite suffering a broken
arm and suffering from deep welts on the back, he was then left on the ground all
day in full view of passers-by. An enquiry into the case was opened by the
Inspector General's office.
In October 1997 gang leader Dieusibon Lima, alias "Covington", and his associate,
MoYse Beauplan. alias "Ti MoYse". were beaten to death in Delmas police station
in the capital. Initial reports had indicated they were shot dead in a shoot-out with
police. The Inspector-General's office opened an investigation into the incident.
In October 1997 one person was killed and four. others wounded (including the
police chief from nearby Petit-Gofve) when police opened fire on a crowd leaving
a football match in Grand-GoAve after a rock had been thrown at the vehicle they
were travelling in. One of the police officers involved, who was subsequently
arrested, had previously been transferred from Jacmel, together with his brother,
after both had been accused of ill-treating detainees there. His brother later shot a
man in a personal dispute in Port-au-Prince and was suspended from duty.

Allegations of ill-treatment and excessive use of force by specialized police units

On several occasions over the past year or so Amnesty International has received reports
that the actions of the Compagnic d'intervcntion et de maintien d'ordre (CIMO). Rapid
Intervention Force, their regional equivalents known as Unites departmentales de maintien
d'ordre (UDMO), Departmental Rapid Intervention Units. and the Groupe d'intervention
de la Police national d'Haiti (GIPNH). HNP Intervention Force, usually known as the
SW4 Tunit (Special Weapons and Tactics). have sometimes been heavy-handed, sometimes
resulting in serious injuries. On some occasions firearms have been used to disperse
demonstrators in circumstances which did not appear to warrant such force. Amongst the
incidents involving these units are the following:

* MICIVIH called for an investigation of police action during a peaceful
demonstration calling for the resignation of the government outside the National
Palace on 9 January 1997. At least three people, one of whom had his hand blown
off, were injured after teargas was used against the crowd by CIMO agents in riot
gear.


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On 2 September 1997, some 15 heavily-armed CIMO agents arrested Pierre-Yvon
Ch6ry, director of Radio T616difusion Cayenne, at the radio station in Les Cayes
and reportedly punched and hit him with a rifle both at the time of arrest and in
detention. He was released next day without charge. Three police officers whom
he had identified as responsible for the ill-treatment failed to appear at a court
hearing on 6 November 1997 in a civil suit he had taken out against them for
serious injury. It is not clear whether an official police investigation has taken
place into the incident.
* In February 1998 members of several specialized police units were called in to
restore order in Mirebalais. in central Haiti. following a violent clash between local
police and an angry mob. On 5 February police had arrested two people, including
a member of an organization called Operasyon M&t L6d nan Dez6d (OMLD),
Operation to Put Order into Disorder, and taken them to the police station. A crowd
of at least 50 people. believed to be mainly OMLD supporters. later gathered
outside the police station to protest the arrests. Shots were fired by police to
disperse the protesters and a passerby on a bicycle was killed and another man
injured. There are conflicting reports as to whether the police fired into the air or
directly at the crowd, some of whom were reportedly armed with machetes and
other weapons. The crowed. who blamed the police for the death of the passerby.
reacted by storming and ransacking the police station and hacking the local police
chief to death with a machete. They also set fire to vehicles, stole radios and
weapons. and released 76 prisoners from the nearby prison. Approximately three
hours later, some 60 CIMO and GIPNH agents arrived from the capital,
accompanied by the Director General of the HNP and the Secretary of State for
Public Security. together with an UDMO team from Hinche. arrived to restore
order. Some 30-40 people. most believed to be connected with the OMLD. were
detained. several of them in their homes in Mirebalais. Lascahobas. Saut d'Eau and
elsewhere. e\en though some \were not present during the incident in Mirebalais.
Most of the arrests were said to have taken place without warrants and at night,
contrary to Haitian law. Several were beaten at the time of arrest while several
others were reportedly badly beaten or otherwise ill-treated while in detention at
Mirebalais police station, as a result of which at least three had to be hospitalized.
All but four of the detainees were reportedly later released. Tensions had reportedly
been running high in the area before the attack between members of MLD, which
reportedly supports Famille Lavalas. and members of the Momrman Peyizan Papay
(MPP). Papaye Peasant Movement. which supports the OPL. Investigations were
opened by both the Port-au-Prince judicial police and the HNP Departmental
Director for the Mirebalais area. Both the Senate and the Permanent Human Rights
Committee of the Chamber of Deputies also sent commissions of enquiry to
Mirebalais. However, it is not clear whether a specific investigation has been
opened into police handling of the whole incident, including the police shootings


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and the allegations of ill-treatment, by the Inspector General's office. As far as
Amnesty International is aware at the time of writing, no one has been prosecuted
in connection with any of the events that took place on 5 February.
On 18-19 March 1998, a CIMO unit. which had reportedly been sent to the area to
restore order in the context of several land disputes which had reportedly turned
violent, ransacked a radio station in Milot. northern Haiti, called Radio des Voix
Pa',sans de Milot, Milot Peasant Voices Radio. which is run by the Mouvement des
Paysans de Milot. Milot Peasants' Movement. In the course of the operation,
during which they were reportedly seeking to arrest several people suspected of
being involved in the sabotage of a local factory, they reportedly shot and injured
the radio station guard who was the only person in the building when they arrived
there just after midnight. The Minister of Justice subsequently ordered that the
radio station be repaired and that an investigation be opened into the circumstances
of the incident.

Amnesty International is particularly concerned at reports that. contrary to the
current police law which restricts the HNP to the use of small arms. the GIPNH and CIMO
units. and sometimes other HNP units, use heavy weapons such as 12-bore shotguns, Uzis
and M-16s. It is further concerned that proposals to amend the police law to permit the use
of such weapons do not establish stringent enough procedures regarding their possible use.
Amnesty International would urge the Haitian authorities to ensure that provisions for the
use of firearms by all police officers adhere to international standards for the use of such
weapons. in particular the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law
Enforcement Officials" and that immediate action is taken against anyone suspected of
using unnecessary force or ill-treating detainees in any way.

Amnesty International is also concerned at reports that some police officers
sometimes use unauthorized weapons, keep weapons with them when off duty. do not wear
uniforms or identification badges. or use vehicles without number plates or police
markings.

Parallel security corps

In February 1998 President Pr6val announced the imminent creation of special police units
to be deployed in the countryside. Details were not available at the time of writing but it is
understood that the new units would form part of the HNP. All security forces are formally
part of the HNP. However, the continued existence of parallel security corps of different



29 Adopted by consensus by the Eighth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and
Treatment of Offencers on 7 September 1990.


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kinds operating without government regulation remains a concern. They include groups
acting under the orders of local municipal authorities, private security companies, and
brigades de vigilance, neighbourhood watch groups, which are sometimes set up as a
genuine response to fear of crime in rural areas where there is no police presence but may
also sometimes be under the control of local landowners or political groups. MICIVIH
reported that five security agents from the Port-au-Prince city hall were dismissed after their
alleged involvement in the killing of a suspected thief in August 1996. They had also
received reports of beatings by members of the Conseil d'administration des sections
communales (CASEC), Municipal Section Administrative Councils, in some rural areas.

In December 1996, the Ministers of Justice and the Interior issued a joint
communique prohibiting the establishment by municipal authorities of parallel police forces
and stressing that the HNP is the only armed body authorized to operate under the Haitian
Constitution and the la\\s of the republic. Despite the order. several mayors announced that
they intended to retain their own security forces. In February 1998 Robert Manuel,
Secretary of State for Public Security, ordered the municipal authorities of Port-au-Prince.
Delmas and Croix-des-Bouquets to hand in all automatic weapons in their possession. The
mayor of Port-au-Prince. Manno Charlemagne. who at first reportedly refused to disarm his
security guards on the grounds that he feared that his life was at risk from political
opponents. later complied with the order. However, as of March 1998. the mayor of Croix-
des-Bouquets has still not done so and the situation in Delmas was not clear. Since 1994,
there has been general concern about the failure of the authorities to effectively disarm
former soldiers and paramilitary. The Minister of Justice recently called for nationwide
general disarmament and for a discussion about how to bring it about. Given Haiti's history
and the role that paramilitary groups such as the I'olontaires dcla sdcurit national (VSN).
National Security Volunteers. known commonly as the "tontons macoutes". have played,
Amnest\ International believes that it is particularly important for the Haitian Government
to take stringent measures to prevent the re-emergence of similar such groups. The status
of armed security corps that do not form part of the HNP needs to be regularized.
Resolution 1994/67 regarding Civil Defence Forces, adopted by the Commission on Human
Rights on 9 March 1994. recommends that:

"whenever armed civil defence forces are created to protect the civilian population,
Governments establish, where appropriate, minimum legal requirements for them,
within the framework of domestic laxw, including the following:

(a) Civil defence forces shall only be deployed for the purpose of self-defence:

(b) Recruitment into them shall be voluntary and shall be effectively controlled by
public authorities:


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(c) Public authorities shall supervise their training, arming, discipline and
operations;

(d) Commanders shall have clear responsibility for their activities;

(e) Civil defence forces and their commanders shall be clearly accountable for their
activities;

(f) Offences involving human rights violations by such forces shall be subject to the
jurisdiction of the civilian courts."

Disciplinary measures and training

According to the latest report of the UN Secretary General on MIPONUH3,0 by the end of
January 1998. the HNP Inspector General's Office had received a total of 2,126 complaints
since the HNP had been established in 1995. Investigations of those complaints had led to
the dismissal of 215 members and the suspension of some 500 others. The report pointed
out that "allegations of mistreatment by police officers have yet to be taken as seriously as
they should". It was not clear from the figures how many dismissals or suspensions may
been related to human rights violations. As of November 1997. some 60 police officers
were reportedly detained in the capital on a variety of charges, ranging from drugs offences
and robbery to murder, rape and torture. As far as Amnesty International is aware, none of
the cases in which police officers have been accused of human rights violations and which
have been referred to the courts have so far come to trial.

The police disciplinary code. adopted in February 1996. defines sanctions and
establishes punishments for a large number of infractions and recognizes criminal and
disciplinary responsibility in cases where an agent "carries out an order which may lead to
an attack on life, physical integrity or the freedom of persons". It also defines sanctions for
police brutality. It does not as yet include, however, specific sanctions relating to excessive
use of force. extrajudicial or summary executions. enforced "disappearance" or torture.
Amnesty International would urge the Haitian authorities to incorporate such sanctions into
the disciplinary code as soon as possible.

In November 1996 the Minister of Justice issued a circular to prosecutors, judges,
police and prison officials reminding them that, in accordance with Haiti's obligations
under international law. prosecutors are obliged to act as a matter of course in the case of


30 "Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti",
S/1998'144. 20 February 1998.


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human rights violations, including those committed by police officers. He reminded them
that it was not necessary for them to await an official complaint but that they were obliged
to act on any violation, however they may have heard of it, including through the press and
media. In cases resulting in death or injury from use of force or firearms, police authorities
are obliged to inform their superiors and the Police Inspector General within 12 hours.
Where a prima facie crime has been committed. they must also inform immediately the
public prosecutor or justice of the peace and send them all relevant information. The Police
Inspector General is also obliged to inform the public prosecutor immediately of any such
cases that come to his attention by whatever means.

A recent joint report by the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) and the
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). entitled "Can Haiti's Police Reforms Be
Sustained?" and dated January 1998. found that while high-profile cases of police abuse,
such as killings and drugs-related crimes. are usuall- investigated and punished. the
Inspector General has not punished many cases of police beatings. The report states: "We
are concerned that neglecting police beatings on the grounds that they are relatively less
important sends a message of tolerance for abuse which may be contributing to its stubborn
persistence in the force today." Amnesty International endorses this view and calls on the
Inspector General and the police authorities at all levels to send as strong a message as
possible to police personnel that such behaviour will not be tolerated by immediately
suspending anyone suspected of illtreating a detainee and immediately carrying out a
thorough investigation into the circumstances of the incident. If sufficient evidence is
found, the case should be immediately passed to the courts for action. The NCHR/WOLA
report also expressed concern that a nevw and very necessary auditing function which has
recently been attributed to the Inspector General's Office may impact negatively on the
investigative work unless additional resources were provided. Again. Amnesty International
shares this concern and urges the Haitian authorities not only to ensure that the investigative
\work does not suffer in an\ w\a\ as a result of the changes but to endeavour to expand such
work as a matter of urgency.

Amnesty International welcomes reports that. in response to a directive from the
Conscil national de la PNH. Superior Council of the HNP. the Inspector General was to
start issuing monthly bulletins in December 1997 detailing the cases under investigation at
his office, including the allegations. the nature of the crime or human rights violation
alleged. the name and rank of the police officer, and the status of the investigation or
prosecution. However. at the time of writing. it is not yet clear whether such bulletins are
in fact being issued.

Police training is at present being organized jointly by MIPONUH, MICIVIH, the
UN Development Program (UNDP) and the International Criminal Investigative Training
Assistance Programme (ICITAP) of the United States. Training in police ethics, human


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rights and the handling of weapons clearly needs to be stepped up at all levels and Amnesty
International would urge all concerned to continue to encourage and support such
initiatives. If not already in place, consideration should also be given to developing joint
training programs for the police and the judiciary so that each has a better understanding
of the other's role.

Arbitrary detentions

Amnesty International has received frequent reports that the HNP continue to make arrests
without regard for Haitian or international law and that judges sometimes permit detainees
to remain in detention, without ruling on the legality of the arrest, beyond the 48 hours
permitted by the Haitian Constitution. Arrests may take place only between 6am and 6pm
and only on the basis of a warrant issued by a court except in cases of flagrant delit. Once
a judge has confirmed the detention and the reasons for it. an investigation, which normally
should take three months, is opened. Over the past two years, a number of people have
been arrested for allegedly conspiring against the government on the basis of apparently
flimsy evidence and often without adhering to the correct legal procedures. Most but not
all have since been released without charge.

On 16 November 1997. in what was clearly a well-planned and premeditated
operation carried out under the directions of the Police Chief and the Secretary of State for
Security who were reportedly present at the scene. Leon Jeune. a former Secretary of State
for Security and presidential candidate, and his chauffeur, Lony Benoit, were arrested at
the former's home in Port-au-Prince in what the police subsequently claimed was flagrant
dclit. According to reports received by Amnesty International, a heavily-armed SWAT
team. accompanied by senior police officers. arrived at the house at approximately 6pm, cut
off the electricity and fired shots towards the house without warning. They then entered the
house without a warrant. Lonw Benoit was reportedly punched and kicked and left lying on
the ground outside the house. Leon Jeune was handcuffed and made to lie down next to him
where he was hit on the back of the head and kicked in the chest, before being taken away
into police custody. The authorities alleged that Leon Jeune was involved in a plot against
the government, including supposed plans to assassinate President Pr6val. However, no
concrete evidence was presented and. despite the fact that two judges, one shortly after the
arrests were made, ordered their immediate release on the grounds that the arrests were
illegal. they remained in detention. The two were eventually released on 11 December. An
investigation was reportedly continuing into the alleged charges against them but, as far as
Amnesty International is aware. there have been no further developments. It is not clear
whether the Inspector General's Office opened an investigation into the reports of ill-
treatment.


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Amnesty International is concerned that these and other arrests may have been
carried out because of political or other considerations rather than on the basis of concrete
evidence. It welcomes the release of Ldon Jeune and Lony Benoit in this instance but
remains concerned about the situation of several other people who remain in detention
without trial and whose legal situation appears to be irregular. They include Evans
Franqois, the brother of former coup leader Michel Frangois, who has been held at the
disposition of the public prosecutor's office since his arrest on 18 April 1996. A release
order was issued in his favour on the grounds of illegal detention in June 1997 but has never
been executed. The authorities have reportedly said that they are holding him for his own
safety. Former army captain Esteve Cantave was detained on 29 May 1996 after he had
been named in a collective arrest warrant for a group of 26 people on charges of
"destabilization". murdering policemen, associating with criminals, and other offences. A
release order issued in his favour in June 1996 was never executed and his file has
reportedly never been passed from the prosecutor's office to the investigators' office.
Former arm\ general Claude Raymond. Claude Schneider and Phanuel Dieu were arrested
in July 1996. allegedly for "terrorist actions intended to destabilize the government". After
little or no action was taken to investigate their cases. responsibility for the investigation
was reportedly reassigned to a new judge in January 1998. There are believed to be at least
three other former soldiers in a similar situation.

According to article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

"I. ... No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be
deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such
procedure as are established by la\w.

2. Anyone \\ho is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest. of the reasons
for his arrest and shall be promptly\ informed of an\ charges against him.

3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly'
before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and
shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or release...

4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to
take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay
on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not
lawful..."

Amnesty International therefore calls on the Haitian authorities to clarify the legal
situation of the detainees named above and. if there are legal grounds to justify their


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continued detention, to bring them to trial within a reasonable time in accordance with
international fair trial norms.

Police investigations of suspicious killings

There have been a number of unsolved murders in Haiti since October 1994 which some
sources, especially in the USA, have repeatedly insisted were politically-motivated. The
US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has claimed that in some cases there is evidence
of the involvement of Haitian officials. Amnesty International is continuing to investigate
these allegations but has so far received little convincing evidence to indicate that such
practices are part of a deliberate government policy to eliminate opponents. However, the
failure of the Haitian authorities to carry out serious investigations into these and many
other violent crimes does little to dispel such suspicions. Nevertheless, it is also true to say
that the capacity of the inexperienced HNP to seriously investigate such murders is also
severely limited, especially in the field of forensic and "scene of crime" investigations, and
should be enhanced as a matter of urgency.

Amongst the so far unsolved murders are the assassination of lawyer and
goeminment opponent Mireille Durocher Bertin and her client Eugene Baillergeau in March
1995. who were machine-gunned to death in a car in broad daylight in a busy Port-au-
Prince street". and that of Pasteur Antoine Leroy and Jacques Florival. both leading
members of the Mobilisation pour le developpement national (MDX), Mobilization for
National Development. a political opposition party. in August 1996. Witnesses claim that
three carloads of men armed with automatic weapons arrived at Jacques Florival's house
and started shooting into the air. warning all bystanders to lie down on the ground. They
then reportedly shot Antoine Leroy outside the house and drove away, leaving Jacques
Florival handcuffed in the back of a car with a bullet through his head. It is thought that
Jacques Florival may have been kidnapped earlier. The murders took place shortly after an
attack on a Port-au-Prince police station. believed to have been carried out by former
soldiers and resulting in the arrest of several MDN members. Some sources speculate that
the murders ma\ have been the result of factional in-fighting within the MDN.

Follow ing the murder of Mireille Durocher Bertin in 1995, the FBI was called in
to assist with the investigation and subsequently claimed that it had found evidence to link
the case to other killings and that government security officials may have been involved.
However. they withdrew some months later after accusing Haitian government officials of
not cooperating fully in the conduct of the investigation. In late 1995. a special unit the
Unite d investigation special. Special Investigative Unit (SIU) was set up within the HNP


See "Haiti: A Question of Justice", AMR 36/01/96, January 1996.


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to investigate such serious crimes and US investigators were again reportedly sent to assist
them.

The US authorities alleged that members of the US-trained Unite de sdcurite
prdsidentielle (USP). Presidential Security Unit. responsible for the personal security of
President Preval. were responsible for the MDN murders. Shortly afterwards, President
Preval announced a reorganization of the USP. A police investigation into the murders was
also opened and it was later revealed that Eddy Arbrouet. who. according to some sources,
was an auxiliary member of the USP and may have been involved in other suspicious
killings, including those of Mireille Durocher Bertin and Eugene Baillergeau. was being
sought in connection with the case. On 14 December 1997. Eddy Arbrouet was reportedly
shot dead by HNP agents in Leogane during an armed confrontation. As far as Amnesty
International is aware, no one else has been arrested in connection with the MDN murders
or the case of Mireille Durocher Bertin and her associate.

In October 1997 a prison guard was arrested and two other prison guards were being
sought in connection with the murder of parliamentary deputy Louis Emilio Passe who had
been shot in the capital on 6 October and died later of his injuries. The deputy. who
represented Dame-Marie in the department of Grand Anse, south-western Haiti. was a
member of the so-called anti-neoliberal block in the parliament who are opposed to the
present government's economic policies and some sources have alleged that his murder was
politically-motivated. However. Amnesty International has received conflicting reports
regarding the possible motivation for his murder. including some allegations that the deputy
was himself armed and that the prison guard shot him in self-defence.

Amnesty International continues to call on the Haitian authorities to continue to
make every effort to clarify the circumstances of these killings and to identify those
responsible in order that the\ ma\ be brought to justice. Such investigations should be
thorough and impartial and conform to standards set forth in the UN Principles on Extra-
Legal. Arbitrar\ and Summary Executions and supplemented by the UN Manual on the
Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal. Arbitrary and Summary Executions.
The capacity of the HNP to carry out such investigations, including forensic and scene-of-
cri.ne training, should be enhanced as a matter of urgency.

Ill-treatment in Haitian prisons

It is generally recognized that prison conditions in Haiti have substantially improved since
October 1994 though they still fall far short of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the
Treatment of Prisoners. In the past prisons were run by the army. In June 1995 the
Administration penitentiaire national (APENA), National Penitentiary Administration, was
established. Many of the present guards are former soldiers who initially received only two


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weeks' training. There have been occasional, though not frequent, reports of beatings by
prison guards. The Deputy Director of APENA, Clifford Larose, admitted to Amnesty
International in February 1997 that "the military reflex" still existed and that the question
of ill-treatment was "a gamble not yet won". He blamed the problem partly on the severe
shortage of prison personnel, with only one guard for every 8.7 detainees (he said they were
aiming for 1:4), which was compounded by the severe overcrowding. Like the Inspector
General of Police. he complained about the problems with the justice system. He said that
92% of the prison population were still awaiting trial and that the severe delays in bringing
people to trial led to situations where a detainee accused of a very minor offence could
spend up to a year or more in prison without trial. He welcomed the establishment of the
presidential commission to study this problem and noted that there had already been some
progress. Women. men and minors are now all held in separate facilities. He admitted that
minors should not be in prison but said that for the time being there was nowhere else for
them to go. He added, however, that the Ministry of Justice was seeking funding to convert
the former prison in Croix-des-Bouquets into a rehabilitation centre for minors and
convicted adults.

In November 1995 over 20 minors detained in Fort National. a prison in Port-au-
Prince housing women and minors, were reportedly beaten by four APENA guards. The
incident was investigated by MICIVIH but by July 1997 no satisfactory administrative or
judicial inquiry had been instituted.

On 24 April 1997 a presidential decree merged APENA with the HNP. According
to MICIVIH". the merger:

"slowed down some of the reforms needed, including the finalizing of an internal
code of conduct and mechanisms for investigating and sanctioning misconduct.
Clear guidelines are also needed regarding the carrying of firearms by prison
personnel to avoid incidents of misuse which have already occurred and to correct
the growing perception among APENA guards that they are police agents and
therefore have a right to carry and use weapons. as well as to make arrests."

MICIVIH have expressed concern that allegations of abuse by prison officials are
not seriously dealt with, with often only a general reprimand being handed down. In a July
1997 report on Haitian prisons3, the mission said that it had come across only two cases in



"The Situation of Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti Report of the Secretary-
General", A/52/687, 18 November 1997

"Les Prisons en Haiti", MICIVIH, juillet 1997.


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which prison guards had been sanctioned for ill-treating detainees: Two guards at the
National Penitentiary had been suspended for two weeks without pay for ill-treating six
detainees in September 1995. No further action was taken against them and one of them
was later reportedly implicated in subsequent allegations of ill-treatment in 1996 and 1997
in Cap HaYtien, to where he had been transferred after the earlier incident.

Amnesty International calls on the Haitian authorities to ensure that ill-treatment
is not tolerated within APENA establishments and that any prison official found responsible
for carrying out or ordering the ill-treatment of detainees should be brought to account.
Mechanisms for investigating and sanctioning misconduct, as well as guidelines on the use
of firearms by prison personnel, should be established as a matter of urgency.


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CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

It is the responsibility of the Haitian Government, the Haitian Parliament and the judiciary
to work together to end impunity for human rights violations, past and present. Some
positive steps have already been taken and there are signs that further progress may be made
in the medium to long term. However, many mistakes have also been made and political
wrangling has been allowed to interfere with the urgent task of establishing strong
institutions that will protect and respect human rights for the future. The general situation
remains extremely fragile and Amnesty International believes that it is imperative for the
Haitian Government to demonstrate that it has the political will to carry the project through
by implementing the following measures as a matter of urgency. The UN, OAS, foreign
governments and other international and regional bodies must support such efforts in
whatever way they can in accordance with internationally-established human rights
principles. The future of human rights in Haiti is on the edge of a dangerous precipice.
Failure to act NOW may have dire consequences.

I. Recommendations to the Haitian authorities

Regarding Justice and Impunity

1. The authorities must give the highest priority to the process of judicial reform in
order to guarantee to everyone the right to unimpeded access to justice and the right
to a fair. prompt and impartial trial.

2. International standards regarding the judiciary, including the UN Basic Principles
on the Independence of the Judiciary. the UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors
and the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. should be incorporated into
Haitian legislation and reflected in legal practice in order to create an independent,
impartial and effective judiciary. In order to comply with these Principles, the
necessary\ resources should be provided and all allegations of corruption should be
investigated promptly and impartially.

3. The government should provide a full and public report of what steps have already
been taken, and what plans there are for the future, to implement the
recommendations of the National Commission of Truth and Justice. Adequate
human and material resources should be given to any bodies which have been
established to implement such recommendations. Steps should be taken to ensure
the protection of both those who testified to the Commission and of those identified
as responsible for human rights violations. Where there is conclusive evidence, the
latter should be prosecuted in accordance with international fair trial norms.


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4. The victims of human rights violations committed by agents of the State, or by
individuals acting with the State's consent, should receive adequate reparation.
Amnesty International considers that reparation should include financial
compensation and rehabilitation measures, as well as medical care and assistance
which help the victim and his or her relatives to overcome the consequences of
physical or psychological injury. It should also include any legal measures
necessary to restore the victim's dignity and reputation. The body responsible for
handling reparation for the victims should receive the necessary resources to carry
out its work. The State should also take appropriate measures to ensure that the
victims do not again have to endure violations which harm their dignity.

5. The authorities should continue with their efforts to bring to trial those responsible
for human rights violations, past and present, while ensuring that international
standards of fairness are adhered to in all cases. While further delays would be
regrettable. the advantages of the enhanced fairness of the trials would outweigh
the adverse effects of any delays.

6. The authorities must ensure the security of all those involved in trials of human
rights violators. including complainants and their relatives, judges. lawyers,
witnesses, human rights activists and the defendants and their families.

7. The Haitian Government should ratify as soon as possible the UN Convention
against Torture. the International Covenant on Economic. Social and Cultural
Rights, the two optional protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights. the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture and
Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons. and
incorporate such standards. as %well as those it has already ratified. into domestic
legislation. including the constitution. It should also recognize the jurisdiction of
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

8. The National Assembly should follow up as soon as possible the recommendations
made by the ngo-sponsored International Tribunal Against Violence Against
Women in Haiti. in accordance %with the commitment made by the President of the
Assembly in December 1997.

9. The Haitian authorities should ensure that the scope of the mandate of the
Ombudsman can address all types of human rights violations committed by officials
or employees of all branches of government. Adequate funding should be provided
to the Ombudsman and his staff to enable them to carry out their work.


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10. The Haitian authorities should clarify the legal situation of Evans Frangois. Esteve
Cantave, Claude Raymond, Claude Schneider, Phanuel Dieu and and other
detainees held in similar situations. If there are legal grounds to justify their
continued detention, they should be brought to trial within a reasonable time in
acccordance with international fair trial norms.

11. The Haitian authorities should continue to carry out thorough and impartial
investigations into cases of killings which have occurred since October 1994 and
which may constitute extrajudicial executions. Such investigations should conform
to standards set forth in the UN Principles on Extra-Legal. Arbitrary and Summary
Executions and supplemented by the UN Manual on the Effective Prevention and
Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.

12. In order to deter further acts of "popular justice". the Haitian authorities at all levels
should make it clear that such acts will not be tolerated. by ensuring that those
responsible are brought to justice in accordance with Haitian and international law
and issuing clear statements to that effect.

13. In general, the Haitian Government and institutions responsible for ensuring justice
and respect for human rights should act with greater transparency and
accountability. They should provide regular reports to the Haitian parliament and
the general public regarding matters relating to human rights.

Regarding Policing

1. The Chief of Police and the Inspector General of Police need to send a strong
message to all police personnel that extrajudicial executions. the unnecessary use
of firearms and torture and ill-treatment of all kinds. including beatings. will not be
tolerated. Senior police officers need to maintain strict chain-of-command
responsibility to ensure that agents under their command do not commit such
abuses. Officers who order or permit agents under their command to commit
human rights violations should be brought to justice for such acts. Any police
officer suspected of committing such violations should be immediately suspended
and an independent and impartial investigation carried out to determine whether the
case should be forwarded to the courts for prosecution.

2. All HNP personnel must be made fully aware of. and abide by. the UN Code of
Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of
Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. In the light of reported
proposals to amend the police law to enable certain HNP units to carry heavy


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weapons, the authorities should ensure that the laws relating to the use of such
weapons conform to international standards.

3. The police disciplinary code should be amended to include specific sanctions
relating to excessive use of force, extrajudicial or summary executions, enforced
"disappearance" and torture, in keeping with relevant international standards.

4. The Inspector General of the HNP should publish regular detailed reports of the
status of investigations and prosecutions relating to police officers suspected of
committing human rights violations. Adequate resources should be provided to the
Inspector General's Office so that it can carry out its work promptly and effectively
throughout the country.

5. Given Haiti's history\ and the role that paramilitary groups such as the "lonlon
macoutcs ha\e played. the Haitian authorities should take stringent measures to
prevent the re-emergence of similar such groups. The status of armed security
corps that do not form part of the HNP needs to be regularized. Any armed civil
defence forces that might be created to protect the civilian population should be
established in accordance with the minimum legal requirements recommended in
UN Resolution 1994/67 regarding Civil Defence Forces.

6. The capacity of the HNP to carry out serious investigations into violent crimes,
including possible extrajudicial executions, shootings and rape. should be enhanced
as a matter of urgency. Particular attention should be given to improving forensic
and scene-of-crime expertise.

7. Both the HNP and the judiciary should be under strict orders to carry out arrests and
searches solely\ in accordance \0ith Haitian la\\ and Haiti's obligations under the
ICCPR.

Regarding Prisons

1. An internal code of conduct and an independent and impartial prison inspectorate
should be established for APENA as a matter of urgency.

2. In order to send a clear signal that ill-treatment will not be tolerated in Haitian
prisons, any prison official suspected of having beaten or ill-treated a detainee in
any way should be immediately suspended pending investigation by an
independent body in order to determine what further action might be appropriate.
Where there is sufficient evidence against him/her, the official should be subjected
to appropriate disciplinary or judicial proceedings. Appropriate action should also


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be taken against any senior prison official found to have sanctioned or ordered a
guard to beat or otherwise ill-treat a detainee.

3. Clear guidelines need to be established as a matter of urgency regarding the
carrying and use of firearms by prison personnel.

4. A separate rehabilitation facility for minors should be established as soon as
possible.

5. As a long-term aim but at the earliest possible opportunity, the authorities should
be seeking. with the assistance of foreign governments and international
organizations, to achieve prison conditions that are consistent with the UN Standard
Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and other relevant international
standards.

II. Recommendations to the US and Haitian authorities

I. The US authorities should immediately return intact to the Haitian Government the
160.000 pages of documents and photographs seized by US troops in 1994 from
army, police and paramilitary offices in Haiti. Upon their return, as in the case of
any such sensitive information, the Haitian Government should take appropriate
measures to ensure the security of all those who might be identified in the
documents as being responsible for human rights violations or other activities of an
incriminating nature, as well as the security of the documents themselves. They
should also ensure that any legal proceedings initiated on the basis of the
information contained therein are carried out in accordance with international
standards for a fair trial.

2. The US authorities should also pass on to the Haitian authorities any other
information in the possession of the CIA or other US government agencies which
may shed light on the identity of those responsible for human rights violations in
Haiti. US Congress should consider conducting an independent investigation into
the possible direct or indirect involvement of US officials in human rights
violations in Haiti at the time of the de facto military government. Any US citizens
found responsible for such violations should be held to account for their actions.

III. Recommendations to the US and other governments

1. While the obligation to bring human rights violators to justice rests primarily with
the Haitian Government, other governments also share that obligation. This
principle should apply wherever such people happen to be, wherever the crime was


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committed, whatever the nationality of the perpetrators or victims and no matter
how much time has elapsed since the commission of the crime. If suspected human
rights violators are returned to Haiti, the US and other governments should assist
the Haitian authorities in any way they can to ensure that they receive a fair trial,
including by providing any evidence that might be in their possession or by
providing appropriate legal expertise to assist in the preparation and holding of the
trial.

IV. Recommendations to international organizations and governments involved in
providing economic and technical assistance to Haiti

1. International governmental and non-governmental organizations should continue
to give the highest possible priority to assisting the Haitian Government in the task
of judicial reform. International organizations and aid donors should work as
closely\ as possible \\ith the Haitian Government. as well as with each other, to
ensure that projects that are under way to support judicial reform are both
appropriate for Haiti and consistent with international standards. When evaluating
their projects in Haiti. they should take into account evaluations of their programs
that haxe been undertaken by Haitian ngo's and others.

2. The joint OAS/UN Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) should strengthen as much
as possible their work with Haitian human rights organizations in order to increase
their institutional capacity and develop their expertise in human rights monitoring,
education and promotion. Both the OAS and the UN should establish a long-term
strategy for ensuring continued human rights monitoring and the protection of
human rights defenders in Haiti once MICIVIH has departed from the country.

International organizations and foreign go\emrments assisting in the training of the
Haitian National Police should continue to ensure that human rights training and
education is incorporated into all aspects of such training and should encourage the
Haitian authorities to bring to justice any police officer who is alleged to have
committed or ordered human rights violations. If not already in place,
consideration should also be given to developing joint training programs for the
police and the judiciary so that each has a better understanding of the other's role.

4. International organizations and foreign governments who have appropriate
expertise should offer to assist the Haitian authorities in any way they can in
bringing to trial human rights violators, for example. by offering the help of legal
experts at all levels of the judiciary to serve alongside Haitian judicial officials.


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5. Foreign governments, international governmental organizations and non-
governmental organizations with appropriate expertise should help Haiti establish
a recruitment and training program to train a greater number of Haitian defence
lawyers.

6. International financial institutions should evaluate the possible impact of their
programs on the ability of the Haitian Government to guarantee respect and
protection of all human rights.


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ABOUT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Amnesty International was launched in 1961 by British lawyer Peter Benenson.
His newspaper appeal, "The Forgotten Prisoners", was published worldwide on 28 May
1961 and brought in more than 1,000 offers of support for the idea of an international
campaign to protect human rights.
Within 12 months the new organization had sent delegations to four countries to make
representations on behalf of prisoners, and had taken up 210 cases. Amnesty International
members had organized national bodies in seven countries. The first year's expenditure was
6,040.
The principles of strict impartiality and independence were established. The emphasis was
on the international protection of human rights: Amnesty International members were to act
on cases worldwide and not become involved in cases in their own countries.



Amnesty International has more than 1,000,000 members, subscribers and regular donors
in more than 100 countries and territories and 4,287 local Amnesty International groups
registered with the International Secretariat, in addition to the many thousands of school,
university, professional and other groups which do not normally register internationally.
There are nationally organized sections in 54 countries, 33 of them in Latin America and the
Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and Central Europe.
The organization's nerve centre is the International Secretariat in London, with more than
300 permanent staff and 95 volunteers from more than 50 countries. The Secretary General
is Pierre Sane.
Amnesty International is governed by a nine-member International Executive Committee
(IEC). It comprises eight volunteer members, elected every two years by an International
Council comprising representatives of the worldwide movement, and an elected member of
the International Secretariat.

Amnesty International has a precise mandate, detailed in an international statute. The
main focus of its campaigning is to:
* free all prisoners of conscience. These are people detained anywhere for their beliefs or
because of their ethnic origin, sex, colour, language, national or social origin, economic status,
birth or other status who have not used or advocated violence;
* ensure fair and prompt trials for political prisoners;
* abolish the death penalty, torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment of
prisoners;
* end extrajudicial executions and "disappearances".

Amnesty International also opposes abuses by opposition groups, including hostage taking,
torture and killings of prisoners and other deliberate and arbitrary killings.

Amnesty International members around the world work on behalf of people threatened with
imprisonment, unfair trials, torture or execution.