Haiti : the human rights record of the Haitian national police / Human Rights Watch/Americas, National Coalition for Hai...

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Haiti : the human rights record of the Haitian national police / Human Rights Watch/Americas, National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Washington Office on Latin America.
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Publisher:
NY : The Watch, 1997

Notes

General Note:
4-tr-HRW-1997
General Note:
Human Rights Watch/Americas.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Columbia Law Library
Holding Location:
Columbia Law Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
LLMC31532
System ID:
AA00000982:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text
















This volume was donated to LLMC
to enrich its on-line offerings and
for purposes of long-term preservation by

Columbia University Law Library





HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH/AMERICAS

NATIONAL COALITION FOR HAITIAN RIGHTS

WASHINGTON OFFICE ON LATIN AMERICA

January 1997 Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


L-IAITI COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL LIBRARY\


THE HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD FEB 1 0 1997
OF THE HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE


I. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................... 2

II. HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES COMMITTED BY THE HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE ................. 7
Summary Executions and Attempted Murders ............................................ 7
Excessive Use of Force Resulting in Death or Serious Injury ............................. .... 11
Torture and Beatings During Arrest, Detention, and Interrogation .............................. 13
Additional Police Misconduct and Lack of Transparency in Police Operations .................... 15
K killings of Police Officers ............................................................. 16

III. INVESTIGATIONS OF POLICE ABUSE AND DISCIPLINARY MEASURES ...................... 17
Channels for Presenting Internal Complaints Against the Police ............................... 18
Legal Powers of the Inspector General ................................................... 18
The Performance of the Inspector General's Office ......................................... 19
Criminal Prosecutions of Police Abuse ................................................... 22
Police Relations with the Judicial System ........................... .. ................ 23
Public Information on Police Investigations ............................................... 25

IV. INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE ..................... 26
Developing Police Leadership ..................................................... 26
The Role of Former Military Personnel in the Haitian National Police ........................... 28
Parallel Forces W within the Police .......... .............................................. 29
Logistical Support and General Capabilities ............................................... 31
Further Training Needs .............................. .... ................ 31
Lim its on Police Resources ..................................................... 31
Challenges Faced by the Police ......................................................... 33
Police-Community Relations .................................................... 33

V. INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE TO THE HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE ........................ 35
U .S. Assistance and Training ........................................................... 36
The United Nations Civilian Police ...................................................... 37

VI. CONCLUSION ......................................................................... 38

VII. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................ 39



HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH/AMERICAS NCHR WOLA
1521 K Street. NW, Suite 910 275 Seventh Avenue, 25th Floor 400 C Street, NE
Washington. DC 20005-1202 New York, NY 10001-6708 Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202) 371-6592 Tel: (212) 337-0005 Tel: (202) 544-8045
Fax: (202) 371-0124 Fax: (212) 337-0028 Fax: (202) 546-5288
E mail: hrwdc@hrw.org E-mail: hrp@nchr.org E-mail: wola@igc.apc.org





I. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS -

The Haitian National Police (Police Nationale d'HaYti, HNP) constitutes the first civilian, professional police
force in Haiti's 193-year history. In past decades, Haiti's military controlled a subservient police, and both
institutions engaged in widespread, systematic human rights abuses. Following former President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide's dismantling of the military in 1995, Haiti's transition to a civilian-controlled police has been marred by
serious human rights violations. In the year and a half since its deployment, members of this U.S.-trained force have
committed serious abuses, including torture and summary executions. Political authorities condemned many of the
abuses and senior police authorities sanctioned or fired some of the responsible personnel, but the HNP only recently
began to refer cases of police abuses to the courts. While a number of HNP agents now face criminal prosecution,
Haiti's dysfunctional judicial system has made meager progress on prosecuting police abuse cases. Not one
policeman or woman has been convicted of any killing.

Since the HNP commenced operations in July 1995, agents and officers have killed at least forty-six Haitians.
A minority of these deaths occurred when police agents used deadly force in legitimate self-defense. Most of the dead
suffered extrajudicial executions or the excessive, unjustified use of lethal force by the police. The worst incident
of police abuse occurred on March 6, 1996, in the Port-au-Prince shantytown of Cit6 Soleil, when the HNP
summarily killed at least six men. Members of the Presidential Guard, a police unit under HNP control, were
implicated in political violence in August. An arrest warrant recently was issued for an unofficial member of the
presidential security unit, Eddy Arbouet, for the killing of two opposition politicians on August 20, 1996. The HNP
killed another five Haitians on November 4, 1996. One of the dead was found handcuffed while another had been
shot at close range in the head, raising concerns that the two may have been extrajudicially executed. Police abuses
also included numerous cases of HNP agents and officers wounding people in unjustifiable circumstances. In
addition, police abuse and torture of detainees increased significantly during the first seven months of 1996, with
eighty-six cases reported to the HNP's Office of the Inspector General. HNP agents beat at least five detainees to
death while they were in police custody.

These startling numbers of HNP human rights violations raise serious concerns about police training and
leadership and highlight the need to enforce disciplinary procedures and aggressively prosecute police who torture
and kill. The HNP abuses apparently do not reflect an official government policy endorsing violence against the
civilian population. Nonetheless, if the Haitian government does not address these issues promptly, it risks
institutionalizing abusive practices and undermining the credibility and legitimacy of the new force.

Experience alone will not completely solve the problem of police brutality. Strict oversight, quick, fair, and
public punishment of abusive behavior, and more rigorous recruitment and training are essential. While the HNP
has shown some improvement in crowd control skills, at times it has adopted violent tactics such as beating detainees
during interrogation, in some cases killing them. Where the HNP removed officers in the most abusive precincts,
reports of beatings reportedly declined. Police have grown increasingly frustrated with Haiti's extremely weak
judicial system, which rarely carries out successful prosecutions of criminal suspects. Police also expressed fear of
assassination following the killing of eight HNP agents between March and August of 1996. HNP agents have
invoked their resentment of the failings of the judicial system, including judicial corruption and delays in bringing
defendants to trial, as well as the killings of police agents to justify police abuse.

The Haitian government has recourse to several mechanisms to bring police to account for abuses, but to date
it has applied them unevenly. The 1987 constitution, the police law, police disciplinary codes, and the Criminal Code
all provide for state sanction of police human rights violations. Disciplining and prosecuting police abuses is
revolutionary in Haiti, a country where military and police forces have long enjoyed near-complete impunity. The
Office of the Inspector General, established in June 1995, serves as the key internal accountability mechanism for
human rights abuses. The office is charged with assuring compliance with police regulations and evaluating the
HNP's effectiveness. The office's performance has been uneven, but improved significantly in 1996. Under the


HRW/Americas. NCHR & WOLA 2 January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas. NCHR & WOLA


2


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





direction of Inspector General Luc Eucher Joseph, the HNP has taken several firm steps against police misconduct,
including the firing of seventy police agents and five officers. The HNP removed at least thirteen of these police for
human rights violations.

While these actions are encouraging, the HNP must adopt a more vigorous stance against severe police abuses
and consistently refer each case to the Haitian courts. In November 1996, the HNP inspector general announced that
he would refer all human rights cases to the judicial system for possible prosecution. However, in many cases the
office has failed to initiate investigations and publicize abuses or disciplinary actions against police, and it has
frequently neglected to forward cases to judicial authorities even when strong evidence of police abuse is available.
In July, the inspector general reportedly completed his investigation of the March 6 shootings in Cit6 Soleil, but to
date the HNP has not published the inquiry's findings, nor has it turned the report over to the courts. Twenty-four
police officers and agents now face criminal prosecution in Haiti, thirteen of them for murder. To date, however, no
HNP agent or officer has been convicted of murder.

One signal weakness of the inspector general's office is that victims of police abuse in Haiti often fear bringing
complaints against the police, to the same force which committed those abuses. Unfortunately, there is no alternative
mechanism. A human rights ombudsman's office, the Office of Citizen Protection (i'Office de la Protection du
Citoyen, OPC) created in accordance with the 1987 Constitution, could fill this role, but had not been funded and
staffed at this writing.

Slow progress in key areas of institutional development appears to have contributed to police abuse. Leadership
voids, created both by slow recruiting efforts and by legitimate disputes over the background of potential officers,
have plagued the HNP. The force also has faced severe logistical and resource constraints. Some of these problems
stem from the compressed police reform timetable that was designed to satisfy domestic pressures in the United
States. The U.S. pushed for a rapid exit of the 21,000 U.S. troops who restored President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to
power in October 1994. Most U.S. forces departed by March 1995. This schedule created pressure to deploy Haitian
police as fast as possible. As a result, each class of HNP cadets received only four months training. Police experts
maintain that every police agent should receive at least twelve months basic training. The first HNP class entered
the academy in February 1995, graduated in June 1995, and was deployed in July 1995. The force reached a full
strength of some 5,300 police officers in February 1996, barely a year and a half after the intervention.

The Haitian National Police is headed by a director general, under whom serves the inspector general, the director
of the Administrative Police (the main police corps, responsible for public security and crime prevention) and the
director of the Judicial Police (an investigative unit assigned to the judiciary). Other specialized police units include
the Palace and Presidential Guard, the Ministerial Security Corps, and the Anti-Gang Unit. Weaknesses in police
leadership allowed these specialized units to operate beyond their mandates and independently of HNP control during
1995 and much of 1996. Together with the main police corps, they are implicated in serious cases of human rights
abuse. Departmental directors command the HNP in each of Haiti's nine departments. Police chiefs (commissaires)
head city police divisions, sergeants (inspecteurs principaux and inspecteurs) head the sub-precincts (sous-
commissariats) in smaller towns, and the smallest police divisions in rural and urban sections. As of October 1996,
the HNP was operating with only seven of the nine departmental directors in place, only fifty of 133 commissaires,
and eighty-five out of 550 to 600 inspecteurs.

Initially, police authorities apparently selected many police chiefs on the basis of personal connections rather
than objective recruitment criteria. The HNP deployed police chiefs who lacked training, many of whom clearly
were incompetent, leading to a rapid disintegration of discipline and morale in the force. With support from the
civilian police component (CivPol) of the United Nations Mission in Haiti, the HNP initiated a May 1996 leadership
recruitment drive drawing on civilians, qualified HNP, and former soldiers who had served in the Interim Public
Security Force (IPSF, a transitional police force composed of former Haitian refugees who had been held at the U.S.
Navy base in Guantinamo Bay, Cuba, and former Haitian soldiers). Police commanders already in the field also had


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





to take the recruitment exam. HNP authorities set a goal of recruiting eighty police chiefs through this process. Only
some forty candidates passed the exam, about half of whom were former military personnel. Concerns about the high
number of former soldiers and the need for more qualified recruits led, in September 1996, to a second round of
recruitment and training to increase the proportion of civilians.

The transfer of soldiers who previously served in Haiti's abusive military to the new, civilian police is a sensitive
issue in Haiti. HNP serving under former military commanders have committed many abuses. Although few former
soldiers entered the HNP as regular police agents, the Haitian government incorporated several hundred military
personnel and Guantinamo police recruits from the IPSF into other police units, such as the Ministerial Security
Corps and the Palace and Presidential Guards. Several of these units participated in the brutal March 6 incidents in
Cit6 Soleil and members of the presidential security unit were implicated in the killing of two opposition politicians
in August.

Police authorities face additional challenges, including: logistical shortfalls of basic equipment and systems; the
difficulty of enforcing the law with a weak judicial system; and, the need to improve police-community relations.
Police need further training, with an emphasis on the appropriate use of force. Resource shortages clearly impede
more effective policing. In certain cases, a lack of equipment has impeded the HNP ability to call for backup or
respond to emergency calls. Following an initially warm public welcome, problems have emerged in police-
community relations in some regions. HNP behavior recalling the past repressive practices of Haiti's military has
led to a deterioration in police-community relations in some areas. On occasion, crowds have injured police agents
by throwing rocks at them. Conversely, people in some rural areas have complained that they do not have enough
police. Both police and community leaders note that Haitians lack any experience of a cooperative relationship with
a police force. Public education on the role of the police in a democratic society should help alleviate this problem.

The HNP has received significant international assistance. The U.S. Department of Justice's International
Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) took a lead role in the recruitment and training of the
force. United Nations troops and civilian police, as well as ICITAP, have monitored the deployment and
performance of the force. The U.N. Mission in Haiti (Mission des Nations Unies en HaYti, UNMIH) took over from
the U.S.-led Multinational Force on March 31, 1995. UNMIH included a military component as well as a civilian
police contingent, known as CivPol. In June 1996, when the U.N. mission's mandate was extended for a second time,
the U.N. reduced its military and CivPol presence and changed its name to the U.N. Support Mission in Haiti
(Mission d'Appui des Nations Unies en Hal'ti, UNSMIH). UNSMIH's 600 troops (along with 700 troops provided
bilaterally by Canada) and 300 civilian police are scheduled to remain in Haiti until May 31, 1997, but the U.N.
Security Council may authorize an extension until July 31. UNSMIH is charged with maintaining a secure
environment and assisting the Haitian government in the professionalization of the police. CivPol's specific
responsibilities include providing guidance and training to.the police and monitoring police operations.

ICITAP and CivPol have responded promptly and with flexibility to the HNP's emerging needs. We are,
however, concerned that CivPol field monitoring of the HNP does not appear to have been effective in preventing
or stemming police abuse and that CivPol officers repeatedly defer their responsibility for human rights monitoring
to the human rights observers of the U.N./OAS International Civilian Mission (Mission Civile International en HaYti,
MICIVIH). MICIVIH will remain in Haiti until December 31, 1997. While MICIVIH's mandate includes an explicit
focus on human rights concerns, their role should in no way detract from or substitute for CivPol's active monitoring
of the HNP's adherence to human rights standards, undoubtedly an integral component of professional police
performance.

A continued, improved international presence in Haiti is necessary to assist the HNP in confronting the issues
identified here. Furthermore, current police structures do not appear capable of confronting potential violence by
anti-democratic elements in Haiti, some of which reportedly are within the police. The police failed to respond


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9. No. 1 (B)






adequately to August 1996 attacks on government targets, including the parliament. Without further international
support for the professionalization of the HNP, the violations documented in this report could escalate.

The creation of the Haitian National Police offered Haiti a key opportunity to establish a professional institution
capable of ensuring public order and respect for the rule of law. Clearly, such an institution cannot be built overnight,
it will take time to develop a solid institutional infrastructure, including experienced and effective leadership, and
a culture of professional policing. But the human rights violations documented here are a serious deviation from this
path. Police authorities have acknowledged abuses, declared that they will not be tolerated, and have disciplined and
fired dozens of officers. Yet, unless the Haitian government takes firm measures to prevent such abuses through
careful recruitment and more rigorous training coupled with more effective procedures to punish abuses, there is a
serious risk that HNP officers and agents could slide further into the repressive practices of Haiti's past security
forces, undermining Haiti's democratic transition.

Recommendations
Strengthening police accountability
(1) The HNP must subject police personnel to the rule of law. Police authorities should adopt a policy of zero
tolerance in cases of excessive use of force and police brutality. Investigations confirming such actions should lead
to prosecution and administrative sanctions where appropriate. In any case of a human rights violation or other
criminal act by a member of the HNP, the police authorities should immediately inform the appropriate judicial
authorities. This practice should be codified in police rules and regulations and in Justice Ministry policy. Internal
police discipline should not be used as an alternative or substitute for legal proceedings before civilian courts. Nor
should it be left solely to citizens to initiate criminal investigations.

(2) The Justice Minister must insist that judicial authorities actively pursue prompt criminal investigations of alleged
police abuse.

(3) The government of Haiti should immediately provide sufficient funds and personnel to open the Office of Citizen
Protection (OPC). The OPC should be given explicit powers to act on police abuses, including the responsibility to
take complaints, present them to the police inspector general, and monitor the inquiry process and results. The
inspector general should be required to inform the OPC of all human rights complaints. The OPC also should be
empowered to conduct independent investigations where necessary and be guaranteed access to all relevant HNP
personnel and records.

(4) In any credible case of violations of the police law, code of conduct, or the criminal code, the inspector general's
office immediately should make a public announcement of the agent's name and the allegations against him or her
(including the date and place of the alleged abuse). In the rare event that a case requires greater discretion for security
reasons, it should be reviewed by the Superior Council of the National Police (Conseil Sup6rieur de la Police
National, CSPN), the highest police authority, and the information provided to the Office of Citizen Protection. The
CSPN includes the prime minister, justice minister, interior minister, HNP director general, and inspector general.
When the inspector general decides that there is a credible complaint of serious human rights abuse, the HNP officer
should be disarmed and suspended pending investigations. A public disclosure policy should be incorporated into
police law.

(5) The HNP should devote sufficient resources to the inspector general's office to ensure that it has the necessary
personnel and equipment to conduct thorough investigations of police misconduct and to regularly visit police
stations around the country, as required by law.

(6) All police should receive copies of police regulations, procedures, and codes of discipline and ethics.
Commanding officers in each station should abide by these codes and strictly enforce them. Officers should review
these texts with their agents.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






(7) The Haitian government should make every effort to investigate and prosecute those responsible for killing police
officers.

Strengthening the Institution
(1) The Haitian government should strengthen police leadership as rapidly as possible. Police authorities should
develop clear and objective criteria for the recruitment of mid- and senior-level officers that include a close review
of each candidate's human rights record. Police leaders need to establish clear lines of command and communication
within the force. They also must implement stringent performance reviews and instill greater discipline in the HNP.

(2) All HNP members should receive supplemental training in how to investigate crimes while fully respecting
human rights. Trainers should devote particular attention to human rights standards, the lawful use of force and
firearms, interview techniques, crowd control, conflict resolution and mediation, and community relations and
policing. Police commanders should receive specialized training. Such training should be conducted in stages so
that field deployment does not suffer.

(3) All former members of the IPSF incorporated into the HNP, both ex-soldiers and Guantinamo police recruits,
must be screened to detect any human rights abuse, whether during their HNP service or in earlier performance in
the military and the IPSF. Any individual implicated in past human rights abuse must immediately be dismissed,
disarmed, and referred to judicial authorities for criminal investigation. Those passing background checks must
undergo the full police training program at the academy, with an emphasis on human rights protections and
accountability.

(4) Ad hoc police units that function without accountability mechanisms, such as the heavily armed security team
created by Port-au-Prince Mayor Emmanuel Charlemagne, should be disbanded.

(5) The Haitian government should prepare Haitian trainers to take over staff positions at the police academy as the
pullout of U.N. military forces and civilian police approaches.

(6) Police training should not occur in isolation. The Haitian Justice Ministry should plan police training exercises
with judges, prosecutors, prison guards, and human rights organizations.

(7) The HNP should meet regularly with representatives of the judiciary and prison administrations in order to
improve the coordination of their efforts.

(8) In order to improve transparency, police leaders should insist that police personnel and vehicles be clearly
identified at all times, unless specific tasks require plain' clothes or unmarked vehicles. In addition to photo
identification, police personnel should wear large and clear name tags and have identification numbers attached
permanently to their uniforms. Police vehicles should have police license plates and clear identification painted on
the sides, front, and rear of the vehicle. Police authorities should remove tinted windows from all police vehicles
to allow the public to identify agents.

Improving community relations
(1) HNP leaders should initiate a vigorous program of civic education to explain the role of the police, with
particular emphasis on how to make complaints of police abuse.

(2) To promote police accountability and improve police-community relations, the HNP regularly should issue
information on investigations of police abuse and any disciplinary action taken in response. As part of community
policing efforts, police should consider meeting regularly with community leaders, attending public meetings on
community issues, visiting schools, assisting with disaster relief, and supporting sports activities and community
projects. The HNP also should issue general statistics on crime and police activities.


HKW/Americas. NCHR & WOLA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas. NCHR & WOLA





(3) Human rights groups and other nongovernmental organizations should support efforts to improve monitoring
and reporting of police abuse and encourage discussions of police-community relations and the role of the police in
a democracy.

International assistance
(1) CivPol should take a far more active role in monitoring HNP performance. CivPol officers should closely
monitor HNP human rights practices, report abusive HNP conduct to the Office of the Inspector General and the
Haitian courts, and provide remedial training to HNP agents and officers where needed.

(2) CivPol should continue HNP field training and technical assistance to HNP leaders, particularly the director
general and inspector general.

(3) Donor countries should continue coordinated bilateral assistance to the HNP. International donors should provide
needed equipment to the HNP, including command and control resources such as radio communications and vehicles
(including motorbikes, bicycles, horses, and cars), basic office supplies, crowd control equipment, and lethal force
alternatives. They also should consider supplying forensic training and equipment to the criminal investigation unit
and defensive equipment, such as bulletproof vests, for police protection.


II. HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES COMMITTED BY THE HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE

The Haitian National Police have committed serious abuses since their initial deployment in July 1995, including
extrajudicial executions and beatings during arrests and interrogations. Police agents, both in the regular HNP
service and in special units, killed at least forty-six civilians and wounded at least fifty more between July 1995 and
November 1996.' Most of these killings have occurred in the Port-au-Prince area. On March 6, 1996, in the Port-au-
Prince shantytown of Cit6 Soleil, the HNP summarily killed at least six men. Police killed five people in another
incident on November 4, 1996, in Port-au-Prince, two of whom may have been extrajudicially executed.

Some HNP agents and officers have demonstrated an alarming tendency to adopt the abusive practices of Haiti's
past security forces. Yet these abuses did not appear to be systematically ordered by police authorities. Police
violence reflects insufficient training, inadequate leadership, inexperience, and lack of equipment. In some cases,
deadly force appears to have been used in legitimate self-defense. The following discussion provides an illustrative
but not comprehensive account of human rights abuses committed by Haiti's new national police force.

Summary Executions and Attempted Murders
HNP agents deliberately executed at least fifteen civilians in shooting and beating incidents. In several other
instances, victims survived apparent police attempts to kill them.

Cit6 Soleil, a Port-au-Prince slum with a population of about 300,000, has been the scene of about 25 percent
of the documented killings by police agents. The most egregious abuses occurred on March 6, 1996, when the HNP
committed at least six summary executions, as well as attempted summary executions and other acts of police
brutality. At this writing, the police had not released any results of their investigation of this incident. The Haitian
courts have not prosecuted a single police agent or officer for participation in the March 6 abuses.

Police violence in the area began on March 4, 1996, when the HNP responded to a demonstration at the National
Port Authority (Autorit6 Portuaire Nationale, APN) in Port-au-Prince. One of the demonstrators, Eliphete Monval,
reportedly was shot and killed during the demonstration by an HNP agent after he slapped the agent. Members of


Telephone interview with MICIVIH staff, Port-au-Prince, November 20, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA





the HNP's Ministerial Security Corps (Corps de Securit6 Ministerielle, CSM) arrested nine demonstrators and took
them to CSM's headquarters at the former military airport.2 Only eight detainees were transferred later to the
P6tionville police station. The corpse of the ninth detainee, Jimmy Poteau, was found on March 5 near the National
Theatre at Portail Leogane with a bullet hole in his chest, the apparent victim of an extrajudicial execution.3

On the morning of March 6, when local residents found out that Jimmy Poteau had died after being detained at
CSM headquarters, a crowd gathered to protest and to demand the release of the other eight detainees. The crowd
erected barricades across Route Nationale Numero I and, according to MICIVIH, used a broken bottle to attack a
police officer who was passing by. At least one emergency call went out on police radios, from an undetermined
source.

Several uniformed and plainclothes police units responded, including agents from the Delmas, Port-au-Prince,
and P6tionville police stations and some one hundred members of the Ministerial Security Corps. Several hours of
pandemonium ensued, with minimal coordination between police units. Police reportedly roared through the streets
in pickups, firing weapons as terrified residents fled for cover.4 Shooting victims and other witnesses stated that
many police were searching for members of a purported "Red Army" (Arm6e Rouge).5 Witnesses and shooting
victims implicated police in numerous incidents that left at least ten dead and more than fifteen wounded by gunfire
or beatings.

* Police agents reportedly seized Frenel Louis from his home and killed him. His sister stated that police entered
the neighborhood in several vehicles and conducted house-to-house searches, forcing residents to lie on their
floors. She and her children were forced onto the floor of her patio, from which she could see her brother's
home. She watched as police entered his home, then took her brother outside and shot him twice. When the
police left the area, she ran into the street, where a man helped her lift her brother into a wheelbarrow. She
carried him about one hundred meters and then ran home to get a pillow for his head. When she returned,
witnesses told her that the police had reappeared and, noting that her brother was still alive, shot him twice in
the head. She said, "They destroyed his head, his face was gone."6

* Walson Marco was killed in the Cit6 Boston area of Cit6 Soleil. He was part of a youth group protesting the
death of Jimmy Poteau. His sister stated that she discovered his body with two bullet holes in his chest, and
wounds in his head, arm, and foot. She spoke to a witness who reportedly saw a police woman fire a first shot
into Marco's foot, after which two male agents shot him in the body and head. Marco's sister left the area briefly





2 The CSM is a police unit charged with providing security for government offices. The CSM comprises officers from
the IPSF and former refugees recruited at the U.S. military's Guantanamo naval base. Neither group received the four-month
police academy training.

3 Interview with Mark van Wynsberghe, MICIVIH police expert, Port-au-Prince, June 21, 1996. MICIVIH presented
written requests for further investigation of this case to the HNP director general on May 13, 1996. To our knowledge, the HNP
has not issued any public report on this case to date.

4 Interviews with shooting victims and witnesses, Cit6 Soleil, June 13, 1996.

5 HNP Director General Pierre Deniz6 suggested that the Red Army might exist only to incite violence in Cite Soleil.
Interview with Pierre Denizd, Port-au-Prince, June 20, 1996. Some Cite Soleil residents questioned whether such a group existed.
Interviews with Cite Soleil residents, June 13, 16, and 22, 1996.

6 Interview with Livita Conscaient, Cite Soleil, June 16, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997. Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






to get a vehicle to pick up her brother's body. She said that when she returned, she saw police in the area and
ten or eleven other corpses in the street, including one she recognized one as a man named "Salomon."7

* Twenty-year-old "Marcus" alleged that on March 6 police beat him and attempted to kill him in an area of Cit6
Soleil known as Cit6 Norway. He stated that the police came to his home at about 11:00 a.m., asked him to come
outside, and then fired a shot into the house, almost hitting a resident. Outside, he saw heavily armed, uniformed
police in two vehicles, holding holding two other young men from his neighborhood. The police reportedly
asked him about the Red Army, but he said that he did not know of such a group. He alleged that the police beat
him and the two detainees. The police then pointed their weapons at him, told him to run, and shot him in the
hip. He said: "They came towards me when I fell, and I think they wanted to kill me, but I got up and started
to run. I was on one side of the canal and then they shot at me from the other side of the canal." He fled into
nearby alleys and later sought medical attention.8 His chest was deeply scarred and there was a bullet wound
on his hip.

The HNP has attempted and committed other extrajudicial executions since the force's establishment:

* On December 11, 1995, an off-duty HNP agent traveling on a public bus disputed the fare and shot the driver,
wounding him seriously. The agent reportedly was arrested for attempted murder, but then released on January
10, 1996, when he reached an out-of-court settlement in a civil suit paying the victim compensation.9

* On January 17, 1996, for reasons which remain unclear, an HNP agent reportedly shot Wilson Pierre, a thirty-
five-year-old employee of the Delmas city hall, at close range through the back. Pierre, a resident of Cit6 Soleil,
stated that he was listening to music on earphones as he walked to a community water tank. He stated:

When I was hit, I dropped my tape player. At the same time, a policeman grabbed my back. The agent
ordered me to pick up my radio but I couldn't. I was doubled over with pain from being shot. As I tried to
lean over, I looked over my shoulder and I saw his face and then he ran. He had on the police uniform with
a bulletproof vest. He was very close to me when he shot me.'0

* HNP agents beat one detainee to death and attempted to kill three others held in the Carrefour police station on
the night of June 6 to 7, 1996. In August 1996, the HNP inspector general's office took disciplinary action
against HNP agents Rony Dupuis and Marc-Andr6 Elien. On October 11, 1996, Dupuis, Elien, and a third agent,
Junior Auriel, were fired and their cases forwarded to the judicial authorities. They were jailed pending trial."


7 Interview with Walson Marco's sister, Citd Soleil, June 22, 1996. Marco was married and had a one-month-old son,
Macosin.

8 Interview with Cite Soleil resident "Marcus" (name withheld by request), Cit6 Soleil, June 22. 1996. Marcus stated
that he left the hospital (L'H6pital St. Frangois de Salles) after only one day because he was told by a doctor that police officers
had been looking for victims and that he might have been at risk of further violence.

9 Interview with Colin Granderson, MICIVIH Chief of Mission, Port-au-Prince, June 21, 1996. MICIVIH, La Police
National d'HaYti et les Droits de I'Homme, (Port-au-Prince: United Nations/Organization of American States, July 1996), p. 16.

10 Interview with Wilson Pierre, Cite Soleil, June 22, 1996. Neighbors told him that police officers reportedly returned
to the shooting site with a plastic bag for his body. At the time of our interview, he was severely scarred from the initial wound
and from two subsequent operations. Pierre provided a medical certificate dated March 26, 1996, from the Hospital of the State
University of Haiti signed by Dr. Geissly Kernisan, verifying the injuries he reported.

Police Nationale d'Haiti, Inspection Generale, press release, July 6, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997. Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






* Between June 20 and 24, 1996, police killed four detainees at the police station in Croix-des-Bouquets, a town
near Port-au-Prince. HNP agents tortured Moise Frangois to death and severely beat Fedner Descollines and then
threw him in a latrine, where he was later found dead. Two other detainees were also killed, one shot to death.
The HNP inspector general's office issued a public statement acknowledging police responsibility for the deaths
and announcing an investigation of eighteen officers for their possible participation.12 According to the inspector
general, two agents were fired and are in jail pending trial at this writing.13

In December 1996, the HNP director, Pierre Deniz6, ordered the arrest of Eddy Arbouet, reportedly an unofficial
member of the presidential security unit and a former U.S. soldier, as a suspect in the killings of two opposition
politicians on August 20, 1996."4 Pastor Antoine Leroy and Jacques Florival were, respectively, a leader and
member of the Mobilization for National Development (Mobilisation pour le D6veloppement National).
Deniz6's call for Arbouet's arrest followed U.S. accusations that the presidential guard was responsible for the
killings. The leader of the unit, the second in command, and seven additional members also were implicated in
the killing."

The HNP killed five men on November 4, 1996.16 One of the dead was found handcuffed while another had been
shot at close range in the head, raising concerns that the HNP may have extrajudicially executed two of the five
men. Police claimed that the killings occurred in a "shoot-out" between HNP agents and individuals in a pickup
containing weapons. Yet no HNP agent was wounded in the incident and only one vehicle suffered minor damage
from one bullet. The incident began when an HNP patrol car attempted to stop a vehicle on the evening of
November 4. The pickup truck fled on Route Delmas, a major Port-au-Prince road, as HNP pursued and radioed
for backup. Other HNP vehicles cut off the truck, bringing a total of up to fifty police to the scene. The HNP
claim that the men in the truck, at least one of whom reportedly was wearing an HNP uniform, opened fire and
that police returned fire, killing five of the suspects."7 Police allege that seven others, including two wounded,
escaped. The HNP seized a significant number of weapons from the pickup truck, reportedly including
ammunition for automatic weapons and mortars. At this writing, the police had not released public information
identifying the dead and wounded, nor had the HNP announced the opening of an investigation into the incident.






12 Ibid.

"3 Interview with HNP Inspector General Luc Eucher Joseph, Port-au-Prince, September 17, 1996.

'4 "Presidential bodyguard sought in assassinations," Miami Herald, December 21, 1996. A U.S. official confirmed
that Arbouet was suspected of killing Leroy and Florival. The source identified Arbouet as an unofficial member (attache) of
the Presidential Guard. Interview with U.S. official (name withheld by request), January 7, 1997.

's Interview with U.S. official (name withheld by request), January 7, 1997.
16 "Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission of Support in Hait," (New York: United Nations,
November 12, 1996), S/1996/813/Add.1, para. 3. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, FBIS-lat-96-218, November 5, 1996.
Telephone interviews with journalists and U.N. and OAS observers in Haiti, November 14, 19, and 20, 1996.

"7 The U.N. reported that all five of the dead were wearing police uniforms. "Report of the Secretary-General on the
United Nations Support Mission in Haiti," S/1996/813/Add.l, para. 3. The HNP has not alleged that any of the dead were
members of the police force. Reportedly, at least one of the dead was a member of a private security agency. Telephone
interviews with journalists, November 19, 1996.


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA





* On the night of November 11, 1996 in Anse A Galets on the island of La Gonave, HNP agents shot and killed
Venerable Setil Christel. Christel was killed while police were conducting an illegal arrest of another individual.
The arrest was illegal under Haitian law since it occurred after 6:00 p.m."

Excessive Use of Force Resulting in Death or Serious Injury
HNP agents have used their weapons in circumstances where lethal force was unjustified or disproportionate,
particularly in crowd control situations where stray bullets pose an obvious danger. Police also committed several
killings with an excessive use of force while carrying out arrests or searches. Police used excessive force in the
following cases:

* An HNP agent killed a seven-year-old school girl, Vania Termidor, in Cit6 Soleil on November 25, 1995.
Witnesses reported that an agent on a motorcycle motioned for a nearby vehicle to stop, but the driver did not
do so. As the girl and her twelve-year-old uncle passed nearby, the policeman reportedly drew his gun and fired
the weapon, hitting the girl in the back of the head. Witnesses alleged that the agent then turned to the fallen
child, kicked her in the head, and called her "garbage.""9 With an angry crowd gathering, the HNP agent
allegedly climbed on his motorcycle and sped away while firing his weapon in the air. Following this incident,
a crowd ransacked the Cit6 Soleil police station. The HNP inspector general said he could not find the file from
his predecessor's investigation of this case, but he had not reopened an investigation as of June 1996.20

* On January 16, 1996, a group of workers went to the Haitian-American Sugar Company (HASCO) in Port-au-
Prince to demand their paychecks. HASCO security guards fired at the crowd and called the police for
assistance. A large contingent of HNP agents arrived and attempted to disperse the crowd, which refused to
leave. Police fired on the crowd and killed twenty-four-year-old Martha Jean-Charles and a six-month-old baby.
Two police agents were wounded in the incident.2'

* In January 1996, a crowd protesting electricity shortages barricaded the Route Nationale Numdro I at L'Estere,
a town near Gona'ives, blocking the road for three days. Local HNP monitored the demonstration without
incident for two days, but on January 10, the arrival of a police unit from Gonalves apparently sparked a conflict.
Reportedly, members of the GonaYves unit began firing their weapons in response to rock-throwing
demonstrators. The police shot and killed a nine-year-old girl, Eva Pierre, with a stray bullet, and wounded two
other protesters.22 Members of the local HNP unit reportedly identified the GonaYves agents who were
responsible for the incident. The L'Estere justice of the peace arrested these police agents, who were held
overnight in the Gona'fvesjail. Fellow HNP agents released the detainees the next morning. We are not aware
of any further investigation or disciplinary action in this case.




18 The Haitian Constitution prohibits arrests between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in cases offlagrant ddlit. Article 24-3,
Haitian Constitution (Constitution de la Rdpublique d'HaTti, 1987). Telephone interview with international observers, November
20, 1996. FBIS-lat-96-22 1, November 12, 1996. "Angry Mob Attacks Police in Haiti," The Miami Herald, November 13, 1996.

19 Interviews with witnesses, Cite Soleil, June 16, 1996. An abrasion on the child's forehead, where the officer
reportedly kicked her, was visible in a photograph of her open casket.

20 Interview with Inspector General Joseph, Port-au-Prince, June 20, 1996.

21 Interview with witnesses, Cit6 Soleil, March 12 and 15, 1996. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, FBIS-lat-96-
103, January 19, 1996.
:2 Commission Justice et Paix, Dioc6se des Gona'ves, report number GO/96-1, January 11, 1996. Interview with Father
Daniel Roussiere, Gonai'ves Justice and Peace Commission, GonaYves, May 17, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





* On February 21, 1996, several armed HNP agents accompanied by local residents, many of whom carried rocks
and ropes, entered Quai Brillant in the area of Grande Riviere du Nord in the northern department. The police
apparently were responding to a political dispute between local authorities and an opposition community
organization. HNP agent Ernst Gargon shot Wilfred Cherfils through the left thigh, Marcelus Roland in the knee,
and twelve-year-old Wilner Joseph in the back of the leg. Another agent, Nonez Frangois, used his rifle to beat
Wesley Deshommes in the mid-section and testicles.23 HNP agent Gargon allegedly impeded bystanders from
assisting the wounded. Shooting victims stated that they were too frightened of local authorities to make a
complaint.24

* In Port-au-Prince on February 27, 1996, police broke up a demonstration of schoolchildren, some reportedly as
young as ten years old, using truncheons and firing into the air.25 One child was reportedly injured in the hand
by a bullet.

* On March 2, 1996, in Carrefour, a municipality bordering Port-au-Prince, police killed an unidentified individual
after several youths seriously wounded an HNP agent at the Carrefour Reception Center (Centre d'Acceuil). The
reception center was said to be the hang-out of an armed gang. When police reinforcements arrived, they opened
fire, killing an individual they claimed was trying to escape over a wall. However, blood traces found at the site
indicated that the victim was killed in an interior corridor.26

The HNP repeatedly employed excessive force during the March 6 disturbances in Cite Soleil, as the following
cases show.

* A forty-five-year-old photographer, Christol Bruno, alleged that the.HNP shot him through the closed door of
his home in the Deuxieme Cit6 of Cit6 Soleil on March 6, 1996. He stated that around noon, four white police
pickups arrived in his neighborhood, with about five uniformed agents in each, most armed with .38 revolvers
or twelve-gauge shotguns. He watched as HNP agents fired on four-demonstrators building a barricade and then
went to his home. Shortly afterwards, police tried to open his locked door. Moments later, he heard a loud noise
and realized that he had been shot in the chin. Opening his door, he saw uniformed, armed police officers outside
who reportedly apologized for shooting him and blamed "vagabonds" for creating a disturbance.27 The police
and UNMIH troops took him to a hospital but did not pay for his treatment. The bullet remains visible in
Bruno's chin.

* Maxim Destin, a twenty-year-old student, was walking from his home in Cit6 Soleil Nine to a public toilet at
about noon on March 6, 1996, when he saw a white, four-door police pickup truck carrying at least eight armed,




23 The Grande Riviere du Nord's national representative, Vice Delegate (Vice Delegud) Fego Damus, also put a revolver
in Deshommes's ear. HNP agent Frangois beat Jean-Marie Alexandre the same day (see below, at Torture and Beatings During
Arrest Detention, and Interrogation). Frangois also reportedly took part in an armed intimidation the previous day, threatening
Hugues Victor Cadet. Interviews with Hugues Victor Cadet, Wilner Joseph, Marcelus Roland, Wesley Deshommes, and Jean-
Marie Alexandre, Grande Rivi&re du Nord, May 18, 1996.

24 The mayor of Grande Riviere, Patrick Fanfan, denied that any shooting incident had taken place. Interview with
Patrick Fanfan, Grande Riviere du Nord, May 18, 1996.

25 Plate-Forme des Organisations des Droits de l'Homme, press release, February 29, 1996.

6 MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, p. 17.

27 Interview with Christol Bruno, Port-au-Prince, June 13, 1996.


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






uniformed police agents, some with rifles. He alleged that the police fired from the moving vehicle as they
passed, wounding him in the hip. He reportedly saw police shoot another man in the leg.28

* Nineteen-year-old "Victor" of the Cit6 Boston sector of Cite Soleil, was returning from school at about 3:00 p.m.
on March 6, 1996, when he saw three police agents. He stated that one was in uniform and two in plainclothes
and that each carried a handgun and a heavier weapon. They stopped him, pointed their guns at him, and asked
if he was in the Red Army. He stated that he was too frightened to speak and began to run. The police agents
allegedly shot him in the buttocks as he ran.29

* On March 10, 1996, Lescelie Jean-Baptiste was shot and wounded by an HNP agent in the Marchd Premier Cit6
in Cit6 Soleil. Jean-Baptiste, a fifty-two-year-old market vendor, had gone to sell fruits and vegetables in the
early afternoon. Seven or eight police agents with their weapons drawn reportedly entered the narrow, crowded
market looking for a suspect. One agent fired, wounding Jean-Baptiste in the upper arm. She stated that the
police took her to the General Hospital, but did not assist with the cost of her treatment.30

* On July 3, 1996, in Mandou, near Anse d'Hainault in the Grande Anse department, HNP agent Calixte Saint-
Clermont shot and wounded Mercilia Dorius in the groin. HNP authorities arrested Saint-Clermont and the
inspector general's office issued a public statement regarding the case on July 5.31 On September 30, the
inspector general announced that he had fired Saint-Clermont and forwarded his case to judicial authorities.32

Torture and Beatings During Arrest, Detention, and Interrogation
Haitian National Police leadership and individual officers acknowledged a growing practice of beatings during
interrogation, resulting in the deaths (detailed above) of at least five detainees in June 1996.33 MICIVIH also
documented an alarming increase in the abuse of detainees, with eighty-six cases reported in the first five months
in 1996, thirty-five of which occurred in Port-au-Prince.34 HNP agents treated individuals with excessive force
during arrest and beat them in police lock-ups. Many individuals alleged that, during interrogations, police punched
and kicked them or hit them with pistol butts, stun-guns, batons, or plastic piping. MICIVIH also received several
complaints that police at the central Port-au-Prince station shocked detainees with electric currents. Police apparently
targeted "individuals suspected of being members of armed gangs, of having killed police officers, or of having
participated in armed robberies."35 MICIVIH reported that the detainees' complaints of abuse in Port-au-Prince





:8 Interview with Cite Soleil resident (name withheld by request), Port-au-Prince, June 13, 1996. The victim said that
some of the police wore bullet-proof vests and black hats with "Security" written in white.

29 Interview with Cite Soleil resident "Victor" (name withheld by request), Cite Soleil, June 22, 1996.

30 Interviews with Lescelie Jean-Baptiste and husband Gerangon Vitalio, Cite Soleil, June 22, 1996.

31 Police Nationale d'Haiti, Inspection Generale, press release, July 5, 1996, and MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, p. 15.

2 Police Nationale d'Haiti, Inspection Generale, press release, September 30, 1996.

3 Interviews with HNP Director General Deniz6 and Inspector General Joseph. Interviews with HNP agents and
officers, Port-au-Prince, June 1996.

34 MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, p. 21.

35 MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, p. 22.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 1~9I, Vol.9, No. I (H)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)





declined in the second half of 1996, but the human rights mission did receive complaints from some detainees,
including former soldiers, alleging that police had threatened and beaten them as they were arrested or interrogated.36

In a troubling response, the commanding officer of the Jacmel police station, Inspector Jean-Gabriel Frangois,
said that beating prisoners was a necessary police practice since "these people are criminals.""37 Serious beating and
torture cases have been documented in the region under Frangois's command. His view echoed those of some police
in Port-au-Prince, who justified beatings in cases where detainees had been carrying weapons or were "known" to
be armed and violent robbers.38

In addition to the beating deaths detailed above, HNP are responsible for the following cases of beatings and
torture:

On February 21, 1996, a group of HNP agents and armed civilians arrested Jean-Marie Alexandre in his home
in Grande Riviere du Nord. HNP agent Nonez Frangois and other HNP agents allegedly beat Alexandre in the
police station, injuring his right eye and left shoulder. The police held him for three days, two of which he spent
handcuffed, and did not permit him to receive prompt medical attention.39

HNP agents allegedly arrested Jean Pierre Santilus without a warrant on March 19, 1996, accused him of theft,
and held him at the Jacmel police station. For five consecutive days, three agents allegedly beat Santilus on the
chest, back, and buttocks during interrogation sessions. His complaint to the local investigating judge did not
result in any action against the HNP agents.40

Another detainee in the Jacmel prison, Paul Wilfrid Bonet, also alleged that HNP agents arrested him without
a warrant on March 19, 1996, and then beat him at the police station. Several agents reportedly made him lie
down, handcuffed him, and watched while three other HNP agents beat him on the face and chest. He
complained to the local investigating judge, who allegedly spoke to the accused police officers and then dropped
the case.41

* On June 10, 1996, HNP agents acting without arrest warrants detained and tortured several residents of Bainet,
in the region of Jacmel, including Renald Brutus, Daniel Coreau, and Joyeux L'Homme Li6vre.42 Although the
police lacked a search warrant, they searched Brutus's home for drugs, which they did not find. Once at the local



36 "The Situation of Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti: Report of the Secretary-General" (New York: United
Nations, December 2, 1996), A/51/703, para. 11. Lucien Rigaud alleged that the HNP agents who arrested him stepped on his
neck after they had handcuffed him. None of the former soldiers we interviewed alleged police beatings, but some said that the
HNP had arrested them without warrants. Interviews with former soldiers and others held for crimes against the security of the
state in the Port-au-Prince central police station, Port-au-Prince, June 19, 1996.

7 Interview with Jean-Gabriel Franqois, Jacmel, June 14, 1996.

38 Interviews with HNP agents and officers, Port-au-Prince, June 18 and 19, 1996.

9 Interview with Jean-Marie Alexandre, Grande Rivi&re du Nord, May 18, 1996.

4o Interview with Jean Pierre Santilus, Jacmel, June 14, 1996.

41 Interview with Paul Wilfred Bonet, Jacmel, June 14, 1996.

42 HNP agents also arrested individuals known as Ti Aline, Mirlande, Baboute, and Miguel Samedy without warrants.
MICIVIH interviews with Renald Brutus, Pierre Brutus, and others, Jacmel, June 14, 1996.


HKW/Americas, NCHR & WULA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1(B)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






police station, Brutus allegedly was kicked and beaten with a stick on the head, legs, buttocks, arms, and back.
According to the victim, an HNP agent named Alexandre and Alexandre's brother, who was not an agent, joined
in the attack. On of the assailants fired a gun next to Brutus's ear and left him tied to a tree in the sun for over
an hour. The HNP agents continued the beating despite one agent's protests. Brutus and other detainees
allegedly also witnessed police beating Coreau and Li6vre, who had been arrested earlier.

When Renald Brutus's sixty-year-old father, Pierre Brutus, went to visit his son at the police station on June 10,
the HNP also arrested him. The ranking HNP agent in Bainet, Guenel Joseph, along with three other agents,
reportedly beat Pierre Brutus with a stick on the back and legs and then handcuffed him to a ladder, leaving him
hanging for over half an hour. The police beat and interrogated Renald and Pierre Brutus again the next day. The
police allegedly put guns in the mouths of two other detainees and urged them to make statements implicating Renald
Brutus in drug trafficking. On June 12, 1996, CivPol officers arrived in Bainet and transported Renald Brutus,
Coreau, and Li6vre to Jacmel. HNP agent Guenol Joseph reportedly threatened to kill Brutus if he told CivPol about
the beatings. Joseph later denied beating prisoners but admitted that no drugs were found in the house search and
said that the HNP had "invited" the detainees to come to the police station to give statements.43

Genet Pierre alleged that a group of HNP agents beat him on a public bus between Jacmel and Port-au-Prince
on June 4, 1996. Pierre stated that he was bringing medicine to a family member in the capital when the
substance spilled on the bus and emitted a strong odor. He reported that about eight out-of-uniform police agents
became angry at the smell and began beating him with their hands, batons, and revolvers. The police then
allegedly searched his bag, seized a cap gun he had bought for his nephew, arrested him, and brought him to the
Jacmel police station. Later, CivPol officers reportedly took him to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.44

Additional Police Misconduct and Lack of Transparency in Police Operations
Police have conducted warrantless searches, particularly in the context of disarmament efforts, and carried out
search and arrest operations between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., contravening a constitutional prohibition on such
actions during those hours.45 Some police carry rifles, Uzis, Galils, Ml6s, and other automatic weapons in violation
of a Haitian law limiting police to side-arms. The police apparently obtained these heavier weapons from the IPSF
or in disarmament searches. The police leadership has presented a bill to parliament that would permit special police
units, such as an Anti-Gang or Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, to carry heavier weapons in specific
circumstances. The Haitian Parliament had taken no action on this bill as of this writing.

During the first year of their deployment, HNP agents frequently failed to wear their uniforms and identification
tags, and almost no police cars were clearly marked or bore police license plates.46 Some police vehicles also had
tinted windows, hampering identification of police agents. Greater transparency would enhance police
accountability.

The HNP has improved police transparency, at least in the Port-au-Prince area, where most police cars are
marked and HNP agents usually wear their uniforms. Nonetheless, the current HNP identification badge is difficult


41 Ibid. When CivPol brought the detainees to the Jacmel prison, officials there refused to accept Renald Brutus, because
of his poor physical condition. Prison authorities had him taken to the hospital. Dr. Michel Tozin, the director of the St. Michel
Hospital, examined the detainees and determined that Brutus's injuries had been caused by beatings with a stick.

44 Interview with Genet Pierre, Jacmel, June 14, 1996.

45 Article 24-3 (d), Haitian Constitution (1987). An exception is made for cases offlagrant ddlit. Interviews with
former soldiers and others held in the Port-au-Prince central police station, Port-au-Prince, June 19, 1996.
46 Some police were issued only one uniform and wear civilian clothes while they do their laundry.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA





to read, making it harder to identify and hold individual agents accountable for abuses. The proliferation of false
National Intelligence Service (Service d'Intelligence Nationale, SIN, a disbanded intelligence unit formerly under
the Interior Ministry known for serious human rights abuses) badges, highlighted the potential for abuse of police
identification cards.

Killings of Police Officers
Between March and August 1996, unknown attackers killed eight police officers; two other agents died in
apparent confrontations with fellow HNP agents. There were marked similarities in the eight killings: all of the
officers were killed in Port-au-Prince, while off duty and in civilian clothes. In the majority of the cases, the victims
were traveling between work and home when attacked. In addition to the killings, senior police and security officials,
including the Justice Ministry's Secretary of State for Security Robert Manuel, HNP Director General Denizd, and
HNP Inspector General Joseph have received repeated death threats.

The first HNP agent killed was Marie Christine Jeune, who reportedly was raped, shot, and then strangled in
March 1996. Her body was found on March 19. She had participated in a highly publicized January 19, 1996
meeting between the police and individuals identifying themselves as the "Red Army" in Cit6 Soleil. President
Aristide moderated the meeting, in which Jeune publicly criticized the effort to negotiate with armed bands.

HNP agent Bismarc Milcent was shot dead with a .38 caliber pistol in a tap-tap (public bus) on his way to work
on April 27. He recently had been transferred to Port-au-Prince from St. Marc, a port town to the north, where he
had taken part in a drug raid leading to the arrest of two SIN members.

While the murders of Jeune and Milcent may have been related to their work, the precise motives in other cases
have not been identified. On April 28, Philistin D6sir, who was stationed at Carrefour, near Port-au-Prince, was
killed with a .38 caliber pistol while waiting for a tap-tap in the Bolosse district of Port-au-Prince. Several days later,
on May 2, four individuals shot and killed Jean Leonard Conseillant, who was stationed at P6tionville, while he was
walking in Bolosse. Berthony Chary was killed on May 15 in the Cit6 Boston area of Cit6 Soleil. Stationed at
Desdunes in the Artibonite Valley, he was traveling home to Port-au-Prince with his brother, who was also a
policeman. Both men were attacked as they got off a bus. Berthony Ch6ry's brother shot and wounded one of the
assailants. On May 27, shortly after asking whether D6sir Valcourt was a policeman, a fellow passenger on a tap-tap
shot and killed him. Valcourt had been stationed at Delmas 33. Jean-Victor Serrat, a member of the CSM, was killed
as he was getting off a tap-tap in the Bourdon district of Port-au-Prince on June 18. Garry Lazare was killed on
August 12 in Croix-des-Bouquets, a town just outside Port-au-Prince, as he was driving to work. Another policeman
in the car was wounded.

In addition to these killings by unknown gunmen, two policemen have been killed by other policemen. Two HNP
agents killed Germain Chilare, a member of the CSM, on June 6, 1996. Chilare allegedly had drawn his gun on a
civilian and failed to drop it or identify himself as a police agent when confronted by the two HNP, who then opened
fire. Serge Achille, a member of the Anti-Gang Unit based in downtown Port-au-Prince, was killed on July 1, 1996,
reportedly by an HNP agent.

In response to the murders of police agents, the HNP and CivPol organized a joint investigative task force. The
HNP also offered a reward of 30,000 gourdes (about US$2,000) for information leading to arrests. The task force
has made little progress.

Several theories have been advanced to explain the killings. Police officers and others believe that some were
assassinations by gangs and drug traffickers to avenge effective police work. Another theory attributes some of the
killings to factional rivalries within the force. Observers note that there have been repeated incidents and non-lethal
confrontations between academy-trained HNP and former military from the IPSF, as well as with agents from the
now-disbanded SIN and police officers trained in Regina, Canada. Furthermore, investigations by the joint task force


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






have been hampered by a "parallel investigation" being conducted by the Anti-Gang Unit of the HNP (composed
entirely of former members of the military). According to the CivPol officer coordinating the task force in June
1996, the Anti-Gang Unit obtained evidence and interviewed witnesses prior to the task force, and prohibited task
force access to these materials and witnesses.47

President Preval denounced the killings as an attempt to destabilize democracy in Haiti, an attitude that was
shared by many among the Haitian public, U.N. officials, and government officials, including senior police
commanders. HNP Director General Deniz6 believed there was a concerted campaign by anti-democratic elements
to prevent the professionalization of the police and create animosity between the police and the public.48

Many Haitians questioned the HNP's ability to maintain security if the police themselves were the targets of
attacks. Following the killings, police agents openly expressed concern for their own safety, particularly when they
were off duty and commuting to work. Unfortunately, HNP ill-treatment of detainees markedly increased following
the first police killings, with suspects in police killings and armed gang members the prime targets. Police justified
these abuses by referring to the killings. The police also invoked violence against the force as demonstrating a need
for HNP authorization to carry heavier weapons.


III. INVESTIGATIONS OF POLICE ABUSE AND DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

Haitian authorities have moved to curb police abuse on several fronts. The government and police authorities
are implementing accountability mechanisms set out in the 1987 constitution, the police law, and the police
disciplinary and ethics codes. This is nothing short of revolutionary in Haiti, a country where military and police
forces have long enjoyed virtually complete impunity. Nonetheless, the government still needs to strengthen laws
regulating police behavior and internal police disciplinary measures, which have improved significantly since the
appointment of new police leadership in March 1996. Furthermore, Haitian courts have initiated only a handful of
criminal investigations of police officers, none of which have resulted in convictions.

Before leaving office, the Aristide government took steps to confront growing public concern over police
conduct. The Justice Ministry printed thousands of copies of the legal guidelines on use of force to be distributed
to all members of the HNP on October 9, 1995. At the January 20, 1996 graduation of Class 8 from the police
academy, then-Prime Minister Claudette Werleigh, then-Justice Minister Rene Magloire, and then-acting Director
General of Police Fourel Celestin, all condemned police abuse, stating that the government would not tolerate such
incidents in the force. The Haitian Parliament has energetically executed its oversight role. The Haitian Senate has
reviewed appointments to director general of the HNP, rejecting Fourel Celestin, a former army colonel, in January
1996. The Parliament also has called police and Justice Ministry officials to testify on human rights issues.

President Ren6 Prdval chairs regular meetings on police issues. Reportedly, he personally has insisted on policies
to improve accountability and provide information to the public on incidents of abuse. These positions should be
codified in police law and regulations to assure that they become standard institutional practice and do not depend
upon the inclinations of particular police and government authorities. While Pr6val demonstrated support for the
force by attending the funeral of Marie Christine Jeune, the first HNP officer killed, he also responded promptly to
allegations of police abuse. Following March 1996 allegations of a police beating and other incidents in
Ouanaminthe, he announced the formation of a special commission of inquiry. To our knowledge, the commission



*7 Interview with Benoit Bdlanger, CivPol, Port-au-Prince, June 25, 1996.

4 Interview with Deniz6, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996. This thesis was seconded by a senior CivPol official.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA





has not yet presented any public findings, nor initiated any concrete action against allegedly abusive officers.
President Preval also should focus increased attention on advancing judicial sanction of police abuse.

Channels for Presenting Internal Complaints Against the Police
Victims of police abuse may bring complaints to local, regional or national police authorities.49 Under the police
law, the HNP must inform the inspector general's office within twelve hours of any complaint of human rights abuse
in which a civilian or a police agent has been killed or gravely wounded.50

Several impediments block the effective reporting of police abuses. Many citizens are afraid to bring complaints
of police abuses to local or even departmental authorities. Yet, most Haitians lack the means to travel to Port-au-
Prince, where the office of the inspector general is located. Alternative external mechanisms must be created for
presenting complaints against the police locally. In Grande Rivi6re du Nord, the February 1996 shooting victims
said that due to possible reprisals from the police and local authorities, they had not made a complaint against the
two police agents who wounded them. They wished to present a complaint directly to the inspector general, but they
had no transportation funds to reach his Port-au-Prince office.

Haitians have reported complaints of police abuse to the international human rights mission, MICIVIH, and to
UNSMIH's CivPol. While these missions have no formal authority over the HNP, they have brought certain cases
to the attention of the inspector general, who has opened investigations. When UNSMIH departs (on July 31, 1997
under its current mandate), the Haitian public will lose an important external channel for complaints of police abuse.

Many individuals have presented complaints directly to the inspector general's office, perhaps reflecting the
preponderance of abuses committed in Port-au-Prince or a lack of confidence in local police officials. Such active
citizen engagement on police accountability issues is encouraging, but it threatens to overwhelm this national office.
In order to focus the inspector general's limited resources on the most serious issues of accountability, police
authorities should reexamine police disciplinary codes which require national-level attention to nearly half of the
codified infractions, including minor matters which could be handled more efficiently at the local level.

Moreover, the Haitian government should develop additional avenues for citizens to present complaints against
the police at the departmental level and in Port-au-Prince. President Pr6val named Louis Roy the director of the
constitutionally-mandated Office of Citizen Protection (l'Office du Protection du Citoyen, OPC, a human rights
ombudsman), but the office has yet to receive a budget or staff. The office should assist citizens seeking remedies
for all forms of abuse committed by government officials, including the police. If the government funds the OPC,
the constitution provides that it should initiate independent investigations of abuse.5'

Legal Powers of the Inspector General
The inspector general's office must ensure that HNP officers comply with police regulations and are held
accountable for human rights abuses. Article 48 of the police law states that the inspector general:

is to receive complaints and proceed with investigations of all human rights violations and any other abuse
members of the police force may be accused of; must provide a written receipt of all complaints made by


49 These authorities include the local sergeant, the police chief, the departmental director, or the inspector general.

5o Circular Regarding the Transmission to the Authorities of Reports of Serious Incidents Involving National Police
Personnel (Circulaire Relative a la Transmission aux Autoritis des Comptes Rendus d'Evdnements Graves Concernant les
Personnels de la Police Nationale), Circ-000/IGPN, November 6, 1995. The circular also states that police must notify the
inspector general of other serious abuses within twenty-four hours.
Article 207, Haitian Constitution (1987).


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






a citizen against a member of the National Police; [and should] prepare a report following investigations,
which is to be sent simultaneously to the Justice Minister and to the Director General of the National
Police.52

The police law also directs the inspector general to ensure that police regulations are followed and that police
property and finances are used appropriately. He must prepare reports with recommendations for improvements on
the regulation and functioning of the police.

The Performance of the Inspector General's Office
The Office of the Inspector General first started operations in June 1995 under the direction of attorney Luc
Eucher Joseph. Reportedly, at first Joseph hesitated to initiate investigations until he received specific instructions
from the justice minister. The U.S. Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance
Program (ICITAP) provided some technical assistance and training to the inspector general and his staff, and
observers reported improvements in their performance. In November 1995, the justice minister fired Joseph,
reportedly because he had initiated investigations into illegal searches and arrests in the disarmament effort that
followed the November killing of congressional Deputy Jean Hubert Feuill6.

Joseph's replacement, Pierre Andre Paul, set back the work of the inspector general's office. During two
interviews in January 1996, he was unwilling or unable to provide the number of cases he had under investigation,
stating that it was "around twenty." Other than two cases of accidental death, in which he stated that the HNP
dismissed the responsible agents, he provided no further information on disciplinary actions.53

In March 1996, HNP Director General Pierre Deniz6 reappointed Joseph to the position of inspector general.
Deniz6 applauded Joseph's earlier performance, noting that his previous firing had been the result of political
pressures due to the competence of Joseph's investigations. At the time that Joseph resumed his post, he found some
120 uninvestigated complaints on file.54 Joseph asserted: "Improper behavior will not be accepted. Indiscipline will
not be tolerated. The director general and I are in complete agreement on this. I don't like delinquents, either inside
or outside the police.""55

Since his reappointment, Joseph has opened numerous internal investigations of police abuses, has disciplined,
suspended, or fired officers for wrongdoing, and has forwarded cases to the criminal justice system for legal action.
In the Haitian courts, however, no police officer has been convicted of a killing and only four officers have been
convicted of police abuse, all in a single beating case. The government has not answered the public demand for
reparations for police abuses except with informal action in a few cases.

As of January 1997, Inspector General Joseph reportedly had fired seventy-seven police for serious violations
of police conduct, including human rights violations.56 In early November, the HNP publicly released a list of thirty-


52 Loi du 29 Novembre 1994 portant la Creation, Organization et Fonctionnement de la Police Nationale, Le Moniteur
No. 103, December 28, 1994. [Translation by WOLA.]

The Haiti section of the Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995 states that at the
end of 1995, the inspector general had taken twelve disciplinary actions and twenty other investigations remained pending.

54 Interview with Deniz6, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996.

Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, March 27, 1996.

56 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, November 21, 1996, at which he showed the National Coalition for Haitian
Rights a document listing police fired as of October 30, 1996. The U.N. Secretary -General reported that the HNP had fired forty


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





two HNP agents and five HNP chiefs that had been fired. At least eight of these removals were based on the agents'
or officers' commission of a human rights violation.7 The release notes that in all human rights cases, the HNP had
forwarded investigative files to the relevant prosecutor.58 At this writing, twenty-four police officers and agents faced
prosecution, and thirteen were in jail in Port-au-Prince awaiting trial on murder charges.59 As of mid-May 1996, the
inspector general had 186 cases under investigation, ranging from minor disciplinary infractions to serious human
rights violations, had suspended forty-six agents with partial or total loss of pay, and placed others in "isolation."60
At that time, the inspector's office had held 4,000 hours of hearings and interviews and closed thirty-six cases in
which individual officers were sanctioned with punishments ranging from warnings to firings.

The inspector general assigned significant resources to investigating the worst incident of police abuse to date:
the police killings and wounding on March 6, 1996, in Cit6 Soleil. However, police and Justice Ministry officials
have made little information public about the incident and disciplined few officers. The inspector general
immediately opened an investigation into the incident with assistance from CivPol and MICIVIH. Following this
investigation, HNP authorities suspended or removed Port-au-Prince area commanders Guy Michel Philippe (head
of the CSM), HNP Western Department Director Eliazar, HNP Carrefour police chief Ade, and HNP Delmas 33
police chief Lubin (his jurisdiction included Cit6 Soleil). Reportedly Deniz6 removed Lubin for his failure to control
the police under his command, rather than for the killings per se.6 In September 1996, Inspector General Joseph said
that he had forwarded the final report on the Cit6 Soleil violence to Justice Minister Max Antoine.62 However, as
of this writing, neither the report nor any of its recommendations has been made public. We are not aware of any
further disciplinary or criminal action in these cases. The HNP has not clarified whether the responsible commanders
ultimately were fired or faced prosecution, or if they might have resumed duties at another police post.

At the local level, police investigations are often inadequate. Local HNP authorities tend to justify police
behavior rather than investigate complaints. In the case of a beating in Port-de-Paix, the police investigation
concluded that the accused HNP were innocent, although the judicial authorities sentenced some to pay a fine or
spend several days in prison.63 In other cases, local police authorities have taken disciplinary measures beyond their
authority and without informing the inspector general's office, in an effort to calm local feelings.

Despite the inspector general's investigations and disciplinary actions, the HNP still must overcome significant
problems impeding accountability for police abuse. Many Haitians fear reprisals if they present complaints of police


agents by the end of October. "The Situation of Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti: Report of the Secretary-General" (New
York: United Nations, December 2, 1996), A/51/703, para. 26. The HNP fired twenty-two agents in December 1996: four for
drug possession, eight for theft, eight for corruption, and two for disciplinary reasons. At this writing, we were not aware that
any of these cases had been referred to the courts for possible criminal prosecution. Interview with HNP official (name withheld
by request), Port-au-Prince, January 1997.

"7 Police Nationale d'Haiti, Inspection G6ndrale, press release, November 7, 1996.

58 Ibid.

59 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, November 21, 1996.

6o The HNP isolates police by detaining them at a police station (other than the one to which they are assigned),
removing their weapons and identification, and limiting visitors.

61 Interview with van Wynsberghe, MICIVIH, Port-au-Prince, April 2, 1996.

62 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, September 17, 1996.

63 MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, p. 35.


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






abuses. "Victor," shot in Cite Soleil on March 6, 1996, said: "I did not bring a complaint against them. It can't be
done. If I did, they could just shoot me or follow me. I was too scared to go to the hospital because I had heard they
shot someone there."64 Other victims of the Cit6 Soleil incident also told us that they were afraid to file a complaint
against the police. The inspector general's increasingly aggressive action and public announcements of actions taken
against abusive officers should help improve public confidence. Broader educational campaigns about the police
also are needed to improve public understanding of duties and of mechanisms for bringing complaints against abusive
police. Improving community-police relations, especially through effective community policing, may also diminish
victims' fear of reporting police abuses. The inspector general should make clear that he will severely punish any
retaliation against victims of or witnesses to police abuse.

Inspector General Joseph pointed to the unwillingness of witnesses to talk for fear of being identified and facing
reprisals as considerable obstacles to investigations. He also noted the difficulty of overcoming the "code of silence"
when police officers refuse to provide information about abuses by their colleagues.

HNP agents have in some cases obstructed victims' efforts to bring complaints. Lescelie Jean-Baptiste was shot
on March 10, 1996. Her husband said:

I went to the police station and they said it wasn't police from Cit6 Soleil who were responsible, but I
recognized three of the agents. When I asked for their names, they wouldn't tell me, they turned over their
identification badges so I couldn't see their names. I went to the police headquarters a few times to meet
with the inspector general but they never gave me a meeting. I paid twenty dollars one day to go there with
my wife, but they still didn't see us. They haven't given us anything.6

Victims in many cases face undue hardships in reporting cases due to the location of the Office of the Inspector
General (in a remote Port-au-Prince neighborhood with limited access to public transportation).

Many victims complained that the HNP had not compensated their medical costs and time lost from work as a
consequence of police abuse. Under international human rights law ratified by Haiti, including the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Haitian government must provide victims of police abuse the opportunity
to seek a sufficient remedy through official channels.66 Wilson Pierre, who was shot in the back on January 17, 1996,
said:

I have had two operations and spent around H$2,900.67 President Aristide came to the police station after
that and he said that when a police officer does something like this, that he will never have the right to be
a chief again. They told me the officer was fired but I'm not really sure. The police never told me the
officer's name so I could bring a case against him. Aristide knows but he never told us. I can't make a
complaint with the police on my back. I have five kids and I haven't been able to work. The police haven't
done anything for me. I want reparation.68



64 Interview with "Victor" (name withheld by request), Cit6 Soleil, June 22, 1996.
65 Interview with Lescelie Jean Baptiste and Gerangon Vitalio, Citd Soleil, June 22, 1996.

66 Article 2, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 9 provides an enforceable right to
compensation for any person suffering an unlawful arrest or detention.

67 U.S. 1,000, or three times the average per capital income in Haiti.

68 Interview with Wilson Pierre, Citd Soleil, June 22, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA 21


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)





Individual agents' informal efforts to provide financial support to police abuse victims, while laudable, are
insufficient. Haitian government or HNP authorities must formally assume responsibility for the consequences of
police abuses, including medical expenses.

Limited resources have hampered the work of the inspector general's office, although the situation has improved
significantly in recent months. Police law mandates that the inspector general's office should have six senior
investigators (inspecteurs) and twenty to thirty support staff.69 Joseph said that he would like to have staff in every
major town in Haiti, but that this remains a long-term goal. In mid-1996, he was working with only four investigators
in two rooms and he had only one vehicle at his disposal. By October 1996, Joseph had seven HNP officers of the
rank of sergeant (commissaire) supervising investigations, fifteen investigators, and four support staff. On November
16, 1996, the inspector general's offices moved into new quarters refurbished with ICITAP assistance.70 International
advisors, six from CivPol and one from ICITAP, are providing the inspector general's staff training and technical
assistance.

Criminal Prosecutions of Police Abuse
Haitian judicial reform is lagging behind police reform and the judicial system remains only partially operational.
Yet, severe police abuses demand prompt judicial attention. Impunity for human rights violations committed by the
police will encourage further abuses and undermine the effort to establish the rule of law in Haiti. Although the
Haitian judicial system has commenced criminal proceedings against some police, at this writing not one officer or
agent of the new force has been convicted of any killing." The minimal judicial action against police agents and
officers has put Haitian police on notice that, more likely than not, they will face no legal sanction for human rights
abuses. By remedying the lapses described below, the Haitian police and judicial system could together deliver a
new message, that impunity for human rights violations must come to an end.

Police abuse victims can bring complaints directly to judicial authorities, such as prosecutors or-investigating
judges, or to the police. If a police officer or agent receives an allegation of abuse, he or she should refer the
complaint to the inspector general. According to the police disciplinary code, upon determining a likelihood that a
police agent or officer committed a criminal act, and upon completing internal disciplinary measures, the inspector
general then must refer abuse allegations to the courts for investigation and possible prosecution.72 The Justice
Ministry's secretary of state for public security, Robert Manuel, stated that in cases of homicide or attempted
homicide, police should notify judicial authorities immediately, rather than awaiting the completion of internal police
inquiries. In November 1996, the Superior Council of the National Police (CSPN) decided that, in any case involving
human rights violations or criminal acts, the inspector general's office must immediately inform the public
prosecutor.73 Press releases from the inspector general's office in late September and November indicate that the
HNP is complying with this practice.

Twenty-four police officers and agents now face criminal prosecution in Haiti, thirteen of whom are jailed in
Port-au-Prince facing murder charges. To date, however, no HNP agent or officer has been convicted of murder.
The cases now being considered by the Haitian courts include the beating deaths at Croix-des-Bouquets and the


69 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, September 17, 1996.

7o Ibid.

1 The Haitian constitution states that offenses committed by police officers while exercising their professional functions
should be tried in civilian courts. Article 274, Haitian Constitution (1987).

72 Article 32 (7) of the Disciplinary Code (Riglement de Discipline Gdndrale).

73 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, November 21, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January J9~)/, Vol. ~9. NO. I (5)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






shooting of Mercilia Dorius.74 Progress on these cases will be an important test of the judicial system's willingness
and ability to confront police abuse.

It remains to be seen whether Haiti's judiciary will be capable of conducting effective prosecutions. In the case
of a September 1995 police killing of a fleeing robbery suspect in Cap HaYtien, the judge's apparent reluctance to
prosecute police has paralyzed the investigation since October 1995."7 Criminal investigations leading to convictions
of police officers or agents remain extremely rare in Haiti. Inspector General Joseph noted one case, a civil suit in
St. Louis du Nord, that resulted in a decision ordering two police agents to pay damages.76 Then-Inspector General
Paul informed us of a case in which a police officer reached an out-of-court settlement with a complainant who had
been wounded by the agent in a dispute over a bus fare.

Police Relations with the Judicial System
Poor coordination between the Haitian police and a weak judicial system characterized by corruption,
incompetence, and a lack of qualified personnel and basic materials, has impeded accountability for police abuses.
Some new police officers and agents lack the willingness to fully cooperate with the judiciary and in the worst cases,
police officers and agents are openly defiant of judicial authority. While frustrated with persistent judicial
corruption and occasional incompetence, some police wrongly have pointed to these factors as justifications for
police abuses of detainees. In disturbing conversations with our organizations, police agents argued that since the
judiciary was not likely to punish "criminals" then they had better do so while they had the chance, and before the
"delinquents" come back to retaliate against the police.

HNP agents and officers have flaunted their disdain for the judicial system in some cases. Police arrested a
young man accused of hitting a child in the south-western community of Dame Marie in February 1996. The police
then held their own trial, using agents as prosecutor, defense, judge, and jury. A leader of a nongovernmental
organization assessed the motivation for their action:

They did this because the justice system is incompetent. The fifteen HNP based there are very young and
highly motivated, but even if they were correct about the court's abilities, they had no understanding of the
proper role of the police and the nature of the relationship they should have with the justice system."

Judges and prosecutors in other areas have complained that police fail to recognize the authority of public
prosecutors (commissaires du gouvernement) and investigating judges. Some judicial authorities have reported direct
threats from HNP agents.78 Tensions between the police and the judiciary frustrate the judicial process. The police
sometimes have refused to carry out warrants they deem to be illegal, instead of informing their superiors or judicial
authorities. On one occasion, HNP agents refused to free prisoners on bail as ordered by a judge.79 The lack of police
in many rural areas also handicaps the functioning of the judiciary. Judges in some more remote areas have
complained that there are no police to assure their security, execute warrants, or conduct investigations.


7 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, September 17, 1996.

5 Ibid., p. 37.
76 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996.

77 Interview with Michele Pierre-Louis, Fondation Connaissance et Libertd, Port-au-Prince, March 26, 1996.

71 Interview with Judge Max Saint-Ange, Jacmel, March 31, 1996. Interview with public prosecutor (name withheld
by request), Port-au-Prince, June 1996.

9 MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, p. 26.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA 23


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





Under Haitian law, the Judicial Police (Police Judiciaire), a specialized branch of the HNP, should conduct
criminal investigations for prosecutors and investigating judges. However, only one dedicated unit of Judicial Police
now functions: the thirty-eight agents that comprise the criminal brigade (brigade criminelle, which undertakes
investigations for the Special Investigative Unit or SIU).80 At the local level, HNP agents at each station are assigned
to Judicial Police duties, and a further twenty-five agents conduct investigations out of the HNP's central office.
Specialized training programs for the Judicial Police are in early phases (see Section V below on international
assistance).

As noted above, the judicial system's weaknesses frustrate the police. Police officers and agents allege that judges
frequently accept bribes to release prisoners. In one case where a police agent was killed (see discussion above, at
15), the agent had received threats following his arrest of an alleged drug trafficker who reportedly bribed a judge
to obtain his release. Many members of the police force believe that the suspect was responsible for the agent's death
a few days later. A shortage of judges has led to long delays in criminal trials. In the city of Gonaifves, judicial
authorities did not hold a single criminal court session for five years. The judiciary also has been charged with
issuing arrest warrants based on insufficient evidence of criminal action. The government has invoked these failures
as justification for unconscionably long periods of pre-trial detention (sometimes exceeding the maximum sentence
for the alleged crime).

Judges and police need more joint training on their appropriate roles in the criminal justice system. A judge in
Jacmel pointed to a need for better judicial preparation, highlighting that judges did not always understand the police
role in serving warrants. A consultant to the Justice Ministry urged that prosecutors needed more training because
"they don't understand yet that they are supposed to work with and in some cases supervise police action, especially
the Judicial Police."''8 A U.S. advisor described a special one-week training session at the Judge's Training Academy
(Ecole de la Magistrature), which brings together justices of the peace, prosecutors, investigating judges, and police
officers from throughout Haiti. The week-long sessions are designed to break down barriers and misunderstanding
or mistrust between the participants. Trainers give participants hypothetical crime scenes and assign roles police
act as judges or prosecutors and judges act as police.82 The Haitian Justice Ministry should reinforce such ongoing
training with regular joint meetings to improve coordination mechanisms in the field.

The demands of profoundly reforming both the police and judicial system simultaneously impose great strains
on Haiti's limited resources. Currently, the HNP accounts for 10 percent of the national budget, while the police and
prison administration (Administration Penitenciaire Nationale, APENA) together account for 87 percent of the Justice
Ministry's budget, leaving only 13 percent for all projects on judicial reform. This raises concerns that judicial
reform efforts may remain limited, hampering efforts to confront impunity in Haiti. While the United States has a
five-year, US$18 million administration of justice program in Haiti, its progress to date has been slow.





so In November 1995 the justice minister delivered a list of seventy-seven human rights crimes to be investigated by
the SIU. The list included human rights abuses committed before, during, and after the military government of 1991 to 1994,
as well as several "execution-style" killings committed since Aristide's return. The Dole Amendment to the Fiscal Year 1996
Foreign Operations Appropriations Act required the suspension of U.S. foreign assistance to Haiti unless the Haitian government
investigated a number of cases of reportedly politically motivated killings, most of which occurred following President Aristide's
return. The most prominent of these cases was the March 1995 murder ofMireille Durocher Bertin and Eugene Baillergeau.

8' Interview with Frangois Semur, Coopdration Frangaise, consultant to the Haitian Justice Ministry, Port-au-Prince,
April 1, 1996.

Interview with Carl Alexandre, U.S. Department of Justice, Ecole de la Magistrature, Port-au-Prince, March 28, 1996.


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






Public Information on Police Investigations
Police transparency is central to ending the long history of impunity enjoyed by Haitian security forces. Public
disclosure will serve as a crucial deterrent to police, demonstrating that committing abuses is unacceptable and that
it will lead to loss of rank, salary, and, in serious cases, firing, criminal proceedings, and a jail term.83

Senior Justice Ministry officials have promised to publicize information about police violations of the law and
human rights. Top HNP authorities also said they wished to improve communications and public relations. Since
their appointments, Deniz6 and Joseph have issued press statements and announcements of investigations in a number
of incidents involving the police, but they have not done so consistently. Since July 1996, HNP statements have
included the allegations, the names of the HNP agents, details of the events, and measures taken.8 The HNP should
publicize this information in all cases of police abuse.

The police law directs the inspector general to provide his investigation report and recommendations for action
and publicity to the HNP director general and the justice minister. There is no legal requirement that either the
initiation or results of internal police inquiries be made public.85 As of this writing, Joseph publicly had released only
thirty-two of the over seventy names of police discharged for committing serious crimes.

Joseph expressed some reservations about immediately publishing all the names of police under investigation
and details of allegations against them, citing the concern that the public would assume their guilt. He considered
this an additional punishment. Joseph also noted security concerns in the wake of attacks on HNP agents.86
However, there is no evidence to suggest any link between assassinations of police agents and specific allegations
of abuse by an agent. Greater police transparency and the stringent application of internal police rules and criminal
laws against abusive police should heighten public confidence that abusive police will not go unpunished, and give
credibility to cases where police are exonerated. Such a demonstration of viable accountability mechanisms should
diminish public frustration with police abuses and the likelihood that police would face popular recriminations.

The Haitian press has covered police issues extensively and critically. The HNP will improve its image and
efficacy by providing detailed information about police discipline of abusive agents and officers. As Haiti has never
had a professional police force, there is profound need for public education on the responsibilities of the police and
their relationship with the public. Providing information on general crime statistics and police response also would
help to build understanding of the proper functioning of police in ensuring public order and the need for the public
to cooperate with the police to prevent and investigate crime.









3 In Haiti, a country where firings typically serve as the only disciplinary measure, the government should implement
the full range of measures available in police disciplinary codes. Police authorities should make clear that a career can advance
if, following minor disciplinary measures, the police officer displays good professional behavior and skills.

84 Police Nationale d'Haiti, Inspection Generale, press release, July 12, 1996.

5 A proposed General Order, No. 007, for the HNP, stated that the inspector general is to make public (rendre
publique) all complaints brought by citizens against a member of the National Police." [Translation by WOLA.] This provision
should be incorporated into police regulations.

86 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





IV. INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE


Developing Police Leadership
The weakness or absence of HNP leaders clearly has contributed to the emergence and persistence of police
abuse. Yet, there is little evidence that human rights violations committed by the HNP have been ordered by police
commanders or result from a top-down policy. Many instances of excessive use of force resulted from situations
where inexperienced agents, working without guidance or coordination, panicked and over-reacted. More ominously,
police officers tolerated and failed to discipline abuse and displayed grave flaws in their own leadership.

The HNP has suffered a severe leadership vacuum since its inception. The first HNP Director General, Adrien
Rameau, was appointed in May 1995, only weeks before the June 4 graduation of the first class of HNP cadets.
Recruitment of secondary and regional police commanders lagged further, even as the first HNP were deployed to
the field. Early in 1996, the HNP was operating with: only four of the nine departmental directors in place; only
seventeen of 133 police chiefs (commissaires, including senior police officials required at headquarters); and seventy-
three sergeants (inspecteurs) out of a required total of 500 to 600.87 By late 1996, the HNP had deployed seven of
the nine departmental directors and had appointed but not fully deployed some eighty-five police chiefs.88 The
absence of leaders from many police stations led one HNP agent to conclude that "the population is the only one
evaluating the police."89

In addition to problems created by empty leadership posts, there were no clear procedures or criteria for the few
appointments that were made. Constitutional procedures were followed with Senate ratification of the director
general of police, but other police officers were chosen on the basis of personal connections rather than professional
criteria. The HNP then deployed these officers with little or no training.

Police officers frequently failed to discipline unprofessional or abusive behavior, and they themselves committed
illegal and unprofessional acts. A police chief in the south-east reportedly developed an entourage of armed civilian
"bodyguards" wearing dark glasses.90 Many police commanders appropriated police vehicles for personal use and
permitted the use of automatic weapons, rifles, and other non-police-issue weapons. Police commanders tolerated
and failed to punish unprofessional behavior such as: not turning up to work on time and not wearing uniforms on
duty; failing to display proper identification on vehicles; failing to holster weapons; not observing legal arrest
procedures; and displaying apparent ignorance of basic police functions.91 These practices rapidly undermined HNP
discipline, morale and professionalism, leading the HNP to display what the U.N. characterized as "a lack of
motivation that is expressed in chronic absenteeism and even desertion."92




87 Interview with Denizd, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996. The force should have closer to 150 chiefs.

88 Interview with U.N. official (name withheld by request), Port-au-Prince, November 22, 1996.

In March 1996, months after the HNP appointed a sergeant to head the Petit Goave post, he had not arrived to take
up his command. Interview with HNP agents, Grand Goave, March 30, 1996.

9 The Haitian press reported that departmental director of the south-east, Ernst Chery, and Jacmel police chief, Fritz
St. Fort, resigned on February 17, 1996. Agence Haitienne de Presse, February 27, 1996.

'" "The Situation of Human Rights and Democracy in Hait: Report of the Secretary-General," (New York: United
Nations, January 25, 1996) A/50/861, para. 20.

9' "Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission of Support in Haiti," (New York: United Nations,
October 1, 1996) S/1996/813, para. 25.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






The HNP must demonstrate a break from past practices by ensuring that competence rather than connections
guide appointments and promotions. By law, the HNP should select chiefs from the police ranks based on seniority
and merit. The law also permits the inspector general to appoint former soldiers to command posts. In fact, because
the entire force is new, police agents do not have sufficient seniority to fill higher-level command positions. The
HNP has recruited civilian and ex-military candidates for many police chief posts. The HNP also selected some
agents demonstrating leadership promise for an ongoing leadership development program.

HNP Director General Deniz6, who was appointed by President Pr6val in March 1996, informed us that the
Superior Council of the National Police (CSPN) should approve all nominations at the level of departmental director
and above, but that it had not done so consistently. In accordance with these procedures, civilian candidates now
have been appointed to seven of the nine departmental director positions.

Efforts to fill the leadership vacuum have proceeded slowly. HNP Director General Deniz6 initiated a
recruitment process with support from CivPol and ICITAP in May 1996. This process aimed to recruit and train
eighty police chiefs by the end of June. All police and civilian candidates had to be university graduates and pass
an examination that included written exercises on human rights and community policing and hypothetical scenarios
of problematic police interventions.93 HNP personnel, civilians, former soldiers who had served in the IPSF, and
previously appointed police chiefs (many of whom were ex-soldiers required to pass the examination in order to
remain on the force), took the examination during May and June 1996. HNP authorities hoped that this uniform,
objective process would avoid divisions in the police leadership and ensure that police commanders garnered greater
respect and shared a "common National Police style."94

Only twenty-two of the 130 eligible ex-military officers took the first examination. Only twelve passed, two of
whom were later dismissed following review of their personnel files. The low turn-out for the exam reportedly
stemmed from fear and resentment by former military officers in the IPSF that they should have to pass another
hurdle. In response, HNP authorities opened some later exams to additional ex-soldiers.95

Due to low pass rates, the HNP recruited only about forty police chiefs through this process, half of them former
military officers. Members of Parliament raised serious concerns about the preponderance of former military
personnel. As a result, none of the officers were deployed until further recruitment could take place to reduce the
overall percentage of former soldiers. Consequently, seventy police stations still were operating without chiefs at
the end of September 1996.96 Ongoing recruitment for police chiefs was open to civilians but primarily sought HNP
personnel. The HNP conducted recruitment and training during September, October, and November 1996, and
January 1997. At the time of writing, the Haitian government and HNP authorities still had not deployed many of
the new recruits.

The majority of police commanders selected in 1995 and early 1996 were deployed with no formal police
training. The only training available, which many appointees reportedly failed to attend, was a two-to-three day
orientation course by ICITAP in November 1995. CivPol trainers deployed with each graduating class of cadets also
advised commanders in the field.




9 Interview with Dennis Pierce, ICITAP, Port-au-Prince, May 20, 1996.

9 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996.

9 Interview with van Wynsberghe, MICIVIH, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996.
96 "Report of the Secretary General" (New York: United Nations, October 1, 1996), S/1996/813 para. 23.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1(B)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA





ICITAP and CivPol provided four weeks of classroom training and one week of fieldwork for HNP officers
recruited in 1996. MICIVIH conducted a day and a half of officer training on international human rights norms; the
U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials; the Police Code of Ethics; human rights organizations in
Haiti; rules on treatment of detainees; Haitian laws on local government; maintenance of order issues, including
crowd control; lawful public demonstrations; and, prison and morgue visits. Despite improvements in police
leadership recruitment and training, HNP Director General Deniz6 noted significant weaknesses in the process.

We are taking a university graduate, giving him five weeks training and putting him at the head of an
unhappy and undisciplined police. There is a real question about whether this is going to work very well.97

The Role of Former Military Personnel in the Haitian National Police
The admittance of former military personnel, particularly to command positions, has been one of the most
controversial issues in the development of the HNP. During the last months of Aristide's government, under the
tenure of then-Acting-Director General Fourel Celestin, former military officers assumed the top positions in the
HNP.98 Since that time, the incorporation of 130 former military officers, of the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and above
(who had served in the IPSF) threatened to solidify the dominance of former military personnel in HNP command
positions. This development provoked protests in the human rights community and debates in the Haitian press.

The high percentage of former military officers recruited as police commanders apparently reflected an expedient
response to the lack of experienced civilian candidates. According to CivPol, the officers remaining in the IPSF were
the best performers on the force. CivPol had selected more problematic individuals for early removal from the IPSF
in the process of demobilizing that force." CivPol officials, concerned about the leadership crisis on the ground, put
forward the former military officers in the IPSF as a potential pool of HNP leadership candidates.

We remain concerned that ex-military officers, whose human rights records have not been closely scrutinized,
dominate command-level positions in the HNP. Police under the command of former military officers, such as in
the Port-au-Prince and Delmas posts, have committed many of the worst incidents of human rights abuse. While
there are strong arguments, grounded in short-term expediency, for relying on the more experienced former soldiers,
this reliance could carry longer-term costs for the HNP's professionalism and civilian nature. The presence of ex-
soldiers in HNP command posts already has shaken the Haitian population's trust and confidence. Former military
personnel should be incorporated on an individual basis only, following the same recruitment and training procedures
as for civilians, but with additional background checks on their human rights records. The HNP appears to have
followed these procedures in recent recruitment of police chiefs. Nonetheless, the information shortfalls that have
dogged other screening efforts in Haiti also may have compromised this screening of HNP officers.' 0 In 1994,



7 Interview with Denize, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996.

98 The Director of the Administrative Police was Lt. Col. Pierre E.C. Neptune. He reportedly was involved in the 1991
killings of five youths. See Americas Watch and the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, The Human Rights Record of the
Aristide Government, November 1, 1991. Neptune was replaced by Lt. Medard Joseph in early February 1996. At that time,
Maj. Dany Toussaint left his position of director of the Judicial Police (an appointment he received in December 1995) to replace
Joseph as head of the Palace Guard. Neptune moved from the Administrative Police to head the Judicial Police. Both Toussaint
and Neptune since have left the HNP.

99 CivPol conducted monthly evaluations of IPSF performance which were used in the demobilization process. Those
who received poor evaluations were the first sent into the demobilization program run by the International Office for Migration
(IOM). These evaluations ceased in October 1995.

0 See WOLA, Policing Haiti; Preliminary Assessment of the New, Civilian Security Force (WOLA, Washington, D.C.,
September 1995) and Human Rights Watch/Americas and the National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Security Compromised;


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 199/, Vol.9, No. 1(8)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






Haitian and U.S. authorities selected soldiers to serve in the IPSF based on a screening process to remove individuals
suspected of human rights abuse. However, the process was rushed and based on limited information, allowing a
real possibility that abusive ex-soldiers now serve in the police.'01

Significant numbers of former military personnel also are serving at lower levels of the HNP, particularly in the
notorious Port-au-Prince police stations known as Anti-Gang and "Cafeteria," and in the Traffic Police. HNP leaders
incorporated 699 former soldiers into these units in December 1995, adding to the roughly 450 former soldiers
already serving in the palace and presidential guards. The Haitian public is very sensitive to the possibility that
soldiers from Haiti's extremely abusive military have a significant role in the new, civilian police. This is partly
reflected in a common belief that large numbers of former soldiers also entered the HNP through regular recruitment
for academy training. Very few actually did so. ICITAP stated that "no more than twenty former military" passed
the examination and screening procedures for academy training.'02

Maintaining IPSF personnel in homogeneous units, and on different contracts and pay scales from the rest of the
HNP, has generated considerable tensions and rivalries between different police units. HNP authorities are planning
a process to make all former IPSF personnel, both military and GuantAnamo recruits, take educational and physical
tests. Those passing the examinations will be incorporated into the ranks of the HNP and those failing will be
removed. This should diminish the tensions between forces and help to ensure that only qualified personnel work
for the HNP.

Parallel Forces Within the Police
Haiti has a long history of competing armed units engaging in abuses against civilians with impunity. President
Frangois "Papa Doc" Duvalier created a paramilitary force called the Tonton Macoutes to counterbalance the military
and their uncertain loyalty to his presidency. His son and successor, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, fearing the
potential independence of the Macoutes, created and favored an extremely abusive military battalion called "the
Leopards." During President Aristide's first period in office before the coup, his creation of a Presidential Guard
was perceived by opponents as the latest manifestation of this tradition. The August 20, 1996 killings of two
opposition leaders, reportedly by an unofficial member and agents of the presidential security unit, heightened this
concern.

It is alarming that multiple armed units, both pre-existing and new units created since 1994, started to operate
beyond their mandates during 1995 and the first half of 1996, with little or no control by HNP authorities. These
were the Ministerial Security Corps (Corps de S6curit6 Ministeriel, CSM), the Palace Guard, Presidential Guard,
"Cafeteria" and Anti-Gang police units, all of which formally are under HNP authority. The Interior Ministry had
legal authority over the National Intelligence Service (Service d'Intelligence National, SIN), which was created in
1986 with CIA assistance. Private bodyguards and security corps developed by local governmental authorities,
particularly in Port-au-Prince, generated further concerns.

In early 1996, U.N. observers deemed the SIN and CSM "uncontrollable."'03 U.N. concern stemmed from
incidents such as those in November 1995 following the killing of the Deputy Jean Hubert Feuilld when the SIN,
CSM, and Palace and Presidential Guards conducted house to house searches, built road blocks, and made arrests,


Recycled Haitian Soldiers on the Police Front Line, (New York, March 1995).

io See WOLA, Policing Haiti, pp. 13-14, and Human Rights Watch/Americas and the National Coalition for Haitian
Refugees, Security Compromised, pp. 10-14.
102 Interview with Pierce, Port-au-Prince, May 20, 1996.

'03 Interview with CivPol Commander Balladur, Port-au-Prince, March 28, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January' 1997. Vol. 9, No. I (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997. Vol. 9, No. I (B)





all of which exceeded their own mandate and were duties of the regular HNP force. They also used automatic
weapons and rifles, and wore civilian clothes. They reportedly committed serious human rights violations during
some of these operations. As noted above, the CSM were implicated in the March 6, 1996 Cite Soleil violence. The
SIN also caused particular concern, because of its past record of abuse. Interior Ministry authorities had limited
control of the force at best. The Interior Ministry attempted three times to verify SIN personnel between late 1995
and early 1996 and failed each time. At the time of their dismantling in May 1996, rosters showed eighty-four SIN
agents and additional "assistants" (adjoints).'" Large numbers of falsified SIN identification cards reportedly were
used by individuals implicated in robbing residences. On May 14, President Pr6val announced the closure of the SIN.
However, only those SIN agents who were in their premises at the time of the shutdown were disarmed, leaving the
majority of former agents and their assistants presumed still to be heavily armed.

The CSM is a police unit devoted to ministerial security composed of 279 Guantanamo police recruits who
previously served in the IPSF.'5 Until recently, the unit's commanding officers were former military personnel.
CSM agents, who are based at the old military airport in Port-au-Prince, typically wear civilian clothes and travel
in unmarked vehicles. They have been implicated in a number of troubling incidents, including the March 6, 1996
killings in Cit6 Soleil, when a hundred or more CSM agents reportedly responded to a police radio SOS call.
Following the Cit6 Soleil incidents, HNP Director General Deniz6 fired the CSM's commanding officer, ex-soldier
Lt. Guy Michel Philippe, but Philippe did not actually vacate the post until several months later.'06 U.N. observers
attribute the CSM's problems primarily to Philippe's direction and to weak HNP leadership in late 1995 that allowed
the force to become "cowboys." HNP authorities had considered Guantanamo recruits for rural police posts, but their
behavior in the CSM suggests that they might bring abusive police practices to Haiti's villages.

Personal security forces created by local authorities have been involved in several shooting incidents, causing
further concern. Acting extra-legally, the mayor of Port-au-Prince, Emmanuel Charlemagne, created a security detail
armed with heavy weapons.07 The mayor's guard have harassed market vendors and others on Port-au-Prince streets.
National government authorities for the Department of the West (Delegation de l'Ouest, which includes the Port-au-
Prince area) also created a security force that was accused of illegal activities. President Preval closed down that
unit, as well as the SIN, on May 14, 1996.

The palace and presidential security guards comprise 464 former military personnel. Both the presidential and
palace guards have conducted searches and set up road blocks in actions that appear to have exceeded presidential
security duties. As described above, Eddy Arbouet, reportedly an unofficial member (attache) of the presidential
security unit and a former U.S. soldier, is suspected of killing opposition politicians Pastor Antoine Leroy and
Jacques Florival on August 20, 1996.108 In September the U.S. successfully pressured for the suspension of the unit's
senior officers. At the time of this writing, the Haitian government reportedly had suspended seven presidential




04 Interview with Denize, Port-au-Prince, June 20, 1996.
'o5 The IPSF included members termed "police recruits" who were recruited from the population of refugees held at
the U.S. military base at Guantanamo, Cuba. See WOLA, Policing Haiti, and Human Rights Watch/Americas and the National
Coalition for Haitian Refugees, Security Compromised, for further details.

06 Interview with van Wynsberghe, Port-au-Prince, April 2, 1996.
107 MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, pp. 29-30.

1os "Presidential bodyguard sought in assassinations," Miami Herald, December 21, 1996. Interview with U.S. official
(name withheld by request), January 7, 1997.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January' 1~/, vol. ~', No. I (Ii)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






security guards who were under investigation for possible participation in the killings."09 Republicans on the U.S.
House of Representatives International Relations Committee also have accused the presidential guard of involvement
in at least six alleged political killings during 1995.

Justice Minister Antoine and HNP Director General Deniz6 insist that there "is one police force and only one"
and that they will not tolerate different armed entities that are not under their command, as required by the
constitution. Initial steps, particularly the disbanding of the SIN and the Department of the West security corps, as
well as new command appointments have started to address these problems. HNP authorities should investigate
accusations against all HNP units, closely monitor the personnel in these units, and remove any HNP officers or
agents responsible for abusive or unprofessional behavior.

Logistical Support and General Capabilities
In addition to leadership weaknesses, the limited training given to HNP agents and slow institutional
development of logistical support capabilities appear to have contributed to human rights abuse by the police.

Further Training Needs
Beyond firmer discipline, a genuine likelihood of prosecution for criminal acts, and leaders who exemplify
proper police professionalism, the HNP requires further training. Four months of academy training clearly were
insufficient. Police trainers concur that cadets require a year's training to develop professionalism. The short
training was particularly insufficient in the Haitian context, where the HNP was created from scratch over the past
two years, and has no historical civilian police experience to draw on. ICITAP originally had proposed a six-month
program that was shortened in order to train the full complement of HNP by February 29,1996, when U.S. troops
were withdrawn from the U.N. forces.

At the academy, Haitian instructors taught half of the courses those on the Haitian constitution and law -
in French, while foreign instructors taught the other classes. Translation of many of these instructor's classes into
French or Cr6ole further compressed the amount of training actually received. International and Haitian authorities
have emphasized training specialized units to confront problems such as crowd control and "requalification training"
in the use of force, firearms, and human rights. Recent HNP training prepared a SWAT team, and airport, customs,
anti-narcotics, border, and coast guards. (See Section V below on international training programs.) HNP abuses of
detainees in 1996 illustrates a need for further training in interview techniques, humane treatment of detainees, and
the appropriate use of force.

Limits on Police Resources
Logistical and resource limitations have a negative impact on the HNP's ability to conduct effective policing and
may have contributed to police abuse. Without radio communications, police on patrol are cut off from stations and
unable to call for back up. This reportedly has contributed to panic in situations where police fear for their security.
In several such cases, they have used excessive force. The HNP lacks use of deadly force alternatives. HNP stations
also lack sufficient transportation. Back-up police cannot reach officers on patrol quickly and police often cannot
respond promptly to emergency calls. HNP agents frequently rely on CivPol to transport them to execute arrest
warrants. They also have used public transport for moving detainees, which has proven insecure. These shortfalls
clearly have taken a toll on the morale and professionalism of the HNP.

The HNP has received significant international material assistance, including vehicles, uniforms, office supplies,
and radios. However, basic resources, logistical support, and operating budgets remain extremely limited, and the
HNP has managed poorly the few resources it has, partly due to the lack of maintenance capabilities. The rapid



Io9 Interview with U.S. official (name withheld by request), January 7, 1997.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





creation of the HNP, which required quick deployment of the force even as support systems lagged behind,
contributed to these problems.

The HNP inherited the former military's guard posts around the country, many in appalling condition. Most
police stations have no adequate lock-up facilities, phones, electricity, running water, or toilets, and many also lack
windows and other basics. Conditions were so bad at the southern post of Ile La Vache, that CivPol withdrew the
HNP agents sent there in early 1995. They feared that the HNP agents would desert their post and return to Port-au-
Prince, as had happened in other areas. CivPol helped institute twice-weekly visits on market days by the police until
the station was repaired.

At Grand Goive in early 1996, the HNP had no telephone or radio and shared one motorcycle among fifteen
agents."0 The entire Department of the South East was operating with five radios, two pickup trucks, and two
motorcycles for 500 HNP officers and agents."' In mid 1996, twenty HNP stationed at Plaisance in the North had
no telephone and shared two radios that were not capable of reaching the nearest police chief in Limb6, some fifteen
miles away."2

HNP agents lost and may have stolen some supplies when the force was first deployed. There was no control
system requiring personnel to sign out radios or other equipment (but the force has since developed one). HNP
agents wrecked many vehicles in accidents, while others broke down. Many HNP agents did not know how to drive
and their training did not include driver education. Local police stations lack any maintenance capability and
frequently do not have money for gas."3

Logistical limitations pose a security issue for the HNP as well as for. the population. Many criminals in Haiti
are heavily armed and well aware of the HNP's limitations, as evidenced by the killings of police. Each HNP agent
was issued three rounds for his or her .38 pistols (eighteen bullets)."4 HNP agents told us that they faced constant
shortages of bullets at police stations and resorted to buying them from other agents who would charge $3 to $5
Haitian dollars a bullet (approximately US$1.00 to US$1.70)."5

Police authorities and agents recognize the need for equipment that matches their difficult working conditions.
Use of deadly force alternatives is key, such as providing and training agents in the use of pepper spray or other
means to subdue a person without endangering his or her life. HNP commanders also have proposed alternative
modes of transport such as horses, which are cheaper to maintain and can reach remote areas inaccessible even to
four-wheel drive vehicles. Local officers supported the idea, arguing that two dozen horses could be maintained for
the cost of a single vehicle. Having police on horseback, who could reach Haiti's roughest terrain, would improve
the HNP's service to rural populations who frequently complain of a very limited police presence. Senior police


no Interview with several HNP agents, Grand Goive, March 30, 1996.

'" Interview with Lieutenant Gabriel Michel Jean-Francois, Jacmel, March 31, 1996.
11 Interview with HNP Supervisor, Plaisance, May 19, 1996.

"~ Interview with Sergeants Jean Harry Beaufort and Hippolyte Edemont, Cap Haitien, May 18, 1996.

114 According to standard operating procedure, HNP agents are supposed to file a report every time they discharge their
weapon, as is called for in Article 11 (b) in the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law
Enforcement Officials, adopted by the VIII U.N. Crime Congress, August-September 1990, and by the U.N. General Assembly,
Res. 45/166, December 18, 1990. It is not clear whether the HNP are abiding by this practice.

`" Interview with HNP agents, Port-au-Prince, May 20, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January' 1997, Vol. 9, No. ] (B)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






leaders appear sympathetic to the proposal, but the HNP relies heavily on international donations and most assistance
has come in the form of vehicles. The situation has improved somewhat in Port-au-Prince with the provision of fifty
radio-equipped vehicles, but HNP throughout Haiti continue to confront severe logistical shortfalls.

HNP authorities are trying to confront other problems and shortages including ending the late payment of police;
assuring that every HNP agent has two uniforms (many police who only received one uniform went to work at least
one day a week in civilian clothes, making them hard to identify); training personnel for police garages in Port-au-
Prince, Cap Hai'tien, and Les Cayes; developing gunsmith capabilities; and, establishing a health insurance policy
for police and their immediate families. International assistance is helping to address these issues. Taiwan is
providing fifty vehicles, while the United States is sending mechanics to repair broken-down HNP cars and trucks,
along with US$1,000,000 of auto parts. With assistance from ICITAP and CivPol, the first HNP operations center
opened in mid-November. At this central location, the HNP can communicate by radio with agents and officers in
all of Haiti's nine departments."6

Challenges Faced by the Police
Police-Community Relations
While Haitians demand justice and more effective policing, some mistrust the police and many are deeply cynical
about the judiciary. Beyond further reforms of the police and judiciary, improving police-community relations will
require both public education and a new style of interaction between the Haitian people and the police. Crowds have
thrown rocks at police, in some cases in response to police abuses, while in other cases unprovoked. A human rights
monitor observed, "[A]s often as police abuse citizens, people attack the police in a kind of 'social negotiation' that
is defining the limits of power on both sides.""7

Many local people said that they want to see more of the police, particularly in remote rural areas. They want
the police to attend their meetings and understand the work being done by local organizations. Nonetheless, they
recognize that building more collaborative relationships may be difficult as Haitians have no experience of working
with a police force. The police themselves also note the need for civic education with an emphasis on the role of the
police in a democratic society.

Public frustration with a weak justice system has contributed to widespread bursts of popular violence that
typically go unpunished. MICIVIH documented 110 such killings from January to October 1996.1" Police have
attempted to protect people suspected of crimes who face vigilante violence. On May 13, 1996, near the northwestern
town of Port-de-Paix, local people killed a man accused of murder who police were holding in the local station. A
crowd threw rocks at the police station, injuring an agent, and prompting police to try to move the detainee to Port-
de-Paix in a local bus (as they had no vehicle). The crowd followed and the police agents shot into the air, trying
to disperse them. When police ran out of bullets, the crowd attacked and decapitated the detainee."9 In an incident
in Vieux Bourg d'Aquin in southern Haiti, police saved three suspects from a crowd who said that the robbers had





116 Interview with Lang, ICITAP, Port-au-Prince, November 19, 1996.

"' Dan Coughlin, "New Police Force Revives Old Fears," Inter-Press Service, February 28, 1996, citing Father Daniel
Roussiere of the Gonaives Justice and Peace Commission.
'" "The Situation of Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti: Report of the Secretary-General" (December 2, 1996),
A/51/703, para. 22.
119 Interview with MICIVIH observer, Cap HaYtien, May 19, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA 33


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





no right to justice. Nine police officers were wounded by the stone-throwing crowd as they evacuated the suspects
from the tribunal.120

Despite police abuses and sometimes erroneous public expectations of the police, we found many positive local
assessments of the HNP, particularly outside Port-au-Prince. Local community leaders were appreciative of efforts
to reach out to the community in areas where "community policing" activities had taken place. A human rights
monitor in the south said: "the population accepts and needs the police and understands there will be problems due
to lack of experience and proper equipment."'21' However, local activists also note the potential for rapid deterioration
in relations: "We have no real problems with the HNP. They make proper arrests, and there are no beatings. But
some are arrogant, and the people here had a terrible experience with the military and its police."'" In Anse A Galets,
following the November 11, 1996 HNP shooting death of Venerable Setil Christel, an angry crowd responded by
attacking and burning down the police station and the courthouse. Reportedly, relations between police, the justice
of the peace, and the population deteriorated following several problematic incidents. One of these was a July 4,
1996 death in police custody that may have been a suicide. Twelve HNP agents were trapped by the angry crowd
until CivPol officers arrived in the early hours of November 12 and evacuated them.'23 Such deterioration in police-
community relations is a likely, but not inevitable, consequence of alleged police abuses. In Grande Rivi6re du Nord,
where we interviewed four victims of police shootings, the victims and other local residents drew a clear distinction
between the two HNP agents responsible for abuses and the force as a whole, which they said was doing a good job
and engaged in community outreach.

Haitian police authorities and international police monitors agree on the need to improve public understanding
of public order issues and improve police-community relations. In response, they have focused increasing attention
on community policing approaches. Senior Haitian government officials endorse the community policing approach.
According to Deniz6: "If we give them a minimum of radios, cars, and some back-up, then they will be out on the
beat in the community. [Conducting community policing] is a technical issue, not a cultural or substantive
question."'24 Many local police stations have initiated school visits where they discuss a variety of subjects, including
drug awareness and how the police can help students.125 Others also have met regularly with local activists and
community leaders. In some areas, police have started sports programs with local youth. Some HNP agents also
mentioned an interest in learning more about conflict mediation.'26 Typically, in larger urban areas police were
creating special community-policing units, while in smaller communities all the local agents were involved in
community outreach. In many police stations we visited, the HNP had put up posters with the motto of the force
("serve and protect"), and signs with the slogan "listen before you act" (tande avan ou reyaji). CivPol has supported
community policing efforts, and should continue to do so for the duration of its mandate in Haiti.




120 MICIVIH, La Police Nationale, p. 41.

12' Interview with Father Andr6 Privalus, Petit Goave, March 30, 1996.

'12 Ibid.
12 Telephone interview with international observers, November 20, 1996; FBIS-lat-96-221, November 12, 1996; and,
"Angry Mob Attacks Police in Haiti," The Miami Herald, November 13, 1996.
124 Interview with Deniz6, Port-au-Prince, March 27, 1996.

12s Interview with Comme 11 Faut members, Grand Goive, March 30, 1996.

126 Interview with HNP agents in Grand Goave, March 30, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






Local grass-roots leaders we spoke with endorsed community policing approaches. One human rights monitor
noted:

The HNP and the government must promote civic awareness, they should make the police and community
work together, have the police participate in the life of the community, work on community projects. This
will get rid of the mentality that prevailed among the Haitian military-that "I'm the chief here."'27

Initiating serious exchange between the public and police on issues of policing in a democracy requires
commitment by civil society organizations as well as the police. Some human rights organizations, concerned that
impunity for police abuse continues, say that the police must earn the respect and confidence of the people before
the human rights community will engage directly with them on broader policing issues.128 For their part, police
authorities urge that the human rights community play a role in explaining to the Haitian public what a police force
can and cannot do.'29 This kind of disagreement seems less prevalent in rural areas. Local human rights groups in
Jacmel told us that they wanted to invite the police to their meetings and hoped that the HNP would participate in
radio shows they planned to produce on human rights issues.'30 Another community leader described two meetings
with the HNP to discuss local concerns and problems. He described a key element of such contact as understanding
questions such as "who are the police and what can they do for us?" He commented, "If people don't know what the
police can do, if there is no dialogue, then it will be hard to keep order. Then people with bad intentions will cause
trouble and try to manipulate the situation.""'

Where community outreach has taken place, it appears to have generated good-will and put the police directly
in contact with the community. This "humanizes" them in the eyes of the population they are there to protect and
whose assistance and trust are essential to police work.


V. INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE TO THE HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE

The HNP receives international assistance from the United Nations civilian police (CivPol), which is part of the
United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (Mission d'Appui des Nations Unies en HaTti, UNSMIH), from the United
States through ICITAP, and from a bilateral Canadian program run by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
There is also a special United Nations support fund for the HNP, to which Japan, Korea, and Luxembourg have made
donations. The total assistance from 1994 to this writing, including the cost of international police monitors, likely
exceeds US$100 million.

The international community's ongoing training and assistance for the HNP is oriented toward improving
institutional development and preparing for specialized police functions that were not incorporated into the massive
first phase of selecting and training the HNP. U.S. training and assistance, provided by ICITAP, is the largest
bilateral police aid program and should provide US$6 million a year over the next two fiscal years. Canada also has
an important ongoing bilateral police assistance program, in addition to RCMP personnel serving in CivPol. Over



127 Interview with Melisca Romestil, human rights monitor, Grand Goave, March 29, 1996.

128 Interview with members of the Haitian Platform of Human Rights Organizations, Port-au-Prince, May 14, 1996.

'29 Interview with Joseph, Port-au-Prince, March 27, 1996.

130 Interview with human rights organizations, Jacmel, March 31, 1996.

'3' Interview with Edmond Semexant, Petit Goave, March 30, 1996.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





the next five years this program, administered by the RCMP, will provide Canadian $12 million in training and
technical assistance, primarily for criminal intelligence and executive management.

The HNP's weakness has been at the center of arguments supporting a continued international presence in Haiti.
The HNP's poor response to recent incidents such as the grenade thrown near the National Palace, the attack on the
parliament, and the killing of two opposition figures in August 1996, spurred the U.N. Secretary General to
recommend a further extension of the UNSMIH mandate beyond November 30, 1996. The Security Council
approved the extension of the mandate to May 31, 1997, with a possible further two-month extension until July 31,
1997. The U.N. military presence has assured relative security and stability since the return of democratic
government. In the north, we were informed that the military presence had been playing a supporting role in crowd
control."' All U.N. troops are now based in the Port-au-Prince area, where they continue to provide back-up to the
HNP in emergency situations, such as the attacks on the parliament and palace.

U.S. Assistance and Training
The U.S. ICITAP program was designed in two parts. During phase one, ICITAP assisted the Haitian
government with the recruitment, training and deployment of the new police force. Phase one ended in February
1996. Phase two is a five-year plan to support the institutional development of the police. During this period,
ICITAP will support the development of specialized capabilities in education, professionalism, and accountability.
It also will assist in the creation of specialized criminal investigations unit(s) and full-service forensic facilities."33
ICITAP also has trained specialized anti-narcotics police, VIP protection personnel, airport security, and a coast
guard unit. ICITAP continues to provide training for police leadership, the Judicial Police, a SWAT team, and
Haitian trainers to take over training at the police academy. ICITAP also is providing equipment and additional
vehicles to the HNP.

The ICITAP program has responded to emerging problems and has incorporated human rights concerns into
many elements of ongoing training. In response to shootings by members of the first HNP classes deployed in the
field, ICITAP increased the number of hours of firearms training at the academy, emphasizing improved judgment
and integrating role playing. ICITAP also is providing all HNP agents with an additional week of firearms retraining
including human rights, defensive tactics, and use of force exercises. MICIVIH personnel also conducted academy
and field training in human rights and use of force issues. ICITAP is providing additional remedial training in the
use of firearms, safety, and defensive tactics to all members of the HNP. ICITAP also will train Haitian instructors
to take over instruction in use of force.and other issues over the long-term.

Responding to crowd control problems, ICITAP trained specialized crowd control units, emphasizing alternatives
to the use of lethal force. The Urban Disorder Management Units are based in downtown Port-au-Prince, Delmas,
Carrefour, and P6tionville in the Port-au-Prince area, and Cap Haftien, Gonalves, St. Marc, Jacmel, Les Cayes, and
J&6rmie. According to then-CivPol Commander Balladur, the eighty police agents trained in crowd control, who were
sent to the Dominican border in March 1996 to respond to problems created by the expulsion of Haitians from the
Dominican Republic, did "remarkable" work.'34 France provided 300 sets of equipment for these units, including
gas masks, shields, and fire-retardant clothing.





132 Interview with Sgts. Jean Harry Beaumont and Hippolyte Edemont, Cap Ha'tien, May 18, 1996.

'" Executive Summary: ICITAP Haiti Project. For a more detailed discussion, see WOLA, Policing Haiti, September
1995.

3 Interview with Balladur, Port-au-Prince, March 28, 1996.


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA






ICITAP also has developed a program to train Haitian trainers in basic arrest and defensive tactics skills. Haitian
trainers, including HNP from each of Haiti's departments and four from Port-au-Prince, will be rotated back to the
police academy for further training in other areas. ICITAP plans four repetitions of this training so that each
department has four instructors.'3

The United Nations Civilian Police
ICITAP has worked closely with CivPol to develop a field training program for the HNP. CivPol's mandate is
to provide training and guidance to the HNP and to instill the principles of community policing.'36 CivPol's central
role is to provide guidance and training in an effort to professionalize the police. Unfortunately, CivPol monitoring,
particularly on human rights issues, has been quite lax. CivPol officers repeatedly defer human rights complaints
against the HNP to MICIVIH. Some CivPol officers defended this practice in the name of collegiality with their
fellow police. While MICIVIH's mandate includes an explicit focus on human rights concerns, its role should in no
way detract from or substitute for CivPol's active monitoring of the HNP's adherence to human rights standards,
undoubtedly an integral component of professional police performance.

CivPol provides weekly training, followed by brief examinations on subjects including arrest procedures,
administration, security, community relations, traffic, judicial-police issues, and writing reports. Ongoing training
emphasizes use of force issues. CivPol report weekly to local Haitian police, judicial, and governmental authorities.

CivPol personnel described an evolving relationship in which the HNP were increasingly confident and
independent and wanting less international supervision. Former CivPol Commander Philippe Balladur commented
that: "The HNP come to CivPol whenever they have a problem, but now they have much more confidence and
experience and don't take so kindly to CivPol comments. So the work gets more challenging as it goes along.""'37
Some HNP stated that CivPol should leave and stop restricting their ability to deal with detainees as they see fit,
presumably including abusing prisoners. Other HNP personnel said they would like increased visits and training
from CivPol.

Significant problems with CivPol contingents during 1995 and 1996 include the fact that well over half the
CivPol contingents did not speak French and some of the police contingents had extremely limited skills to impart.
The quality and extent of field training that CivPol offered HNP officers and agents varied widely. Weaknesses in
CivPol's performance may be due to its staff consisting largely of lower-ranking police with meager training
experience who are hastily recruited and often receive minimal briefing on their mandate. As one international expert
in Haiti observed: "Operationally they are very good, and they can train in basic skills such as driving, but they
cannot be expected to resolve issues such as use of force, intimidation, and policing in a democracy." A U.N. official
said that U.N. headquarters needs to give greater attention and priority to CivPol recruitment processes. Currently,
the recruitment is little more than a "clearinghouse," that fails to recruit police with skills matching the needs of
different missions.'38



13 Interview with Pierce, Port-au-Prince, May 20, 1996.

136 Of 286 CivPol remaining in Haiti: 223 are deployed at police stations at nineteen sites; forty are technical consultants,
advisors and instructors; and, eight comprise CivPol command at U.N headquarters in Port-au-Prince. "Report of the Secretary-
General on the United Nations Mission of Support in Haiti" (New York, United Nations, October 1, 1996), S/1996/813, para 20
and S/1996/813/Add. 1 Annex.

137 Interview with Balladur, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996.

138 Interview with senior U.N. official, Port-au-Prince, May 16, 1996. This is a frequent criticism of U.N. peacekeeping
operations involving civilian police, with Bosnia as a prime example.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





At the time of the March 1996 extension of UNMIH until June 1996, CivPol ranks were reduced, while retaining
the French-speaking contigents with most experience. These criteria also guided CivPol selection for the UNSMIH
mission, which was authorized by the U.N. Security Council to follow UNMIH in Haiti. CivPol are training 500
HNP officers as trainers in basic police techniques. These HNP trainers will carry out field instruction accompanied
by CivPol monitors. CivPol also is working to create police "command centers," first at HNP headquarters and in
each department. CivPol also has devoted significant assistance to the inspector general's office, assigning twelve
CivPol to work at HNP headquarters. However, in May 1996, then-Commander Balladur noted that he had trouble
attracting qualified international police personnel experts for specialized training in accountability, police
administration, and command and control. In October 1996, seventeen Haitian Creole-speaking police from the U.S.
joined CivPol.'39

CivPol's limited presence in the field has reduced its potential effect as a deterrent on police abuses. We are
further concerned that CivPol officers repeatedly state that they are not in Haiti to report on human rights abuses,
deferring this responsibility to MICIVIH. There is a danger that CivPol silence on incidents of abuse will send a
message of tolerance for abuse to Haitian police.

Nonetheless, local organizations and human rights activists generally are supportive of CivPol's role and calling
for their greater and more visible engagement in HNP policing activities. In at least one area, CivPol invited local
human rights organizations to police training sessions. There is widespread concern that without ongoing CivPol
assistance in all areas, beyond expiration of the U.N. mandate, the HNP still will be a chronically weak institution
when CivPol departs.


VI. CONCLUSION

For most of Haiti's 193-year history as an independent nation, its security forces have served as an instrument
of repression. The creation of a professional, civilian police force in the form of the Haitian National Police offers
the hope of breaking this cycle of repression and impunity. The police reform process sought to create a force that
would function within the parameters of a democratic system to fight crime, protect citizens, and preserve democratic
order. The international community devoted millions of dollars fashioning a new police force from scratch, and
police reform arguably has proceeded faster than any other institution building process in Haiti.

Nonetheless, as documented in this report, police reform has run into serious problems. While not
insurmountable, police abuses and the poor functioning of the force, attributable to weak leadership at the
departmental director level and below, inexperience, and logistical deficiencies, threaten the credibility of the HNP.
The human rights violations committed by the new force are the most alarming development, indicating a dangerous
tendency by some members of the HNP to adopt the repressive practices of past security forces. HNP authorities
have demonstrated the desire to prevent and punish abuses and are making important progress in this area. The
Haitian government must ensure that police accountability is strengthened, particularly by consistently applying
internal disciplinary measures, systematically providing information to the public about incidents, and sending cases
to the courts for criminal investigation. The government also should codify these practices in police law and
regulations, thereby seeking to assure continued good practices through future leadership changes.

One of the greatest challenges to ending impunity and establishing the rule of law in Haiti is the judicial system's
persistent weakness. Judicial action against police abuse remains extremely limited. The Haitian government and



39 "Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti" (New York: United Nations,
November 12, 1996), S/1996/813/Add.l, para. 8.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1(B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)






Justice Ministry need to make a special effort to assure that the competent judicial authorities take appropriate action
against police abuse. Failure to do so may prove a serious impediment to police accountability.

The international community has provided substantial assistance for police reform in Haiti. It also has imposed
a timeframe, dictated by the need to withdraw troops, that resulted in the deployment of a force that lacked adequate
training. Now eighteen months old, the HNP only gradually is acquiring experience, while confronting pressing,
unmet needs for leadership development and appalling infrastructure and equipment shortages. The international
community can and should continue to play a role in helping the Haitian government fill these gaps. Studies of police
reform in many countries conclude that these reform processes are long, and that one of the gravest dangers to reform
efforts may be the premature withdrawal of international support.

In December 1996, the U.N. extended UNSMIH's mandate until mid-1997 due to concerns that the HNP required
continued assistance with institutional development and had responded poorly to several threats against the country's
security in August 1996. The human rights concerns documented in this report demonstrate that the HNP will require
international support until it has adopted professional policing practices and is capable of meeting challenges to
democracy and the rule of law in Haiti.

Haiti's repressive history created widespread mistrust of security forces and profound skepticism about the
possibility of creating a professional police force. Ending police abuse and establishing accountability, as well
improving understanding of the role of the police in a democracy, are vital steps toward overcoming this legacy.
Police authorities so far have shown a desire to end impunity and work with the population to tackle these challenges.
If they succeed, they will establish a solid foundation for human rights and the rule of law in Haiti.


VII. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This report was written by Rachel Neild, senior associate with the Washington Office on Latin America
(WOLA). Sarah A. DeCosse, research associate with Human Rights Watch/Americas, wrote the section on human
rights abuses. The report was edited by Sarah DeCosse, Anne Manuel, deputy director, and Joel Solomon, research
director, of Human Rights Watch/Americas; George R. Vickers, executive director of WOLA; and by William G.
O'Neill, consultant, Jocelyn McCalla, executive director, and Joshua Nadel, research associate, of the National
Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR). Steve Hemrnndez, associate with Human Rights Watch/Americas provided
production assistance. Rachel Neild, Sarah DeCosse, William G. O'Neill, Joshua Nadel, and Pierre Espdrance,
director of NCHR's Haiti office, conducted research in Haiti throughout 1996.

WOLA wishes to thank the Arca Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, and the Winston Foundation for World
Peace for their support.

NCHR gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the General
Service Foundation to its human rights program.

Human Rights Watch thanks the many foundations and individual donors, who through their general support,
enable us to carry out work on Haiti.


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


HRW/Americas, NCHR & WOLA


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (B)





Human Rights Watch/Americas
Human Rights Watch is a nongovernmental organization established in 1978 to monitor and promote the observance
of internationally recognized human rights in Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and among the signatories
of the Helsinki accords. It is supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It
accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly. The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele
Alexander, development director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Holly J. Burkhalter, advocacy director; Barbara
Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Robert Kimzey, publications director; Jeri Laber, special advisor;
Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Susan Osnos, communications director; Dinah PoKempner, acting general
counsel; Jemera Rone, counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Robert L. Bernstein is the chair
of the board and Adrian W. DeWind is vice chair. Its Americas division was established in 1981 to monitor human
rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. Jos6 Miguel Vivanco is executive director; Anne Manuel is deputy
director; James Cavallaro is the Brazil director; Joel Solomon is the research director; Jennifer Bailey, Sebastian
Brett, Sarah DeCosse, and Robin Kirk are research associates; Steve Hernindez and Paul Paz y Mifio are associates.
Stephen L. Kass is the chair of the advisory committee; Marina Pinto Kaufman and David E. Nachman are vice
chairs.

Website Address: http://www.hrw.org
Gopher Address: gopher://gopher.humanrights.org:5000/l 1/int/hrw
Listserv address: To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to majordomo@igc.apc.org with "subscribe
hrw-news" in the body of the message (leave the subject line blank).

The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR)
The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) is an organization that seeks to promote the rights of Haitian
refugees and Haitian-Americans under U.S. and international law, advance respect for human rights, the rule of law
and support for civil and democratic society in Haiti.

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) promotes policies by the United States and multilateral
institutions that advance human rights, civic participation, accountable democratic institutions, and equitable
development in Latin America. Founded in 1974 by religious and civic leaders, WOLA works closely with non-
governmental organizations in Latin America and the United States to monitor the impact of policies and programs
of the international community and to promote policy alternatives. Through impartial and reliable reporting,
innovative education and training programs, and high-profile advocacy campaigns, WOLA gives diverse Latin
American viewpoints a voice in Washington-based policy processes and facilitates dialogue between governmental
and non-governmental actors throughout the Americas.


HRW/Arnericas, NCHR & WOLA January 199/, Vol.9, No. I (13)


January 1997, Vol. 9, No. I (B)


HR W/Americas, NCHR & WOLA




HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PUBLICATIONS ON
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Volume 9 (1997) short reports COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL LIBRARY

3 5005 00438 125-
(B901) Haiti: The Human Rights Record of the Haitian National Police, 1/97, $5.00








HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PUBLICATIONS ON THE AMERICAS & THE CARIBBEAN

Please fill out completely, including subtotal, postage, total enclosed, and your shipping address. Please make checks payable to
Human Rights Watch.


Qty Country
Bolivia

Brazil

Chile
Colombia

Cuba

__ Dom. Rep.
El Salvador
Guatemala

Haiti


Honduras
___Jamaica
Mexico


Nicaragua
Peru
U.S.


SVenezuela
HRW'








__ HRW/
Ame ricas


Title
(B804) Human Rights Violations & Coca Eradication, 5/96, 32pp.
(B708) Human Rights Violations & The war on Drugs, 7/95, 42pp.
(B802) Human Rights Abuse & Criminality in Rio de Janeiro, 1/96, 29pp.
(B607) Violence Against the Macuxi & Wapixana Indians, 6/94, 30pp.
(B606) H.R. in Chile at the Start of the Frei Presidency, 5/94, 36pp.
(1444) Generation Under Fire, 11/94, 104pp.
(1185) State of War: Political Violence in Colombia, 12/93, 160pp.
(B710) Improvements Without Reform, 10/95, 34pp.
(B612) Repression, The Exodus of August 1994, 10/94, 19pp.
(0820) A Troubled Year: Haitians in the D.R., 10/92,54 pp.
(B604) Human Rights on the Eve of March 1994 Elections, 3/94, 20pp.
(B801) Return to Violence: Refugee, Civil Patrollers, Impunity, 1/96, 31pp.
(B701) Disappeared in Guatemala: Efrain B. Velasquez, 3/95, 15pp.
(B807) Thirst For Justice: A Decade Of Impunity, 9/96, 30pp.
(B711) Human Rights After President Aristide's Return, 10/95, 33pp.
(B706) H. R. Conditions Prior To The June 1995 Elections, 6/95, 20pp.
(1347) The Facts Speak For Themselves, 7/94, 296pp.
(B611) Children Improperly Detained in Police Lockups, 10/94, 17pp.
(B808) Labor Rights & NAFTA: A Case Study, 9/96, 30pp.
(B806) Sex Discrimination in Mexico's Maquiladora Sector, 8/96, 58pp.
(B803) Toture & Other Abuses During the 1995 Crackdown, 2/96, 19pp.
(B613) Separating Facts from Fiction, 10/94, 28pp.
(B805) Human Rights Violations & The Faceless Courts, 7/96, 38pp.
(1533) Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons, 12/96, 366pp.
(B705) Blinding Laser Weapons, 5/95, 16pp.
(B704) H.R. Abuses Along the U.S. Border with Mexico, 4/95, 37pp.
(B601) Prison Massacre in Maracaibo, 2/9-1, 8pp.
(2076) Human Rights Watch World Report 1997, 12/96, 416pp.
(169X) Modem Capital of Human Rights? State of Georgia, 7/96, 224pp.
(G803) Putting Human Rights Back Into the Habitat Agenda, 6/96, 1 lpp.
(G802) Silencing The Net: Threat to Freedom of Expression, 5/96, 24pp.
(G801) Children In Combat, 1/96, 23pp.
(6589) Human Rights Watch World Report 1996, 12/95, 424pp.
(1592) Children in Confinement in Louisiana, 10/95, 152pp.
An annual subscription to all the publications from all the divisions of
Human Rights Watch is available (includes postage & handling).
An annual subscription to just the Human Rights Watch/Americas
newsletters is available (includes postage & handling).
An annual subscription to all Human Rights Watch/Americas publications
is also available (includes postage & handling).
Subtotal
Postage & Handling
Total Enclosed


Address orders to Human Rights Watch,
Publications Department, 485 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10017-6104




Ship to (name and address): please print


Price Total
S 5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
10.00
15.00
5.00
3.00
7.00
3.00
5.00
3.00
5.00
5.00
3.00
15.00
3.00
5.00
7.00
3.00
5.00
5.00
20.00
3.00
5.00
3.00
25.00
15.00
3.00
3.00
3.00
25.00
10.00-
450.00

40.00

85.00

S
S ___
S _____


Shipping charges: for the U.S. on orders under S30.00
add 20%; S30.00-S100.00 add 10%; over S 100.00 add
5%. For Canada add 30%; For other countries: airmail
orders add 50%.



Please Charge My Visa Or MasterCard Account.


Account Number Expiration Date


Card Holder Print

Phone number ------ ---
(1/97)


--------- -- -----------

-------------- --- -----