This item is only available as the following downloads:
This volume was donated to LLMC
to enrich its on-line offerings and
for purposes of long-term preservation by
Columbia University Law Library
S THE LAWYERS COMMITTEE
HUMAN RIGHTS 36 WEST 44TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10036, (212) 921-2160
VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
JUNE 1981 SEPTEMBER 1982
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
JUNE 1981 SEPTEMBER 1982
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
1982 by The Lawyers Committee for International
36 West 44th Street
New York, New York 10036
Copies are available for $6.00 each.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface ........................................ (i)
Introduction ..................................... 1
Denial of Economic and Social Rights ............. 7
Role of the Haitian Security Forces .............. 10
The Crackdown in November 1980 and
its Aftermath .................................. 17
The Trials of 26 Political Defendants in
August and November 1981 and August 1982 ....... 19
The Persecution of Human Rights Monitors -
The Haitian League for Human Rights ............ 26
The Treatment of Political Prisoners ............. 31
A. Prison Conditions and Torture .............. 31
B. Detainees Held Incommunicado Without
Charge ................................... 36
Violations of the Rights of Trade Unions ......... 40
Denials of Freedom of Expression and Press ....... 44
The Treatment of Returnees ....................... 49
Conclusions .......................* .............. 55
Footnotes .................. ......................******* 58
Appendices ........ ..* ...........* ...* ..*.... .... 64
September 22, 1982 marked the twenty-fifth
anniversary of Duvalier family rule in Haiti. During this
time, Haiti's economy has lapsed into chronic depression, and
over 1/7 of the country's population, now six million, has
left the island. Government neglect for the rule of law, and
its consistent violations of fundamental human rights, have
accompanied these developments.
This report examines recent human rights violations
in Haiti. Focusing on the period 1981-1982, it is updated
from a report submitted to the United Nations Commission on
Human Rights in August, 1982. During this period, there have
been continuing reports of torture by government security
forces, prolonged detention without trial and incommunicado
detention. Haitian security forces continue to act without
fear of trial or punishment for their actions. The Haitian
judicial system offers little or no protection to the victims
of abuses by these security forces: government opponents,
political prisoners, labor leaders, journalists, human rights
monitors and those who have been forced to return to Haiti.
Last July 13, government Ministers who had pledged
to end corruption and to correct human rights abuses were
collectively dismissed, and replaced by hardline Duvalier
loyalists. Only three weeks later, approximately thirty-five
technocrats and businessmen --some associated with the reform
attempts --were detained incommunicado in the Casernes
Dessalines for up to two weeks. This wave of arrests is the
most serious since an official crackdown of journalists,
lawyers and human rights activists in November 1980. Some of
the detained were associated with former Finance Minister
Marc Bazin's attempt to reform government accounting
procedures and to limit official corruption. While the
government quietly released many of these people in late
August and early September 1982, no official explanation has
ever been given for their detention or mistreatment.
Previous publications of the Lawyers Committee on
the subject of human rights in Haiti include:
"Violations of Human Rights,"
"Recent Violations of Human Rights in
Haiti," February 1981;
"Report on the August 1981 Trial and
November 1981 Appeal of 26 Political
Defendants in Haiti," March 1982.
*/ See Appendix for a partial list of those persons detained
in the Casernes Dessalines.
This report was researched and written by Michael
S. Hooper, Director of the Haiti Project of the Lawyers
Committee for International Human Rights. He was assisted by
Michael Letwin, Holly Hammonds and Elizabeth Leiman.
Michael H. Posner
New York, New York
Since the Lawyers Committee for International
Human Rights published its first report on Haiti in June
1980, conditions in this country of six million people have
increasingly become the subject of international attention.
Some of this concern has focused on the flight of over
one-seventh of Haiti's population since Francois Duvalier,
the father of the current President-for-Life, came to power
in 1957. Serious concern has also been expressed over the
chronically depressed state of the Haitian economy,
continuing reports of official corruption, and the seeming
inability of the government to responsibly absorb
international financial assistance.
Both of these issues relate to the broader problem
of the Haitian government's consistent pattern of gross
violations of internationally-recognized human rights. After
almost 25 years of Duvalier family rule, there have been few
institutional changes in Haiti to suggest a move towards
genuine liberalization or reform. Through a myriad of
security forces, including the infamous Tonton Macoutes
(officially renamed the Voluntiers de la Securite National or
VSN), the government of President Jean-Claude Duvalier
continues to commit broad violations of human rights and to
disregard the rule of law. These forces continue to depend
financially on a system of extortion and expropriation.
While the Haitian government has publicly
announced reforms in the past, it has never sustained a
commitment to removing institutional impediments to the
protection of human rights. When 19 year-old Jean-Claude
Duvalier became President-for-Life in 1971, succeeding his
father, he promised a program of "liberalization". Eleven
years later the same impediments to progress remain in
There continues to be a breakdown in the rule of
law under which there is no longer an effective or
independent judiciary; few legal safeguards exist to protect
people who fall out of favor with the government. In 1982 it
is still routine practice in Haiti for a person to be
detained arbitrarily without charge or any due process pro-
tections. As a result, there is little to prevent government
security forces from arresting and detaining without trial
those perceived to be political opponents. Those government
forces also continue to resist the creation of any formal
political parties or effective trade unions.
Recent changes in the government have further
undermined the prospects for the restoration of basic human
rights protections. On July 13, 1982, several key cabinet
members, including finance Minister Marc Bazin, Justice
Minister Dantes Colimon and Agriculture Minister Pierre Sam,
were dismissed. The sudden dismissal of these Ministers,
particularly Mr. Bazin, was precipitated by their efforts to
halt government corruption, to regularize and fiscalize
government accounting and banking procedures, and to collect
long overdue business taxes from persons close to the
government. A former World Bank official, Mr. Bazin had also
vowed to end "no-show" government jobs, and to eliminate
"double dipping" (the practice of receiving more than one
government salary). According to diplomatic sources, Mr.
Bazin had alienated the government by cancelling the issue of
$3.7 billion in high interest government promissory notes and
by his attempts to "fiscalize" the national accounts at the
Central Bank. According to one source, the Central Bank's
report for 1981 shows that $15 million a month was
diverted for unexplained "extra-budgetary expenses."
The men who replaced Bazin and his associates
include several key ministers who are considered supporters
of the old order in Haiti. The new Minister of the Interior,
Roger Lafontant, was associated with the secret police,
the Service Detectif, between 1964-1973, years during
which some of the most striking human rights' abuses
occurred under Francois Duvalier. Mr. Lafontant is a
member of the National Security Council, which coordinates
the activities of the military and civilian security forces.
The new Minister of Justice, Bertoland Edouard, is
a former Minister of the Interior (1976-1978). Among his
responsibilities in that position was the administration of
Haiti's system of political prisons. During this period,
Amnesty International described Haiti's prisons in the
...prison conditions, disease, brutality,
torture and executions inevitably lead to
a drastic reduction in the prison popula-
tion. Arbitrary executions, starvation,
appalling hygenic conditions, disease and
torture account for one of the highest
mortality rates and most prisoners in any
In 1979, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights concluded that:
...it has been proven that numerous
people died in summary executions or
during their stay in prisons or because
of lack of medical care ... There are
reliable indicators that many individuals
were victims of torture inflicted in cer-
tain cases by the neighborhood chiefs,
both during interrogations, after
arrests, and during imprisonment. 4/
The newly appointed Minister of Public Works, Alix
Ceneas, helped supervise the construction of a "model town"
called Duvalierville from 1961-1963. The project, which was
never completed, resulted in the mismanagement of millions of
dollars in economic assistance from the United States and
other international donors.
In describing his decision to replace Bazin and his
colleagues with this new group of ministers, President
Duvalier noted, in July 1982, that these changes were made in
response to "... the requirements of a satisfactory political
balance as well as (the need for) cohesion and harmony among
the governmental team." The President emphasized that "we
must see the strict continuity of the revolution in power."
Three weeks after those ministerial changes a new
series of arrests occurred in Port-au-Prince that resulted
in the detention without charge or explanation of approxi-
mately 35 persons in Haiti's political prison, the Casernes
Dessalines. Well-known lawyers, engineers and economists were
included among those held incommunicado and naked in isola-
tion cells. Many of those arrested were associated with the
reform efforts of former Economic Affairs Minister Marc Bazin,
including former Deputy Finance Minister Leslie Delatour; Guy
Malary, lawyer for the U.S. Agency for International
*/ See appendix for a partial list of those detained
without charge in the Casernes Dessalines.
Development; Felix Lamour, an engineer who has done
consulting work for AID; and Herve Denis, an economist.
Several of those who were arrested reported being
intimidated and generally mistreated while in the Casernes
Dessalines. Mr. Delatour, for example, had his head and
face completely shaved by Haitian security forces during
interrogation. Many, including Mr. Delatour, have been
barred from leaving Haiti. While the Haitian government has
never publicly acknowledged these detentions, many of those
arrested were released by the beginning of September. This
wave of arrests is the most serious since the mass detentions
in November 1980 that silenced most journalists, radio
broadcasters, human rights activists, lawyers, and trade
union organizers in Haiti.
DENIAL OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS
In contemporary Haiti there is a striking relation-
ship between deteriorating economic conditions and continuing
violations of basic civil and political rights. Few nations in
the world present an economic picture as bleak as that of
Haiti. It is one of a handful of nations sometimes classified
as "fourth world" because of its economic situation; the
country's economic structure is not only severely under-
developed, but is systematically worsening. Although it was
once France's richest colony, Haiti is today the most des-
perately poor country in this hemisphere, with a per capital
income of less than $235 per year. This per capital income is
less than one-half of the next poorest country in this
hemisphere, Bolivia. There is also dramatic income inequality
in Haiti. In 1976, the top 0.4 percent of the population
absorbed 43.7% of the national income, while more than 80% of
the people had an average income of less than $100 per year.
Ninety percent of the population live below the absolute
poverty level of $140 per capital.
This situation is, at least in part, the result of
Haiti's political system. The Haitian government which tightly
controls every aspect of the collection of revenues and public
expenditures, has made no sustained effort to improve this
situation. Under both Presidents Duvalier, there have been
continual reports of government corruption and mismanagement
of public funds. Thus, for example, a 1979 Report of the World
Bank revealed that in 1977 almost 40% of all expenditures and of
total revenues were channelled through special checking accounts
held at the National Bank that made it virtually impossible to
determine their source or eventual disposition. In 1978, it was
estimated that 50% of the State's income was in unbudgeted
accounts, which were presumed to end up in private hands.
Even the income that does return to the public
treasury has little effect on easing harsh economic and social
inequalities. The Haitian government devotes less domestic
revenue per capital than any other country in the hemisphere to
such social necessities as public education, public health, or
agricultural extension services. This results, for example, in
a situation where only 1% of the rural population has access to
safe water. According to one report there is one secondary
school for every 35 prisons in Haiti, one secondary school
teacher for every 189 security force personnel.
Nor has foreign aid, sent to help correct social
problems, been effective. A 1980 report of the Inter-American
*/ See, for example, a 1980 Report by the World Council of
Churches concerning the role of the Haitian government in
providing cane cutters to the Dominican Republic.9/
Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American
States concluded that: "it is questionable whether badly
needed foreign assistance programs effectively reach their
ROLE OF THE HAITIAN SECURITY FORCES
Under both Duvalier governments, a network of
official and semi-official security forces have carried out a
campaign of terror against the people of Haiti. The
unchallenged authority of these forces has resulted in a
pattern of the most severe violations of human rights.
Francois Duvalier came to power in 1957 with the
support of the armed forces. In order to secure his
position, he undertook to weaken the Army by disbanding
several of its sections, dismissing successive commanders-in-
chief, closing the Military Academy, repeatedly purging the
Officer Corps, and reallocating funds to his own personal
In the process, he established new security forces
outside of the army that were, and have remained, intensely
loyal to the Duvalier family. Francois Duvalier wrote about
the most prominent of these forces, the Tonton Macoutes, in
This organization has only one soul:
Duvalier; recognizes only one chief:
Duvalier; fights for only one destiny:
Duvalier in power. 15/
Jean Claude Duvalier repeated these words in July 1972, in
describing his own relationship to the militia. Under his
command, the security forces continue to operate with civil
immunity as an arm of the government -- arresting,
interrogating, and often abusing innocent Haitian citizens.
Although these forces are now more selective and
sophisticated in their approach, their role remains the same;
to eliminate any effective opposition to Duvalier rule.
On September 29, 1979, the twenty-second
anniversary of the Duvalier regime, President Duvalier warned
the militia that it must stand ready to fight to preserve the
Duvalier government, stressing its major role in eliminating
unrest and instability in Haiti.
Men and women of the militia, you are the
linchpin of my government; the major
force on which I can base myself in order
to realize the objectives of democracy
and to impose respect for law and order
and activist discipline. 16/
Currently there are several security forces
operating in Haiti. First is the volunteers for National
Security (VSN) or militia. Commonly referred to as the
Tonton Macoutes, the VSN was the power base of the old guard
under Francois Duvalier. Officially disbanded in 1971, the
VSN was only reorganized and has operated continuously for
the last ten years. There are now an estimated 9,500 people
serving in the VSN. They are commanded by Madam Max Adolphe,
the wife of one of Francois Duvalier's most ardent
As a civilian militia, the VSN are charged with
enforcing the law, particularly in rural areas. Yet, from
the beginning, these forces have been unpaid except for a few
of their highest ranking officers. They are, therefore,
dependent on their fellow Haitians for their livelihood, a
circumstance that has encouraged wide-scale corruption,
extortion and violence.
Two Macoutes came to the house and called
to my husband. He went outside, follow-
ing which I never saw him again. I
believe he was killed by the Macoutes,
without legal procedure or hearing...
When my husband Jacques was killed I did
not protest because I was afraid. Every-
body knows that this sort of thing is
normal action for the Tonton Macoutes.
And after these murders and other acts of
persecution, you can cry but you cannot
say anything. 17/
The Macoutes exist to repress the people
and to check on those people who say bad
things about the government. They have
free rein to do whatever they want. 18/
If a Macoute does something wrong like
killing someone, some reprimand may be
announced, but even if it is, nothing
ever happens to the Macoute. He is never
Chataigne Dumont, a Tonton Macoute for six years,
describes the manner in which these forces operate:
One of the most common Macoute practices
is the extortion of money from shop-
keepers. If they are not given what they
want, they can, without any fear, simply
lie about the shopkeeper to the Tonton
Macoute commanders, saying that the shop-
keeper has spoken bad things about the
government. The Commander then would put
the shopkeeper in prison, and maybe
transfer him to Fort Dimanche, the very
bad prison in Port-au-Prince...
Once the commander, in my presence,
ordered a Macoute named Machoutoute to
kill a gardener, who was the keeper of a
coconut grove. The master of the grove
was not there at the time, and the Com-
mander wanted the grove for himself, so
he ordered the killing of the gardener
and gave the coconut grove to a Macoute
to keep... when I left Haiti, this
Macoute still maintained the coconut
In addition to the VSN, there are several other
government-controlled security forces. These forces may also
be referred to colloquially as "Macoutes". The Military
Police, under the command of the Army General Staff, number
approximately 3,000, and they perform a general surveillance
and information recording function. The Presidential Guard
of approximately 700 "elite" soldiers, is commanded by
General Garcia Jacques and reports directly to the President.
The Presidential Guard is responsible for monitoring the
activities of all the other security forces.
The Leopards are a battalion of 650 "elite"
soldiers who were originally organized by the U.S. Marine
Corps Mission and who act as the well-paid shock troops of
the President. They are commanded by Major Luc Cabrol of the
Presidential Palace. The Haitian Armed Forces, commanded by
[General Saint Albin], are not involved in the most sensitive
political matters, but are the second largest security force
after the VSN. Currently there are almost 3,000 army members
stationed in Port-au-Prince alone.
The Police Rurale number approximately 4,000,
are salaried at a minimal level and stationed exclusively in
rural areas. Their command structure is highly centralized
from Port-au-Prince and they work closely with the VSN in
matters affecting the "security of Haiti."
Perhaps the most feared of the Duvalier security
forces are the civilian secret police, known as the Service
Detectif, who are based in the Casernes Dessalines and
Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, and whose command
structure includes military officers. These approximately
300 officers and agents are responsible for the detention and
interrogation of all persons suspected of political offenses.
Colonel Albert Pierre and Major Emmanuel Orcel direct the
operations of this group, also referred to recently as the
Investigation Commission (Commision d'Enquete).
One political prisoner, who was released in 1981,
describes his treatment by the Service Detectif under Colonel
They took me into the little room next to
Colonel Pierre's office and hit me very
bad so that I fell down, then they kicked
me in my ribs about 20 times until I
almost fainted. They put me in what is
known as the "Jack" position. They
pulled my knees through my handcuffed
arms and passed a long stick between my
knees and arms. They lifted me up and
suspended me between two desks and
started to beat me with clubs. I begged
them to stop and finally lost conscious-
ness. When I woke up I couldn't open
my eyes and could hardly move. I'm not
sure where I was, but by the next morning
I was back in my little cachot, or
isolation cell. I should also tell you
that the officer in charge of interro-
gating me was Lieutenant Montdesir and
one of the men who actually put me in the
Jack position and beat me was known as
In addition to the harsh treatment they reserve
for those Haitians perceived to be "political opponents"
of the government, the security forces also sow terror in the
lives of everyday working people, the "sans-nom" of Haiti.
In Port-au-Prince the security forces extort excessive taxes
from small merchanges or seize their merchandise. Haitians
interviewed report that Macoutes sometimes simply enter
stores and take what they want while refusing to pay. If
protection money is not paid to the Macoutes, small
merchanges or vendors may have their stocks destroyed or
their stands overturned.
In the countryside, where 80% of Haiti's population
resides, security forces extort cash or crops, and seize land
with virtual impunity. Recently, there have been numerous
reports of persons aided by the security forces dispossessing
subsistence peasants in the Artibonite Valley to consolidate
their land to grow cash-crops for export. It goes without
saying that in rural areas there are no legal or other
institutional protections for peasants who have been
aggrieved by the security forces. Resistence to demands of
the security forces, whether for cash, goods, crops, or
personal favor will only bring greater difficulties and
THE CRACKDOWN IN NOVEMBER 1980
AND ITS AFTERMATH
On November 28, 1980, the Haitian military police
undertook the mass arrest of perceived opponents of the
Duvalier government. Within several days, more than 100
persons were detained and imprisoned without explanation or
formal charges. All of those who were arrested were
initially held incommunicado and none were allowed access to
lawyers or visitors. Following their arrests, these people
were first taken to the Casernes Dessalines for interroga-
tion. In early December 1980, sixteen of these detainees
were forcibly exiled from Haiti without ever having been
charged with any crime or given any explanation for their
imprisonment or expulsion.
These arrests in 1980 virtually silenced all
independent journalistic voices, forced human rights
advocates underground, crushed an informal and infant trade
union movement, and seriously threatened the few lawyers who
had been willing to represent clients in politically
sensitive cases. Also arrested were Haiti's only opposition
political leaders of national reputation: Maitre Gregoire
Eugene, leader of the Social Christian Party and publisher of
the monthly periodical, Fraternite; and Sylvio Claude, leader
of the Haitian Christian Democratic Party (PDCH).
Approximately 39 other sympathizers of the PDCH were also
arrested, including: Raoul Acean, Ebenezer Jean, Ernst
Benjamin, Augustin August, and Jacques St. Lot. Although
some of the arrested were eventually charged and tried in
August 1981, a number of those arrested in November 1980 are
still held in the National Pententiary without charge or
Claude's arrest was his fourth in twenty-one
months. The first arrest, in Feburary 1979, followed his
announcement that he would run for the Legislative Assembly
in Haiti's first election in twenty-two years. While he was
detained Claude was severely beaten and tortured with
electric shock treatment. During his recent confinement, and
despite international attention regarding his case, Claude
was continuously denied access to his attorneys from the
Haitian League for Human Rights. During his confinement, he
was again subjected to repeated physical abuse, and was
generally detained under degrading conditions.
THE TRIALS OF 26 POLITICAL DEFENDANTS IN AUGUST
AND NOVEMBER 1981 AND AUGUST 1982
Article 17 of the Haitian Constitution provides:
Individual liberty shall be guaranteed.
No one may be prosecuted, arrested, or
detained except in the cases determined
by law and in the manner which it
Article 17 also provides:
No one can be kept under arrest more
than forty-eight hours unless he has
appeared before a judge who is assigned
to rule on the legality of the arrest
and the judge has confirmed the arrest
by a decision giving reasons. 23/
Article 8 of the American Convention on Human
Every person has the right to a hearing,
with due guarantees and within a reason-
able time, by a competent, independent and
impartial tribunal, previously established
by Law, in the substantiation of any
accusation of a criminal nature made
against him or for the determination of
his rights and obligations of a civil,
labour, fiscal or any other nature. 24/
On August 26, 1982, nearly nine months after the
mass arrests of November 1980, the government of Haiti
brought 26 persons to trial before Judge Menan Pierre-Louise
in the Central Courthouse in Port-au-Prince. Eleven of the
defendants were members of the Haitian Christian Democratic
Party (PDCH) including its president, Sylvio Claude. Two
others were journalists imprisoned during the mass arrests of
November 1980. They were charged with the following
1. Conspiracy against the interior security
of the Haitian state (Articles 63-67,
Penal Code of 1961; and
2. Voluntary arson (Article 356 of the
Penal Code). 25/
The trial, which violated a number of procedural
rights guaranteed by the Haitian Constitution and inter-
national law, lasted for nineteen hours on a single day
and night. All of the defendants were convicted on both
charges at 5 a.m.; 22 of the defendants were sentenced to
fifteen years of hard labor, and the other four sentenced to
one year in prison. The Haitian League for Human Rights
labeled the verdict a "judicial scandal of unbelievable
proportions," charging that no credible evidence had been
presented by the government.
On February 26, 1982, the Court of Appeals
announced that it had overturned and annulled the lower
court's decision due to procedural flaws and a technical
sentencing error. The retrial of the remaining twenty-two
*/ For a more complete account of the August trial, see A
Report on the August 1981 Trial and November 1981
Appeal, 26 Political Defendants in Haiti, Lawyers
Committee for International Human Rights, March 1982.
defendants -- whose date was never publicly announced,
despite repeated requests from the defense lawyers and
international legal organizations -- took place on August 27,
1982. It occurred in an atmosphere of armed intimidation,
with up to 60 security police armed with rifles and
submachine guns in front and inside the court. Many of the
family members of the accused were barred from the courtroom,
and one of Sylvio Claude's sons was physically thrown out of
the court in the presence of an international legal observer.
According to members of the Port-au-Prince Bar who attended
the trial as observers (but who did not represent any of the
parties), the vast majority of the men who packed the large
courtroom were security force members or their relatives and
friends, all dressed in civilian clothes. Their obvious
familiarity with the uniformed guards, and possession of
barely concealed handguns, tended to confirm this theory.
Defense lawyers were instructed not to exercise their
pre-emptory challenges of prospective jurors because the
defendants felt that all were closely allied with the
All of the defendants were accused of "conspiracy
to set fires in a variety of places with the conscious
objective of overthrowing the government," and there was no
direct evidence against twenty of the defendants. There was
only limited hearsay evidence against Claude, and direct but
highly suspect evidence against defendant Michele Francois.
The chief witness for the prosecution, Sargent
Alexandre Le Montagne of the Haitian Military Police,
testified that he came upon a small, easily extinguished fire
outside a school. He claimed that an unidentified member of
the crowd rushed up and told him "the fire was set by Sylvio
Claude and his clique." (As Claude later pointed out, the
police records show that he was in prison at the time.) A
second witness, Wilder Theodore, who testified against
Francois, admitted that he had himself helped set the fire,
that he was a paid employee of the Service Detectif Casernes
Dessalines, Haiti's secret police, and that he had been
instructed to infiltrate the Christian Democratic Party to
The prosecution presented three strands of evidence
to support its conspiracy charge. The first was a witness
who testified he saw several of the defendants entering a
private home "many times." He did not specify which
defendants or identify them by name. He had no idea what
they were doing in the home. He also testified that he had
seen a defendant named Jacques Bertulien, whom he claimed to
know "intimately," painting an anti-government poster. But
he was unable, when pressed, to identify Bertulien.
The second witness testified that he had seen
several defendants entering a private home. He also failed
to give specific descriptions of the defendants, except to
name Jaques Dominque, whom he said was a neighbor he knew
well, but later failed to identify.
With the third strand of evidence the prosecution
sought to prove that the defendants planned to hold an
illegal public assembly. The attorney presented a letter
Marie France Claude had openly written to the police
requesting permission to hold a public assembly to protest
the incarceration of her father. Under Article 31 of the
*/ He did not know what went on in the home but testified
that later, when he saw on TV that the defendants had
been arrested, "I said to myself, they were doing
something political." A defense lawyer asked him to
identify Dominique, and he blurted out, as if coached,
"he's wearing a blue shirt." The lawyer pointed out
that three defendants were wearing blue shirts and asked
the witness to specify which of the three was Dominique.
The witness said, "I don't have to answer." The lawyer
then asked one of the blue shirted defendants to stand
and asked the witness "is this Domonique?". The witness
was obviously flustered and unsure. Just as he was
about to blurt out an answer, the prosecutor jumped to
his feet, seized a microphone, and shouted "That's not
himl Don't answer" The defense lawyer asked the judge
to censor the prosecutor and to order him to cease his
constant interruptions of defense cross-examinations,
but the judge simply turned to the witness and told him
he was excused.
Haitian Constitution, "public gatherings" are entirely
subject to police regulation," and the police had not granted
permission for a public assembly since 1968. Permission was
denied, and although the assembly was therefore never held,
the prosecution seized on her request as evidence that all
the defendants were conspiring to hold an illegal
demonstration whose purpose would have been to incite revolt
and to overthrow the established government. Sylvio Claude
pointed out that he was in prison, incommunicado, when the
letter was written, and it was not likely he had conspired
before his arrest to plan a demonstration protesting his
The government prosecutor also asked the jury to
find Sylvio Claude alone guilty of publishing a newspaper
which "incited the citizens to revolt against their
government." He offered as evidence a photograph from an
exile organization in Caracas, Venezuela, that pictured
President-for-Life Duvalier alongside seven leaders of
dictatorial regimes, together with a captain that asked: "For
How Long?" Under Article 33 of the Haitian Press Law, only
the author, editor, printer or publisher of a "subversive"
article can be convicted. As the defense lawyers pointed
out, Sylvio Claude fit none of those categories, and there
was literally no evidence or even an official claim that he
did. Additionally, his daughter, Marie France acknowledged
sole responsibility for the publication.
Throughout the trial, the government prosecutor
shouted down the defense lawyers and the defendants. The
government prosecutor also frequently shouted at the
presiding judge, Theophile Jean Francoise, and often appeared
to intimidate him. Throughout most of the last 5 hours of
the trial (which ended at 6:50 a.m. on Saturday, the 28th of
August) a majority of jurors were asleep, as were the court
clerks responsible for transcribing the proceedings. With no
mention of prosecutorial misconduct, or a lack of credible
evidence against the defendants, all were found guilty as
charged and sentenced to the maximum of 6 years in prison.
On September 22, 1982, President Claude Duvalier
granted all 22 defendants' request for amnesty, on the
occasion of the 25th anniversary of the "Duvalier era." The
defendants have been allowed to return to, but some cannot
leave, their homes which are under constant surveillance.
They are required to register with the police in the Casernes
Francois Duvalier every 72 hours.
THE PERSECUTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORS -
THE HAITIAN LEAGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
The Haitian League for Human Rights was formed in
1977 by a group of law professors and defense lawyers from
the Port-au-Prince bar. It is the only human rights
organization in Haiti. It seeks to promote and defend the
principles enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and the Constitution of Haiti. For most of its five
year existence, the Government of Haiti has waged a campaign
of harassment and intimidation against the League that has
effectively prevented it from functioning.
On November 1979, a meeting called by the League to
protest the detention and maltreatment of Sylvio Claude was
violently broken up by members of the Tonton Macoutes. More
than fifty people, including the League's President, Gerard
Gourgue, were beaten. Professor Gourgue was scheduled to
give a talk on "The Political Atmosphere and Human Rights in
Haiti." At least one person, a journalist named Georges
Michel, died of injuries sustained during the raid by the
government's security personnel.
Daniel Voltaire, a member of the Presidential Guard
who attended the meeting describes what he witnessed:
As I approached the hall, I saw a large
number of Tonton Macoutes in civilian
clothes outside of the hall. I know
many of the Macoutes in Port-au-Prince,
so it was very easy to recognize them.
As I started to go into the hall to hear
the speaker they called out to me: 'So,
military people are no longer loyal
Duvalierists, now they are attending
human rights meetings. You better be
careful.' Another one yelled: 'We have
orders to beat anyone who goes in there,
so use your head.'
Maitre Gourgue said that the Macoutes
had come with assurances of peace, and
he asked that they remain peaceful, and
keep peace in the hall. The Macoutes in
the room seemed to be commanded by
Lieutenant Meu. The Macoutes continued
to whistle and people started trying to
flee from the room, but the Macoutes
closed the doors so nobody could get
out. Then two Macoutes known as 'Les
Freres Simeon', but really named
Polychinel, began to beat people near
them. Soon all the Macoutes were
beating people. 28/
The Haitian government has never conducted an
inquiry into this incident, and no one has ever been charged
with any crimes in connection with the violent actions of
these security forces.
In late 1980 and early 1981, several members of the
Haitian League were arrested without charge, including
Lafontant Joseph and Joseph Maxi. Some of those
arrested were subsequently beaten by Haitian security forces.
In January of 1981, Lafontant Joseph, the Secretary General
of the Haitian League, was forcibly abducted by four armed
civilians as he was leaving the principal court of
Port-au-Prince. He was taken to the Casernes Dessalines
where, during his interrogation, he was repeatedly asked
about any contacts with international legal and human rights
organizations. Joseph was severely beaten in the
interrogation room of the Service Detectif at the Casernes.
His interrogators reportedly screamed at him -- "Haiti is not
the place for human rights or for people who talk to
As a result of the mistreatment of Mr. Joseph and
other active members of the League, at least three members
have recently gone into exile or into hiding. In early 1982,
Joseph Maxi, a well-known lawyer and a founding member of the
League, was forced into hiding following repeated threats
from the secret police. Prior to this, Maitre Maxi had been
urging members of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association to
become involved in the defense of persons detained without
charge in the National Penitentiary and the Casernes
Dessalines. As of June 1982, Mr. Maxi remained in hiding in
fear for his life. These and other acts of harassment by the
Haitian government have caused the Haitian League for Human
Rights to effectively suspend its operations. Government
officials continue to deny that they seek to prevent the
League from functioning. They assert that the League has
ceased to be active, "for reasons best known to its members."
The demise of the League is particularly important because
the government of Haiti has not permitted any other
independent human rights organization to form, much less
While the Haitian government has given nominal
support to human rights through the creation of an official
government body, it has been inactive and impotent to
date. In April 1982, President Duvalier announced the
formation of this agency, called the National Commission on
Human Rights. In a speech before the Legislative Assembly,
the President stated that the Commission was part of his
"revolutionary vision" for a legal culture "designed to (sic)
the promotion and protecting human rights in Haiti."
President Duvalier assured the Assembly:
"This step actualizes my pledges, always
unalterable, to settle the Haitian Society
on solid foundations, in accordance with
our concern for order, equity and respect
for juridical rules which protect our
collectivity from disarray." 31/
In a similar undertaking in November 1979,
President Duvalier formed a Human Rights Division in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At that time Georges Salomon,
Haiti's Foreign Minister, announced that the new office
...provide liaison between the Haitian
government and national and international
institutions which are interested in
The new division will be a focal point
for renewed efforts to assure proper
governmental attention to human rights
matters. It will coordinate my
government's activities and those of
local and international groups who
express an interest in the furtherance of
human rights progress in Haiti, and who
have complaints or inquiries on the
President Duvalier noted in his November 27, 1979
speech that he was "firmly committed to a policy of
liberalization and respect of human rights in Haiti."
Both of these announcements came only two weeks
after the Tonton Macoutes had broken up the meeting of the
Haitian League for Human Rights. The announcement preceded,
by less than 11 months, the most severe crackdown and arrest
wave in recent Haitian history. Following the much
publicized creation of this office, there was little evidence
of its existence. To date, the Human Rights Division in
the Government has never issued any substantive statements
nor intervened publicly in any human rights matters.
THE TREATMENT OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
A. Prison Conditions and Torture
Article 17 of the Haitian Constitution:
Any unnecessary force or restraint in
the apprehension of a person or in
keeping him under arrest, any moral
pressure or physical brutality, is
Article 5 of the American Convention:
"No one shall be subjected to torture or
to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment
or treatment. All persons deprived of
their liberty shall be treated with
respect for the inherent dignity of the
human person...Every person has the
right to have his physical, mental and
moral integrity respected. 34/
Throughout 1981 and the first half of 1982,
officially sanctioned brutality and mistreatment still
characterize Haiti's prisons where beatings, interrogation
under torture and gross neglect by prison authorities con-
tinue to occur on a regular basis.
Efforts to challenge these conditions have not been
tolerated by the government. In July 1981, five political
prisoners: Vladimir Jeanty, Jean-Roland Denis, Josias Chery,
Berthaud Robillard and Roosevelt Blaise, went on a hunger
strike at the National Penitentiary to protest degrading
prison conditions and the lack of medical treatment. As a
result of their dispute, all were beaten by the prison
guards. According to Amnesty International, several other
political prisoners were reported to have been "tortured by
prison guards as punishment" during late 1981. Most of the
defendants at the August 1981 and 1982 trials complained in
open court of mistreatment, beatings or torture during their
On September 28, 1981, and again on October 14,
1981, Sylvio Claude was reportedly beaten in his isolation
cell at the National Penitentiary. He was repeatedly refused
medical treatment for conjunctivitis in his eyes in late 1981
and early 1982.
Claude's daughter, Marie-France Claude has also
been subjected to repeated harassment by prison guards. She
was forced to stand naked in her cell while guards "touched
and humiliated me." For many months she was not allowed
contact with her family, friends or lawyers. Prison
authorities repeatedly refused even to allow her family to
bring food or clothing to her.
Another co-defendant, Gabriel Herard, a bank clerk
and accountant, testified that for the first eight days after
his arrest his hands and feet were bound constantly and that
he was fed only a little corn meal and brackish water.
Herard then testified that he had been instructed
to appear on a national television show and admit to having
been involved in a plot to set fires and overthrow the
government. Herard related what occurred after his return to
his isolation cell:
Valme came in with some other S.D.
He screamed at me "next time you won't
forget your instructions." He beat me
with a wooden club on my back until I
thought I would explode. He kept
screaming: "I told you what to say." 36/
Yet another defendant at the August trial, Michel
Francois, described his treatment in the following terms:
I was never told why I was arrested. I
was taken to the interrogation room of
the S.D. (Secret Police) at the Casernes
Dessalines. They put me in the cow
position. Finally I gave milk to Colonel
Jean Valme' and Lieutenant Julien. 37/
The "cow position," or "position Boeuf" is so named
because the prisoner is forced to squat in an intensely
painful and ultimately crippling position until giving "milk"
*/ Colonel Jean Valme', Commander of the Military Police,
a division of the Army and leading member of the
Political Commission or Investigation Commission, a 20
person, informal body that coordinates all of Haiti's
Franz Benjamin testified that he had been arrested
on October 16, 1980 at the home of Augustine Auguste and was
taken to the Casernes Dessalines:
"I was tied up so that it hurt a lot and
then they beat me very badly. Blood came
out of my nose and ears and my underwear
was soaking with blood." 38/
Yves Theodore stated that after his arrest he was
taken to Casernes Dessalines and handcuffed for nine days. He
had been beaten so badly and so often that a doctor was
finally brought in to examine him He said he overheard the
doctor tell the guard that he couldn't take much more and
that they should stop beating him for a while.
In February 1981, Yvens Paul, a noted Creole
playwright and radio journalist, described the torture he
suffered in the Casernes Dessalines in October 1980:
They took the handcuffs off. After
which, the officer declared they would
now get to work.
I was hit in the face. I was slapped
(fingers were poked in my eyes and my
ears were beaten with the lower part of
the palm near the wrist).
It's a demoralizing sort of punishment
which makes you lose your calm. Almost
without a break, several people with
sticks took over and gave me a severe
beating. A man known as 'Baron' or 'neg
marron' came into the room and said, 'But
he's too comfortable here. Wait a
minute.' Then he took a nylon thread
and tied my wrists behind my legs (the
scars are still visible). He pushed a
long stick between my legs and arms. I
was like a ball. I felt as if my body
was going to break everywhere. At that
point I was beaten with sticks. At one
pont I felt as though I was going to die.
They gave me something to drink. Then
they started again even worse. The skin
on my buttocks had been torn away. The
blood was running down. They weren't put
off. On the contrary, you could.say that
the sight of my blood excited them even
more. When I was on the point of dying,
they untied me and dragged me to a dark
cell. You couldn't see anything. My
buttocks felt as if they'd become as big
as pumpkins. Next day I had a terrible
fever. I was seen by a doctor. He gave
me some treatment. They I was taken
along to the court. The judge said to
me, 'I have received orders from the
Minister of Justice to hand you over to
your mother.' He phoned my mother. In
the meantime, I asked him why I had been
arrested. 'Because of your broadcasts on
the radio: they are subversive. 39/
In January 1982, a small group of Haitian exiles
tried to stage an invasion from the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Three unarmed persons accompanying them were arrested,
tortured and then executed in the Casernes Dessalines in
January 1982. All three men, journalist Richard Brisson,
Robert Maturin, and Louis Celestine, were unarmed when
captured, and were in good health when they were brought
secretly to Port-au-Prince for interrogation.
In early May 1982, Robert Jacques Thelusma died as
a result of a lack of proper medical care in the national
Penitentiary. Thelusma had been adopted as a prisoner of
conscience by Amnesty International in 1980. A retrial for
Thelusma and three other prisoners of conscience had been
ordered by the Cour de Cassations in July 1979. Despite
this, Thelusma had continued to be held without trial in the
National Penitentiary without explanation until the time of
Another recent fatality was Rodrique Montfleuri, a
well-known Haitian poet, who died of an untreated illness in
Port-au-Prince. Since November 1980, Montfleuri had been
fleeing the Tonton Macoutes.
B. Detainees Held Incommunicado Without Charge
Article 17 of the Haitian Constitution:
No one may be kept under arrest more than
forty-eight hours unless he has appeared
before a judge who is assigned to rule on
the legality of the arrest and the judge
has confirmed the arrest by a decision
As of May 1982, a number of people continue to be
held in Haitian jails without charges or any explanation as
to why they are being held. In many instances they have been
held for a long period of time (in several cases for years)
without the possibility of contacting their relatives. The
Haitian government has consistently refused to make available
lists of the political prisoners it is now holding. Almost
all of these prisoners are held in the four largest prisons
in Port-au-Prince: the National Penitentiary, the Casernes
Dessalines, the underground prison in the Presidential
Palace, and Fort Dimanche.
As of March 15, 1982, the following persons were
being held incommunicado in the National Penitentiary without
explanation or charge:
Jean Roland Denis
34 Financial Consultant
Bienvenu Theodore 37 Former Military 1979
Charles Casseus 27 Chomeur 12/19/80
Alfred Jean Unknown 12/08/81
Victor Roger idem
Francois Jacques idem
Pierre Louis idem
Jean Pierre-Paul idem
This list does not include people who have been
charged with specific violations of Haitian law for which
they have never been tried, or those for whom the legal
process may take years to complete. It does not contain the
names of four Saint Marc defendants Ulrich Desire, Emmanuel
Noel, Robert Jacques Thelusma, and Jeanton Gustave Colas.
The four were arrested in 1978 and after eighteen months in
prison without charge, were finally charged and convicted in
a closed courtroom of "crimes against the security of the
state." In July 1980, an Appeals Court overturned their
conviction and ordered a new trial because they had been
denied the benefit of a trial by jury to which they were
entitled under the Constitution. Despite repeated efforts by
their lawyers, the Haitian government refused to schedule a
Finally, on September 3, 1982, over 25 months
after the Appeals Court had annulled their convictions, they
were retried in Port-au-Prince on the same charges. The
government prosecutor refused to explain the absence of one
defendant, Robert Jacques Thelusma, who had died in the
National Penitentiary in May. The prosecutor refused to
admit that Mr. Thelusma had died or to recommend that a death
certificate be issued. Following a 14 hour trial marked by
repeated procedural violations and prosecutorial interference
with the defense, they were again convicted and sentenced to
four years in prison. Despite an absence of any public
announcement or confirmation, it appears that the "Saint Marc
defendants" were included in the amnesty of political
prisoners announced by President-for-Life Duvalier on
September 22, 1982.
VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHTS OF TRADE UNIONS
Article 24 of the Haitian Constitution:
All workers may protect their interests
through trade-union activities. Every
worker shall belong to the trade union
representing his particular occupation. 40/
In the last year, trade union freedom has continued
to deteriorate in Haiti. Restrictions against these unions
are enforced through Article 236 of the Constitution which
required the authorization of the Haitian government prior to
the formation of any group of more than twenty persons.
According to a 1979 report by the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, "no
major unions or workers' associations have existed in Haiti
since 1962, and the country is unaware of the Conventions of
the International Labour Organization."
An informal group of labor representatives was
formed in 1980 around the CLAT (Centre Autonome des
Travaillers Haitiens). It focused on several important
sectors of the Haitian economy: the sugar refining,
cement, testiles and light metal industries. However, in
November-December 1980, almost all labor organizers connected
with CLAT were either arrested, exiled or forced underground.
According to Yves Richard, the President of CLAT,
approximately forty-five persons affiliated with CLAT have
been detained without explanation in the last eighteen
months. They are:
Jean Pierre Joseph
Hilarion Jn Jacques
Camilien Jn Louis
Eddy Jn Paul
Vidal Jn Danier
Jean Maud St. Louis
Appolon Jn Charles
Jacquelin Vilsaint Adam Pierre-Louis
Mervil Louis 42/
The whereabouts of these persons remain
unknown. Mr. Richard also was exiled forcibly from Haiti in
1981. He described the circumstances of his arrest and
torture in the following terms:
Without warning, a group of Tonton
Macoutes burst in, and, without more ado,
started beating up the workers. Fellow
trade unionist Simeon Jean-Baptiste was
killed by a bullet from the guns of the
Tonton Macoutes of Jean-Claude Duvalier.
I was taken with the other workers to
Casernes Dessalines (an army barracks
where we were interrogated under torture
and accused for the first time of being
arsonists and communist agitators). From
that moment, I was kept completely separate
from the other workers and transferred to
the underground cells hidden below the
Palais National (National Palace), where
there is no daylight. Thanks to the
electric torch of the prison guard,
however, I was able to distinguish
skeletons, probably those of former
prisoners, lying there on the ground. It
was like living a nightmare inside a mass
grave under the Palais National. 43/
In the past 18 months, there has been no
improvement with regard to the freedom of Haitians to
organize trade unions or to participate in any labor
activity. In September 1981, employees at the Madeseon
factories in Port-au-Prince attempted to hold a meeting
concerning an overall reduction in wages. This meeting was
forcibly broken up by Haitian government security forces; six
workers were imprisoned and others were severely beated. To
date no one has been charged in connection with this
incident, as the government has failed to conduct any
DENIALS OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND PRESS
Everyone has the right to express his
opinion on any matter and in any means
within his power. The expression of
thought, whatever form it takes, may not
be subject to prior censorship except
when a state of war has been declared.
(Article 26 of the Haitian Constitution.) 44/
Everyone has the right to freedom of
thought and expression. This right
includes freedom to seek, receive, and
impart information and ideas of all
kinds, regardless of frontiers, either
orally, in writing, in print, in the form
of art, or through any other medium of
one's choice." Article 13 of the
American Convention on Human Rights. 45/
In late 1980 and early 1981, virtually all
journalists independent of the Haitian government were
imprisoned or forced into exile without explanation. Since
then the rights of free expression and press continue to be
systematically undermined by the Haitian government.
Those who continue to work in Haiti are subject to
official censorship, which is permitted under the amended
press law of March 1980. Censorship is also sanctioned,
through the arbitrary application of the various state
security laws and the so-called "Loi Anti-Communiste" of
April 1969. Article 22 of the Press Law prohibits the press
from "offending the Chief of State or the First Lady of the
Republic," and from "making any attack against the integrity
of the people's culture." Another provision prohibits the
press from writing "defamatory allegations" against members
of the legislative or executive branches of the government, a
magistrate, or the memory of a deceased person.
These open-ended laws extend not only to the author
of the offense but to any accomplices, such as editors,
publishers and vendors. While this provision is not
generally enforced, it has a chilling effect on all
journalists in Haiti.
Article 29 prohibits:
The entry, circulation and sale in the
country of a foreign publication that is
subversive or against good morals.
In addition, Article 4 requires that:
At any time of publication and before any
distribution, five copies of the printed
matter shall be deposited with the
Secretary for the Defense and Interior.
Reliable journalistic sources in Port-au-Prince
explain that following the creation of the Haitian Press
Agency envisaged in Article 13 of the Press Law, Mr. Jean
Mayer, the Director of D.I.R.P. (Department of Information
and Public Relations) selects those news stories that are
considered appropriate to be printed. Any journalist or
newspaper that prints something that has not been cleared by
Mayer for its topic and orientation, or who has not directly
relied on the dispatch of a foreign wire service accredited
in Port-au-Prince, will be called before the D.I.R.P. to
explain both their sources and reasons for printing the
Other Haitian legislation that substantially
eliminates any freedom of expression includes the Law of
April 1969, popularly known as the "Loi Anti-Communiste," the
Anti-Communist Law, which gives the government the
opportunity to charge almost anyone critical of its actions
with crimes against the security of the state.
The open-ended nature of these provisions, in
particular the broad definition of communism, allow almost
anyone to be prosecuted or persecuted without recourse to
*/ Article 1. Communist activities, no matter what
their form, are hereby declared crimes against the
security of the State: all verbal or written,
public or private expressions of communist
teaching; all propagation of communist or anarchist
doctrine by lectures, speeches, conversations,
reading, public or private meetings, by tracts,
placards, periodicals, newspaper articles,
brochures, or verbal contact with local or foreign
associations, or with persons involved in spreading
communist or anarchist ideas, and receiving,
collecting or providing funds directly or indirectly
for the propagation of such ideas. 49/
Few of the independent media sources closed down
in November-December 1980 have been allowed to resume free
operation. None of Haiti's leading print and broadcast media
or journalists who were imprisoned or forcibly exiled at this
time have been allowed to return from exile. Several,
including Jacques Price Jean, are still in prison.
The harassment of journalists has continued in
1982. In March 1982, one newscaster for Radio Metropole was
forced to discontinue his broadcasts. In May 1982, a small
group of young journalists sympathetic to the Haitian
Christian Democratic Party attempted to duplicate a
newsletter for limited distribution in Port-au-Prince and
were arrested and interrogated at the Casernes Dessalines.
Each was warned not to repeat "these activities" before
finally being released.
In addressing the current Haitian situation at its
annual meeting in March 1982, the Inter-American Press
Association adopted the following resolution:
Whereas the Duvalier family dictatorship
in Haiti despite its control of the
communications media continues to seek
other means to assure that the Haitian
people receive only news approved by the
government and to suppress free and
independent thought; whereas the latest
measure of thought control has been the
creation of an official agency to
monopolize the distribution of
information inside the country and
control the flow of news abroad, the
Board of Directors resolves to protest to
the Haitian government against the
creation of an official monopoly agency
and to ask members of the IAPA to oppose
the repressive measures of the Duvalier
dictatorship that deny truthful
information and diverse opinions to the
Haitian people. 50/
THE TREATMENT OF RETURNEES
A former sergeant in President Duvalier's elite
presidential guard, who fled Haiti in 1981 in fear of his
life, describes the suspicions felt by the Haitian government
of persons who previously fled Haiti. He describes his
experience in 1980 and 1981:
The practice was to pick up these
"komokin" (traitors) at the airport in an
army or Red Cross truck and take them to
the Casernes Dessalines. The truck would
be covered by a "prela" or a shakoo" so
that passers-by cannot see who is being
taken to prison. At the prison they try
to find out why you went abroad to make
the President ashamed, why you want to
interfere in the government's affairs or
talk bad about them. When you go to the
Casernes they treat you very bad and you
get skinny like a pen. If you are lucky
your family can pay someone in the
government to get you out. But if they
don't know that you are in prison or if
they are poor, then I would be very sorry
for you and your chances are not very
There have been continuing reports of mistreatment
of returnees. One Haitian woman, who was detained in the
U.S. in 1981 and 1982, first tried to escape from Haiti in
the spring of 1981. The sailboat on which she and seventy
others were travelling was badly damaged and forced to return
to Haiti. When they arrived on the shore they were met by
members of the Haitian security forces, the Tonton Macoutes.
Tied with cords, they were eventually taken to a town called
Jean-Rabel, from which they were taken to the Casernes
There, ten of the men from our boat were
tied up in front of us. Their pants were
removed and they were put on their
stomachs. Then four guards began to beat
them with sticks as big as my arm. They
were beaten so much that their behinds
were bruised and bloody, and horrible to
see. When we saw that, the women started
crying. The authorities told us that if
we did not stop crying they would beat
and kill us. They told us that we were
"kamokin" (opponents of the regime) who
were trying to leave the country in order
to go out to talk against the government. 52/
Another Haitian who also was detained in the U.S.,
was arrested in late 1980 as he returned to Haiti from the
Dominican Republic. While he was in detention at the
National Penitentiary, he witnessed the arrival, in late
summer or early fall of 1981, of 15 prisoners.
These 15 men were part of a larger group
who fled Haiti in a small fishing boat.
They were taken to a prison in a camp that
I now know was the Krome Prison. Later
they were transferred to Puerto Rico and
were visited by the Haitian Counsul who
came from San Juan. He told them that
nothing would happen to them if they went
back to Haiti, and that the government
would make sure that the Haitian Red
Cross would assist them. So these men
did decide to return to Haiti.
On arriving at the Port-au-Prince
airport, two jeeps from the Haitian Red
Cross met them and, after looking up
their names, men dressed in civilian
clothes took them directly to the
Casernes Dessalines. They were kept
there for about 15 days. Then they were
brought before Colonel Albert Pierre and
ordered that several of them be beaten
Two of these men appeared to have been
hurt very badly. 53/
With the influx of Haitians requesting asylum in
the United States, the treatment of Haitian returnees has
become the subject of considerable U.S. debate.
In 1980, after reviewing substantial evidence
concerning the treatment of returnees from the United States
to Haiti, a Federal District Court in Florida concluded in
the case of Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti, 503 F. Supp.
442 (S.D. Fla. July 1980) modified on other grounds, 676 F.
2d 1023, (5th Cir. 1982):
Substantial evidence was presented at
trial concerning treatment of returnees
in Haiti. A largely uncontradicted
pattern emerged. Upon return to Haiti,
persons whom the Haitian government views
as political opponents will be
mistreated. Persons who have fled Haiti
and sought asylum elsewhere are seen as
opponents of the Duvalier regime. They
are taken to Casernes Dessalines for
questioning. Many more are further
imprisoned and persecuted. Of those
allowed to return home, many more are
later imprisoned or persecuted. 54/
The court's opinion goes on to describe how
returnees are arrested on their return and sent to prison;
how those who have applied for asylum abroad are given worse
treatment because they have "insulted the Duvalier family,"
and how the Tonton Macoutes receive orders to arrest those
returning from foreign countries. Judge King concluded that
his courtroom had become "populated by the ghosts of
individual Haitians including those returned from the
United States who had been beaten, tortured and left to die
in Haitian prisons."
The Lawyers Committee, in March of 1982,
unsuccessfully attempted to interview five persons living in
Port-au-Prince who had been "interdicted" by the United
States Coast Guard and forced to return to Haiti. The
Haitian government has consistently refused to publish lists
of political prisoners in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere.
There have been subsequent attempts to locate these people,
but to no avail. None could be found at the addresses given
to the Coast Guard and people at four of the five residences
were extremely nervous about talking about these individuals.
None of these people had ever been visited by any Haitian or
American authorities attempting to verify the condition of
the returnees, a pattern that undermines the repeated
assurances that checks are made as to the well-being of
Recent evidence indicates that returnees are still
viewed with extreme prejudice and suspicion by the Haitian
government. The following testimony of a young Haitian
mother, who insisted on anonymity because she feared that her
life was in danger, reflects the government's current
I left (Haiti) in January 1982; I left my
two children with my mother. I felt like
I had to try to get to Miami. I paid
$2,000 for the boat. I didn't have any
papers (passport). I ran up big debts
that I hoped to pay back after having
found work in Miami. We left during the
night from Port-de-Paix; there were
around 300 of us in the boat. After four
days we saw land and we celebrated having
arrived in the United States. But this
wasn't Miami, we had arrived in Cuba
(Guantanamo?). We were welcomed for a
night and we were given food. The next
day a big American ship arrived, and we
were put on board. We sang and danced
and rejoiced at finally leaving for
Miami. After three days we saw land and
we were very happy. But unfortunately we
were arriving in Leogane (Haiti), where
we were immediately captured and beaten
with wooden clubs by the Tonton Macoutes;
they made us get into big trucks to take
us to the prison of Fort Dimanche.
Everybody was hit with clubs. A few
people were successful in jumping out of
the trucks and hiding, but most of us
When we arrived at Fort Dimanche it
appeared relatively pretty and clean with
tiles on the ground. But suddenly a door
was opened in the floor and we were
pushed into the shadows of a big cell,
without any windows where there were
already some other people. There was
only one light and two ventilation
grates, there was a big can that was to
be used for a toilet. Once a day they
brought us cooked corn meal in a tin can,
without any spoon.
At night we slept on straw mats on the
floor, pushed together like sardines.
We received no medical attention, they
let us die. At night we heard the dogs
eating the corpses that were thrown
behind the prison. We were not regularly
beaten, only if we protested something.
One day when the door in the tile floor
was open I saw a man I knew. I called to
him to tell my mother that I was in the
prison, not in Miami. With the help of a
lawyer, my mother succeeded in getting me
out. This cost another $500.
I was in the prison for four months.
Still today you can see and smell the
results of the blows on my body,
particularly on my thighs.
So now I live in the same misery as
before, only it's worse because I've sold
everything and have big debts. 56/
Analysis based on reliable information of the
current situation in Haiti reveals a pattern of gross
violations of basic human rights in the following areas:
1. The effects of the November 1980 crackdown on
journalists, lawyers and human rights activists continue
unabated: independent journalists and politicians have been
imprisoned, forcibly exiled or silenced, human rights
monitors have been forced to disband or go underground, an
informal and infant trade union movement has been crushed.
2. The complex network of official and
semi-official Haitian security forces continues to violate
the Rule of Law by arresting, or detaining without charge or
explanation, persons perceived to be opponents of the
Duvalier government. These forces regularly use severe
beatings as an interrogation technique.
3. Haitian courts continue to violate various
procedural rights, guaranteed by both the Haitian consti-
tution and international law. On August 25, 1981, the
government of Haiti tried and convicted twenty-six defendants
with arson and plotting against the internal security of the
state. Eleven of the defendants were members of the Haitian
Christian Democratic Party (PDCH) including its President,
Sylvio Claude. Two others were journalists imprisoned during
mass arrests conducted by the government in late November
1980. All defendants were convicted as charged and 22 were
sentenced to 15 years at hard labor.
On February 26, 1982, the Court of Appeals annulled
the lower court's decision on the basis of a technical
sentencing error. On August 27, 1982, 22 of these defendants
were retried on similar charges. All were convicted and
sentenced to the maximum term of six years in prison.
On both occasions, defendants were denied access to
their families and to legal counsel, and none were informed
of the specific charges on which they were to be tried until
days before the trials began. While in detention, a number
of defendants were subjected to harassment, beating and
intimidation by members of Haitian security forces. Both
trials took place behind roadblocks, set up by government
security forces who surveilled the courthouse with machine
After significant international pressure was raised
following the August 1982 convictions, President Jean Claude
Duvalier announced on September 22, 1982, that the defendants
would benefit from a Presidential Amnesty on the occasion of
the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Duvalier era.
4. The Haitian government is not willing to
tolerate the existence of any person or organization that
advocates the promotion of human rights in Haiti. The
government has effectively suppressed all activities of the
Haitian League for Human Rights through the arrest and
beating of some of its members, and the forcible exiling or
intimidation of others.
5. Political prisoners continue to face severe
mistreatment and violations of their fundamental due process
rights. While international pressure seems to have improved
conditions slightly at the National Penitentiary, no change
occurred in conditions at other political prisons.
6. The Haitian government continues to suppress
and stifle any effective political activity or opposition.
7. Freedom of the press is severely curtailed by
state security legislation, and by a series of press laws
that include a highly restrictive act passed in September
1979, and amended in March 1980.
8. In the last two years the Haitian government
has systematically eliminated all legitimate free trade union
activity. The leaders of the major infant labor
organizations have been arrested without charge, forcibly
exiled or forced underground.
== END ==
F FOOTNOTE S
1/. "Haiti is Tangled In a Murky Inquiry", The New York
Times, August 26, 1982, p. A3; and "Haiti Refugees,
Waste and Repression: Eye Opening Lessons on Giving
Aid", International Herald Tribune, September 1, 1982.
3/ Amnesty International Report, Amnesty International
Publications, London, 1976, p. 101.
4/ "Report on the Situation of Human Rights In Haiti",
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization
of American States, Washington, December 13, 1979, p.
5/ Statement of President Jean Claude Duvalier at the Presi-
dential Palace on July 14, 1982 on the occasion of the
final introduction of the new Ministers.
6/ Op Cit., "Haiti is Tangled in a Murky Inquiry," The New
York Times, August 26, 1982, p. A3.
2/ Current Economic Position and Prospects of Haiti,
Document of the World Bank, Washington, D.C., December
22, 1978, p. 1.
8/ Memorandum on the Haitian Economy, World Bank, Latin
America and Caribbean Regional Office, May 13, 1981,
9/ "Sold like Cattle, Haitian Workers in the Dominican
Republic," World Council of Churches #10, Geneva,
November 1980, p. 11. Quoting from "Migrant Workers
in the Dominican Republic," Anti-Slavery Society for
the Protection of Human Rights, London.
10/ Op Cit., World Bank, May 13, 1981, p. IV.
11/ "Impediments to Economic and Social Development in
Haiti," Congressional Research Service, the Library of
Congress, Washington, D.C., June 19, 1978.
12/ Unpublished Preliminary Report of World Bank 1982.
13/ "La Situation Des Droits de L'Homme en Haiti," Communi-
cation Presentee a la Division des Droits de L'Homme
des Nations Unies, Theo Buss et Claude Martin, Geneve,
Juin 1982, p. 6.
14/ Op Cit., I.A.C.H.R. Report, December 1979, p. 74.
15/ "Memories D'un Leader Du Tiers Monde," Francois
Duvalier, Hachitte, 1969, p. 324.
16/ Recorded by an observer at the rally, name withheld.
17/ Affidavit of June 14, 1982, name withheld because of
fear of reprisal.
18/ Affidavit of Jean Stenio Louis, Miami, July 1979.
19/ Affidavit of Patrick Lemoine, New York, November 1979.
20/ Affidavit of Chataigne Dumont, Miami, July 1979.
21/ Affidavit of a recently released political prisoner, by
Michael S. Hooper, New York, 1982.
22/ Op Cit., "La Situation Des Droits de L'Homme en Haiti,"
Juin 1982, p. 10.
23/ Article 17 continues:
No one may be arrested or detained except by
order of a legally competent official. For
the execution of such an order, it is
necessary that (the order) formally state the
reason for the arrest and the law that pun-
ishes the act charged.
Constitution of Haiti, promulgated 1964, amended 1971,
Port-au-Prince, Title One defines rights and obliga-
tions of the inhabitants of the Republic.
24/ American Convention on Human Rights, San Jose, Costa
Rica, signed by the United States, November 1969,
entered into force July 1978, Article 8.
25/ Ordonnace de Renvoi, government dossier issued on Au-
gust 4, 1981 by Judge d' Instruction Emmanuel Sylvestre.
26/ Prior to the trial, all of the defendants were denied
access to their families and to legal counsel. None
were informed of the charges on which they would be
tried until several days before the trial began. While
in detention a number of defendants were subjected to
harassment, beating and intimidation by members of
Haitian security forces. The trial took place under
extremely intimidating circumstances. Government
security forces set up roadblocks and machine guns
outside of the courthouse, and maintained surveillance
of those in attendance.
The conduct of the trial violated various procedural
rights, guaranteed by both the Haitian Constitution and
international law. Several members of the jury were
illiterate and did not appear to understand French, the
language of the lawyers' debates, and at least one, Mme.
Desforges, is known to work directly for the Service
Detectif, Haiti's political police. Only one of the
defendants, Sylvio Claude, was ever served with an
arrest warrant. It charged him with a violation of
Haiti's press law, for which he was never tried. Most
of the government's written evidence was contradicted
during the trial. Two government witnesses incorrectly
identified "principal actors" in the alleged crimes.
Another witness recanted his prior statements which he
said were made following torture by the Haitian Secret
Police. Only five of the 26 court-appointed defense
lawyers agreed to participate in the case. Many of the
others declined to participate because they feared for
their own personal safety.
"Report on the August 1981 Trial and November 1981
Appeal of 26 Political Defendants in Haiti," Lawyers
Committee for International Human Rights, Michael S.
Hooper, March 1982, p. ii.
27/ Article 31 of the Haitian Constitution expressly allows
private assemblies, "even for the purpose of discussing
political affairs, without prior authorization..." It
was perhaps for this reason that the judge later
remarked that the witnesses' inability to identify
specific defendants was immaterial, because "his testi-
mony was not prejudicial."
(Article 31, Constitution of Haiti)
28/ Affidavit of Daniel Voltaire, Presidential Guard, taken
May 13, 1980, Washington, D.C.
29/ Declaration of an Observer, Identity withheld because of
fear of reprisal.
30/ Le Nouveau Monde, Port-au-Prince, Friday, April 23,
1982, p. 6.
31/ Ibid., p. 6.
32/ "Haiti, Human Rights Division Created in Foreign
Ministry December 1979," Edelman International
Corporation (public elections bulletin prepared by the
Edelman Corp. as Agent for the Republic of Haiti).
33/ Op Cit., Constitution of Haiti, Article 17.
34/ Op Cit., American Convention of Human Rights, Article 5.
35/ "Haiti: Human Rights Violations," Amnesty Inter-
national, November 1981, p. 9.
36/ Op Cit., Report on the August 1981 Trial and November
1981 Appeal of 26 Political Defendants in Haiti, p. 44.
37/ Ibid., p. 43.
38/ In-court statement of Frantz Benjamin, August 28, 1982,
recorded by Michael S. Hooper and Bruce Ennis.
39/ "Haiti: Human Rights Violations, October 1980 -
October 1981," Amnesty International, London, p. 8.
For further testimony, by a former political prisoner
now in the United States, see p. 15.
40/ Constitution of Haiti, Article 24.
41/ Op Cit., Report on the Situation of Human Rights in
Haiti, Organization of American States.
42/ Op Cit., "Haiti: Human Rights Violations," Amnesty
International, p. 8.
43/ Ibid., p. 8.
44/ Op Cit., Constitution of Haiti.
45/ Op Cit., American Convention.
46/ Press Law, announced by President-for-Life Jean Claude
Duvalier, September 29, 1979. Article 22.
47/ Article 41 prohibits:
Any offense, any defamatory allegation or in-
sinuation, or any wrong committed by the press
against a Foreign Chief of State, a member of
the diplomatic corps accredited to the
country, member of the Executive Branch, of
the Legislative Branch, a member of the Court
of Appeals or a senior official.
Ibid., Press Law, September 29, 1979, Article 41.
48/ Ibid., Press Law, September 29, 1979, Article 50.
49/ Article 2:
All those, in whatever capacity: bookseller;
owner or manager of a printing establishment,
owner, manager or lessor of public or private
meeting halls; owner, lessor or lessee or
residences, religious minister, missionary,
preacher, professor, primary school teacher,
etc., who may have suggested or facilitated
execution of such crimes, or harbored or given
assistance to the authors of those crimes shall
be declared guilty of the very same crimes;
Individuals prosecuted under Articles 1 and 2
of the present law shall be tried before a
permanent military court martial proceeding;
The authors of and accomplices in crimes
listed above shall receive the death penalty,
and their goods and chattels shall be con-
fiscated and sold for the benefit of the State.
50/ Conference Report Resolution on Haiti, Inter-American
Press Association, March 1982, Annual Meeting.
51/ Confidential statement taken in Miami on August 26, 1982
by Michael S. Hooper from a former Sergeant in the
52/ Confidential affidavit taken in Miami by Steven
Forrester, Spring 1982. Name withheld because of fear
53/ Confidential affidavit taken in Otisville Federal Prison
by Michael S. Hooper, Winter 1982. Name withheld
because of fear of reprisal.
54/ Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti, 503 F.Supp. 442,
(S.D. Fla. 1980), modified on other grounds,
676 F.2d 1023 (5th Cir. 1982).
55/ Ibid, p. 452.
56/ Op Cit., "La Situation des Droits de L'Homme en Haiti,"
Map of Haiti
Constitution of Haiti
September 29, 1929
Revised Press Law
March 31, 1980
List of Defendants at the
August 1981 and August
Partial List of Persons
Detained Without Charge
in August 1982 at the
[Ile de la Tortue
POrtde-Paix.. St Louis du Nord
M6le : Jean Robel
San Nicolas : Bone "
mats Lim Cap C aotien ''
Bombardopolis Ans Rouge
Plaisance. LFort Libertfd
S.M rc T. .h.
S a CEnnery odon ,'
oArh.i.-:-...-" bC asGonaivesb aha\.. t V ) ,f
JA *-u- -- go.~ o. e'W Thomonde* -
/a ^ Monfrouis
O:~~ ~ ra Chopelle r
Grand Co, '
Abricots .-" remie Cayemite "o ..".
PeitTou Port-au-Prince / '. :',.
PCra'i Pestel^ -" '" -' "*'.
Anse d'Hainault '
NAnse-a-0Veau ^ eKenscoff '
Tiburon "' "
a acLes Anglais St. Louis A .
Cap Carcasse -. Aquin Jacmel A4origot *fu '
Port-i'Piment7 COtes de Fr none '
Coteaux Les Cayes G" rand Gosier
S: Pot de Chomdre
Port Solu -.Vche Anse.'a-Pitres
II. CONSTITUTION OF HAITI
(Of 1964 as amended 1971)
A series of annual decrees by the Legislative Chamber purport to
suspend a number of constitutional provisions and bestow Full Powers on
the Chief of the Executive Power. The provisions affected are indicated
by an asterisk (*). For Lhe te.x of the decrees, see below, III
A French text of the 1964 Constitution (without the 1971. amendments) is
available for consultation.
CONSTiTULTO. Oc HA!TY! *
The Haitian people pzccl&im the present constitution in order to:
Establish their sovereignty;
Define their rights, duties, and responsibilities;
Establish a balance of the powers of the state;
Establish an efficient organization of the government;
Guarantee justice and social security;
Provide the benefits of culture to all Haitians without distinction;
Safeguard and promote the health of the Haitian people;
Strengthen internal peace; and
Thus establish a Haitian nation that is socially just, economically free, and
politically independent under a democracy adapted to its customs and traditions
THM TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC
Article 1. Haiti is an indivisible, sovereign, independent, democratic, and
social republic. *A*
As amended by Decree of the National Constituent Asdembly, dated
January 24, 1971, published in Le Mciiteur of Jan.d.ry 20, 1971.
Article 1. Tbhe sttus of n,,tura.lizze Haitian shall he lost in all cases pro-
vided by law, particularly by continuous residence for more than three years
outside Haitian territory without duly granted authorization.
A person who loses his nationality in this manner may not reacquire it.
Article 12. Aliens may not benefit from the advantages intended especially
for Haitians by establishing a corporation pursuant to the laws of the republic. In
this connection, retail business shall be reserved exclusively to Haitians.
Article 13. Any alien who is in the territory of the republic must obey the
laws and regulations of th-e country and shall cnjcy the protection accorded to
Haitians, except in the event of any measures which it may become necessary to
apply against nationals of countries where Haitians do not enjoy the same protection.
Article 14. The right to own real p-cperty shall be acccrded to alie-ns resid-
ing in Haiti and to foreign. ccnp.rnics for t!.e needs of their agricultural, industrial,
commercial, or educational enterprises, within the limits and under the conditions
prescribed by law.
This right shall likewise be accorded to aliens residing in Haiti for their
residential needs. Foreign construction companies shall have the benefit of a spe-
cial status regulated by law.
However, an li'.en residing in Haiti may not own more than one dwelling in the
same locality. He rrn.y in no case, en-?ge 'n the business of rentin.. real etz te.
This right to own real property shall terminate two years after an alien has
ceased to reside in the country or after the operations of the agricultural, indus-
trial, commercial, or educational enterprises of foreign individuals or companies
The law shall determine the regulations to be followed, in the event of the
cessation of residence or operation in Haiti, in liquidating the property acquired in
the country by foreign individuals or companies.
Any violation of the provisions of the first and second paragraphs of this arti-
cle shall result in the pure and simple seizure of the property bythe state.
Any citizen may report such a violation or the circumstances of cessation of
residence or of operations.
Article 15. In the cases determined by law an alien maybe refusedadmission
to, or sojourn in, the territory of the republic.
An alien may be deported from Haiti when he intereres either directly or in-
di.rectl.in .the political life of.the state or spreads doctrines that are _anarchistic
or..cpntrar.y. to dem oragy.
Individual Rights and CGuarantees
Article 16. Haitians shall 'be equal before the law,. ubjest_t'o..the special.ad-
yantagc s.. co.crr.ed on nati .e-born Haitians.
Every Haitian may take an active part in his country's government,- hold pub-
lic office, or be appointed to a government position, without distinction as to color,
sex, or religion.
In the administration of government services, the appointment of personnel,
and the terms and conditions of their employment, must be free of privileges, fa-
vors, and discrimination.
Article 17. Individual liberty shallbe guaranteed. No one may prosecutedd
arrestedA.ordetaincd e.':c.c=t in the cases determined by la_v and in the manner
wh.i itpr.e scribes..
In addition, no one may be arrested or detained except by order of a legally
For the execution of such an order, it is necessary:
1. that it formally state the reason for the arrest and the law that punishes
the act charged;
2. that legal notice of it be given and that a copy of the order be left with the
accused at the time of its execution, except in case of flagrante delicto.
No one may be kept under arrest more than forty- eight_ hours unless _he
h-s apearcd before a judge who is assigned to rule on the legality of the arrest
and the judge has confirmed the arrest by a decision giving reasons.
In the case cf a petty offense, the arrested person shall be referred tc the
justice of the peace, who will then pronounce a final decision.
In the case of a more serious offense, an appeal may be filed, without prior
permission, simply by addressing a petition to the presiding judge of the cornpe-
tent civil court, who, on the basis of the oral statement of the prosecutor, shall
rule on the legality of the arrest in a special session of the court, without postpone-
ment or rotation of judges, all other cases being suspended.
In either case. if the arrest is judged illegal, the arrested person shall be
released, any appeal to a higher court or the Court of Cassalion notwithstanding.
c.neesry_ force or restraint in the anorehension of a person or in
keeping hiMn under arrest, any moral pressure or physical brutl.jitv. is forbidden.
All violations of these provisions shall be considered arbitrary acts against
which the injured parties may, without prior authorization, appeal to the compe-
tent courts, prosecuting either the authors or the perpetrators, regardless of their
rank or the body to which they belong.
Article 18. No one may be denied access to the judges whom the constitution
or the law assigns to him. A civilian may not be tried by a military court nor may
a military person be denied access to a court of ordinary law, in an exclusively
civil matter, exce-t when a state of ziege has been declared by law.
Article 19. House searches and seizures of papers shall be prohibited ex-
.Scpt.y irtu-e of law and in accordance with legally described procedures.
Article 20. This law shall not be retroactive in effect except in criminal
cases when it is favo-ab!e to the offender.
The law shall be retroactive in effect whenever it takes away vested rights.
Article 21. No penaltv may be established eyrpcet by law, or i.-posd except
in the e-.se2 p:-vided by law.
Article 22. The ri-ht of ownership. is g,_arante:-d to the citizens. Expropria-
tion for a legally established public purpose may be effected only by the advance
payment, or deposit, in favor of the person entitled thereto, of fair compensation.
Property also entails certain obligations. Its use must be in the public interest.
Landowners have an obligation to the community to cultivate, work, and pro-
tect their land, particularly against erosion.
The penalty for failure to fulfill this obligation shall be prescribed by law.
The right of ownership shall not extend to springs, rivers, or other water-
courses, mines, and quarries in the subsoil. These are part of the public domain.
The law shall establish regulations governing freedom to prospect for and
work mines, ore-bearing earths, and quarries, ensuring an equal share of the pro-
fits of such exploitation to the owner of the land and to the state or its concession.-
The law shall fix the limit on the right of ownership.
Article 23. Freedom to work shall be exercised under the control and suner-
vision of the rtate and shall be regulated by law.
However, save for the exceptions and distincticns established by law, a!! im-
porters, agents, and rm-anufacturers' representatives shall be prohibited from en-
gaging in retail trade, even through an intermediary.
The law shall define what is meant by an intermediary.
tArticle 24. Every worker shall be entitled to a fair wage, job training,
health protection, social security, and the welfare of his family insofar as his
country's economic development permits.
It shall be a moral obligation of the employer to contribute to the education
.of his illiterate workers according to his means.
Any worker may participate, through his representatives, in the collective
determination of working condi:ionZ. Aljworkers shall be entitledito retT and
All workers rnay protect their interests through trade-union activities. Each
worker shall belong to the trade union representing his particular occupation.
Annual vacations with pay shall be compulsory.
Article 25. Capital punishment may not be imposed for any political offense
The crime of treason consists in taking up arms against the Republic of Haiti
joining avowed enefmie of Hai.ti, and giving then aid :nd -cmfort. .
A^.-t:i=c 26. Evcryonc has the right to c:x;:-s his opinion on any jatLti and
by- evc rry.men.. within hi- power.
The expression of thou;iht, vwhatcver forrn it takes, may not be subjected to
prior censorship except when war has been declared.
Abuses of the right of freedom of sDeech shall be defined and punished bylaw.
Article 27. All religions and faiths shall be eoualiv recognized and free.
Everyone may profits his relipicn and practice his faith, provided he does not dis-
turb law and order.
No one may be compelled to belong to a religious organization or to follow a
religious teaching contrary to his convictions.
Article. 23. Since marriage tends to ptrity of rnorals by contributing to a
better organization of the family, the fundamental basis of society, the state shall
facilitate it and encourage its spread among the people, particularly in the rural
In the organization of marriage, the law Fhall protect Haitian women in par-
Article 29. Freedom of education shall be exercised in accordance with the
law, under the control and supervision of the :i.ate, which should see to the moral
and civic training of the young.
Public education shall be the responsibility of the state and the communes.
Primary education shall be compulsory.
Public education shall be free of charge at all levels.
Technical and vocational training shall be generalized.
Higher education shall be open to all, on an equal basis, according to merit
Article 30. In the cases determined by law, a jury shall be used in criminal
trials and for political offenses committed through the press or by some other
Article 31. Haitians nav assemble peaceably and without armseven fcrthe
Lr rose r'f discvssinrg n-'liticral affairs, without -rior _a: r.- ..tion, in ccanfor:.'jity
with the laws governin" the exercise o' this right.
This provision shall not apply to public gatherings, wv.ich shall be entirely
subject to police regulations.
Article 32. -aitians shall have the right of association, of forcing political
parties labor unions and cooperative."
This ribht may not be subjected to any preventive measure. And. no one may
be coinpelled to join an association or a political party..
The law shall reu'jinte the conitionr.s for the functioning of *'hese groups and
!.!'Loanotncn-ze lheir formrnadlon.
Article 33. Tht right of petition shall be exercised personally by one or more
ind'ividualU, icnvcr iti beLh.Alf o a &rcup.
Any petition addressed to the legislative body must give rise to the regulatory
procedure making it possible to rule on the object of the petition.
*- Article 34. Correspondence shall be inviolable, subject to the penalts pro-
vided by law.
Article 35. French shall be the official language. Its use shall be compulsory
in government services. However, the law shall determine in what cases and under
what conditions the use of Creole may be permitted, and even recommended, for the
purpose of safeguarding the material and moral interests of citizens who do not know
the French language well enough.
Article 36. The right of asylum :hall be accorded to political refugees. pro-
vided they conformn to the la..s of the country.
Article 37. Extradition in political matters shall not be permitted.
Article 38. The law may neither add to nor derogate from the constitution.
The letter of the constitution shall always prevail.
Article 39. Civic duties attend the status of citizen and civil and political
Civic duties are the aggregate rmoral, political, social,
tions of the citizen toward the state and the nation.
and economic obl.iga-
Article 40. For the citizen, voting is not only a right but an obligation im-
posed by his civic duty.
Responsibilities of Government Officials and Employees
Article 41. Before taking office, everyofficial in the sense defined and spec-
ified by law shall swear on his honor to discharge conscientiously the duties of his
ice, t L. loyal to his country, ;.nd tZ c-arry out and enforce the constitution ;ad
laws and the regulatiotis enacted under the constitution or law. A written statement
of the official'sr oath shall be prepared for his signature, and a certified copy of it
issued to him for all pertinent purposes. **
Press Law 29 Sept. 1979
LA NOUVELLE LOI
President a Vie
de la R6publique
Vu les articles 26.30, 68,90, 93 et 94
de la Constitution;
Vu la Loi du 27 juin 1923 sur la Presse;
Vu la Loi du 4 aout 1924. garantissant
I'indopendance et la S6curite de la
Presse. conform6ment aux exigences de
la Paix Publique:
Vu le Decret du 13 juin 1950. rappor-
tant la Loi du 15 d6cembre 1922 sur la
Vu le D6cret du 26 aoit 1957.
modifiant celui du 13 juin 1950. augmen-
tant les pines pour les dlitsde Presse;
Vu la Loi du 16 d6cembre 1957, creant
le Department de la Coordination et de
Vu la Loi du 8 septembre 1971.
r6organisant le D6partement de
I'lnterieur et de la Ddfense Nationale;
Vu la Loi du 24 juillet 1974.
r6organisant le D6partement de la
Vu la Loi du 25 aoOt .1977. cr6ant le
Tribunal de Suret6 de I'Etat:
SVu le Dcret du 12 octobre 1977 sur la
Vu les articles 126.96.36.199.218.254 A
313 et 357 du Code P6nal;
Consid6rant que la Constitution con-
sacre le p-incipe de la liberty d'ex-
pression: qu'elle permit 6 chacun d'en
jouir dans tous les domaines et par tous
les moyens en son poqvoir;
Consirorant que la Presse est I'en-
semble des rnoyens de manifestations de
la pensee: que. par ses informations et
par I'opinion qu'elle diffuse, elle joue un
r6le primordial .dans I'rvolution des
Communaut6s D6mocratiques qui se
coivent. en retour. de lui assurer
I'lr.deoendance et la S6curit6. ainsi que
toutes les facilities necessaires 6 son en-
Considerant que I'expression de la
pensce, quelle que scit la forme qu'elle
rev6t. ne demure soumise A aucune
censure pr6alable. et ne doit 6tre subor-
donnee 6 aucune contrainte, sauf dans
les cas d6termin6s par la Loi;
Consid6rant que la liberty de la
Presse. si absolue qu'elle soil. doit se
concilier avec les ex;gences -e la
stabililW de I'Elat. de la paix social et du
progr6s dconomique: qu'il imported de
pr6venir toul abus cohtre la dignite des
personnel. le respect dO aux autorites
cons!itiues. la sauvegarde das bonnes
rroeurs el le maintren de d'Orcde Public:
Considdrant que !- :Jlits de Presse
scsri aes rifractions sui generis cans !es
- cue;.esa ;esponsabti:te oenaie setouve
d6plac6e. et qui necessitent. pour leur
appreciation. I'application de regles par-
ticuli6res. ddrogeant au Droit Commun;
Consid6rant que. pour favoriser
I'exercice de ce droit. si indispensable au
succ6s d'une Politique de Develop-
pement. I'Etat a pour devoir de r6gremen-
ter f'organisation et -le fonctionnement
des divers moyens materiels de I'ex-
pression et de la diffusion des id6es:
qu'en consequence. it convient de rap-
porter. les Lois en vigueur et d'y sub-
stituer une 16gisration plus conform A
nos normes democratiques et a la'
politique de la lib6ralisation du Gouver-
nement de la Republique; *
Sur Ib rapport des Secrdtaires d'Etat
de I'lnt6rneur et de 3la D6fense Nationa;e.
de la Coordination et de.iinformation et
.de la Justice;:
Et.apres d lib6jaiion en Conseil des
Et la Chambre L6gislative a vote la Loi
Article ler.- Toute personnel peut.
s'adonner aux professions d'imprimeur
et de libraire sans qu'aucune
putorisation ne soil n6cessaire.
Article 2.- L'lmprimerie demeure .
soumise 6 la prdsente 16gislation, corn-
rne aux Lois sur la profession commer-
ciale et su; la propri6th litnLraire. L'Etat
facilitera I'approvisionnement du paper
affect aux imprimbs en accordant des
exemptions fiscales sur I'importation de
cet article et sur celle du materiel, de
I'6quipement et des fournitures d'im-
Article 3.- Tour imprim6 rendu public
doit porter I'indication des nom et
pr6nom, domicile de I'lmorimeu,. la date
et le num&ro d'ordre de I'Edition. Si I'im-
primerie appartient 6 une personnel
morale ou 6 un groupement. r'imprim6
porter la raison scciale de la Societ6.
son sege principal, les noms. pr6noms et
domicile. soil du Directeur Ad-
ministrateur responsible. soil de ceux
des membres du Conseil d'Ad-
ministration ou de Direction.
Article 4.- L'lmprimeur' ou le
Directeur Administrateur responsible.
cu les membies des dits Conseils sont
tens. au moment de 1'6mission et avant
toute distribution. de deposer cinq
exemplaires de I'imorim6, -savoir 6
Porl-a.u-Prince 6 Ia Secretairerie d'Etat
de lIn'e-ieur el de la Defense Nationale.
e" crovne. a i'H6tei ce la Preoecture. ou
. oe'au de ctIe ir.s.tiuLon. ala Maire.
vf B u jWcTT4'l'wT'
o'ofessionnets les collaborateurs directs
ce la reaction. *Reacleurs-Traduc-
teurs. Stenographes. R'dacleurs
reviseurs et Reporteu.-s. Dessinaleurs et
Article 16- Tout journalist devra
dclenir une carte d'identil6 d6fivr6 par
I'Association Nationale des Journalistes.
Celte carte sera enregistree A la
Secretairerie d'Elat de lInformation el
de la Coordination. '
La carte sp4ciale du correspondent
stranger sera dblivrbe dans la mime
Article 17.- Cette carte est person.
nelle Lejournalistedevra touiours 'avoir
en sa possession aux fins de faciliter son
access en tout lieu et son information et
Article 18.- L'Association Nationale
des Journalistes est seul juge de la
delivrance de cette carte, laquelle est
vatable pour une annie renouvelable
pour pareille duree, sur decision
favorable de I'Association.
La carte portera les nom.' pr6nom.
residence. lieu el date de naissance,
Photographie et signature de son
bendficiaire, un nurr.ro d'ordre el le
SceauCe I'Association. .
Article 19.- La profession de jour-
naliste exige de celui qui I'exerce, une in-
formation morale, des connaissances in-
te!;ectuelles. du fair-play dans ses rap-
ports avec fes tiers. le sens des respon.
sabilites surtout un grand souci du
respect: de la personnalite d'autrui, ce,
sans prijudicier au droit de ce
professionnel d'informer et d'*clairer
I'opinion, de formuler des critiques con- -
structives sur les affaires publiques ou
en tout autre domaine el de faire des
suggestions avec objectivity, loyaut6. la
plus entire independence et la plus -
Article 20 Les autres. qui utilisent un
psedonyme, sont tenus d'indiquer par
c-rit. avant toute insertion, leur veritable
nom au Directeur du Journal.
Ce dernier. en cas de poursuite contre
I'auteur d'un article sign d'un
pseudonyme. est relev6 des obligations
du secret professionnel. a la demand du
Commissaire du Gouvernement saisi
d'une plainle Faute de quoi, le Directeur
ou le Gerant sera tenu pour responsible
et poursuivi en lieu el place de I'auleur.
ET DESES LIMITATIONS
Article 21.- Le droit d'exprimer sa
penste et d'informer I'opinion en foute
n-.ati.:eest entierement libre.
a) du cas d'tat de guerre declare
b) du cas d'abus ou de dOlit de press
Article 22 II esl formellement interdit
abx organes de la Presse:
lo) de proferer des ,'. '-nses contre le
Chef de FEtal el la Prem.ere Dame de la
* 2 P. Pq-" ( e
telev:ser. cinema'ographier et trarsmOe-
tre les ac'es oe procedure crimrrnelle
avan' qu'ils aien e6:6 lus a I'aud.ence
* 3o) de rendre compete avec co:men-
taire des debals judiciaires sur les in-
stances en diffamalion or la preuve des
fails diffamatoires nest pas autorisee.
Sur les procis en divorce, en separation
de corps, en recherche de paternity, sur
les procis traitant d'espbce A caractre
anarchiste ou int~ressant la street~
extdrieure de 'Etat, le tout, A I'exception
du jugement d6finitif qui ne peut btre
public qu'aprds son prononc6;
4o) de rendre compete des d6librtations
Interieures du jury. des Cours et
Tribunaux. des dbbats deroulks A huif
50) d'entreprendre toute mahoeuvre
et publicity en nature A influence le
course des procedures en train;
60) d'ouvrir et A annoncer des
souscriptions pour le pavement des con-
7o) de se livrer a aucune attaque con-
tre I'intlgrit de la culture populaire;
8o) de recevoir directemeni ou in-
directement des fonds el avantages d'un
9o) de publier, diffuse! ou reporter les
Secrets des Commissions 'd'enqu6te
parlementaire ainsi que les secrets de la
10o) de contrevenir aux prescriptions
de la presente Loi.
Article 23.- Ne sont pas frappes d'in-
1) les discours tenus au sein du
Parlement, ainsi que les rappor's et
toutes.autres pieces imprimes par ordre
du Bureau de la Chambre Lgislative;
2) le compete rendu objectif des stan-
ces publiques de la Chambre;
3) le compete rendu objectif et fid6(e
des d6bats judiciaires non interdits par
I'article pr6cdent, les discours pronon-
c6s. les plaidoiries ou les 6critss products
"devant les tribunaux. A I'exception:
a( des parties de plaidoirie et con-
clusion don't suppression est ordonn6e
b) des faits diffamaloires strangers A
Article 24.- Le Gerant ou le Directeur de
la publication est tenu d'inserer dans le
plus prochain numbro du journal ou 6crit
priodique et A la mme place toutes rec-
tifications qui lui sont adressces par un
d6positaire ou Agent de I'autorit6 au
sujet des actes de sa function rapportes
par le dit organ, avec inexactitude.
Article 25. I sera 6galement tenu
d'insgrer gratuitement., dans le plus
prochain numero, A la mrme place, ef
dans les memes caractfres de I'ecrit in.
crimin6. les r6ponses de routes person.
nes nommees ou d6sign6es.
Neanmoins. Lorsque les r6ponses des
particuliers d6passeront le double des
gr- e" "w w w ,nt 11-, 1r"-
tion sera pay6e pour le surplus
seutement. A raison de 25 centimes de
Article 26- Lorsque les propos inexac-.
ts et les imputations diffamatories ou in-
jurieuses. qui donnent lieu A des rec-
tifications ou r6ponses auront 616 dif-
fus6s par (a voie des ondes el la
television, ces rectifications et r6ponses
seront etles-.n6mes diff'istes dans les
Faute par le dit organe d'obtemprrer A
rinjonction de la parties 16ste. celle-ci
peut se pourvoir par requite devant Ie
doyen du Tribunal Civil qui. apres corn-
munication au Ministere Public, ordon-
nera, s'il y a lieu, [a publication des rec-
tifications ef r6ponses.
Article 27.- Les propos injurieux et
outrageants prof6ers par la voie des on-
des constituent des injures publiques:
LIBRAIRIE COLPORTAGE -
Article 28.- La vente des iournaux est
Toutefois. ne peuvent 6tre exposees
dans les vitrines de librairie. kiosque de
colporteur ou sur la voie publique des
revues pornographiques ou
dangereuses pour la Morale.
Article 29.- La librairie assure la
vulgarisation de la pensde en rendant
accessible A tous les lecteurs de tous
ouvrages at publications. 6dit6s
localement ou A I'6tranger. moyennant
que ces oeuvres ou dcrits ne soient rob-
jetd'aucuneinterdictionkigale. ... *
Toutefois. I'entr6e, la circulation et la
vente.dans le pays d'une publication
6trang6re, A caractere subversif ou con-
traire aux bannes moeurs. sont inter.
.Article 30.- Toute personnel qui
assure Ia vente des journaux ou 6crits
periodiques publics & I'6tranger ou
localement encourt Ia responsabilite
p6nale. forsque ces imprims 'contien.
nent des articles tombant sous le coup
des interdictions et d6lits prdvus aux ar-
ticles 22,35 et 50 de la pr6sente Loi.
Article 31.- .es d6lits de Presse.
prevus par la p. senatee Loi. commis par la
voie de publications etrang6res seront
poursuivis contre ceux qui auront envoy
les articles delictueux ou donn6 I'ordre
de les insurer.
Artilce 32.- L'activit6 de colporteur ou
de distributeur sur la voie publique ou en
tout lieu. public.ou priv6, de livrer. 6crits,
brochures, journaux, dessins. gravures..
lithographiesetphotographies est libre.
Article 33.- II est formellement interdit
d'apposer des affiches. panneaux.
r6clames en des endroits susceptibles
de provoquer des rassemblements
pouvant pe'turber la circulation, if est
6galement defendu de les placer sur des
sites, monuments. 6difices publics.
dglises, 6coles. le lor~g des routes, ainsi
qu'aux endro ts reserves pour I'affichage
des actes de i'autorite publique.
Article 34.- Seront punis comme
celpliCes d'une action quahfife crirm
ou d6lit ceux qui, par des kcrits, des im-
prim6s *;endus. distribute 6u exposes
dans les lieux ou reunions publics. soil
par des discours. cris ou chants
s6ditieux. menaces prof6r6es par la voie
des ondes el la Tl66vision, soil par des ar-
ticles expo;6es aux regards du public,
autont directement port I'auteur Ou les
auteurs A commettre ladite action, si la
provocation a 6te suivie d'effet.
Celte disposition sera 6galement ap-
plicable lorsqfie Ia. provocation n'aura
W At6 suivie que d'une tentative de crime ou
de delil pr6vu dans les conditions de I'ar-
ticle 2 du Code Penal.
Article 35.- Ceux qui, par les moyens
sus-6nonc6s, auront directement
.provoqju, soil au vol. soil au crime de
meurtre, de pillage el d'incendie. soil A
I'un des crimes prevues aux articles 2.57
A 78, 254 a 313 el 357 du Code Penal.
seront punis, dans le cas ou cette
provocation n'aurait pas 6t1 suivie d'et-
fets, d'un emprisonnement d'un A 2 ans
et d'une anmende de 1000 & 5000 gour-
Seront 6galement punis dbs m6mes
pines, ceux qui auront fait apologizee des
crimes pr6cit6s d'une man!ire directed ou
Article 36.- Toute provocation, par
I'un des moyens sus-6nonc6s aux fins de
d6tourner les membres des Forces
Arm6es ou de Police et lesVolontaires de
la S6curitl Nationale de leur devoir ou de
I'ob:issance a leurs chefs sera punie
d'un emprisonnement de dix mois A 2 ans
et d'une amende de 500 A 3000 gourdes,
si elle a pour objet des actes que seules
fes Forces sus-indiqu6es peuvent ac-
Article 37.- II est interdii aux organe;
- de presses de diffuser aucune
chronique, aucune rubrique presentant.
sous un jour favorable le bantitisme. le
mensonge. le vol. Ia paresse, la IAchet6.
la haine. Ia d6bauche ou tous les actes
qualifies crime ou d6lit ou de nature A
corrompre I'enfance ou la !eunesse sous
pejne d'un emprisonnemeni de 5 mois et "
d'une amended de 1000 gourdes avec
saisie et destruction des publications.
Article 38.- L'offense au Chef de fIEtat
el a la Premiere Dame de la R&publique.
par I'un des moyens 6nonc6s A I'article
. 34 est punie d'un emprisonnement de 1
an et d'une amende de 2.000 a 5:000
Article 39.- La publication, la dif-
fusion ou la reproduction de nouvelles
fausses, de documents falsift6s.
fabriqubs de toutes pieces, mensongers
ou attribubs a des tiers, sera punie d'une
arhende de 500 A 1.000 gourdes, lorsque
la publication ou reproduction est faite de
mauvaise foi. Si elle est de nature A
trouble la paix publique, ta peine sera de
6 mois A 2 ans d'emprisonnement et
d'une amended de 1.000 A 2.000 gour-
Le -naximum des deux pines sera ap-
pliqu6. forsque la publication ou
reproduction est tout A la tots de nature A
Revised Press Law
.31 March- 1980
rauLms iwvT:.iV ow'tvLSf. 13 LA KITM.A 1vAMI -io s
2"5 .. 23 AN XXIIImne. DE LA RIEVCLUTION DUVALIERISTE Jd 3 Ail 2180
-.Ocret rsportmt Is 1i da 9 Srptemalre IM sfr -I Pl,~ %. 11 rImw en t
"r oue sonrtl'e T!'ri-Lblmi he es'ft'T A& !r lit.* N en Cd -11.wneeint
-!Ctel t0e la Se-rttirrie 1-;e-t de" 7r.ne' etC dS Af'-ir- r E*-on'w.Pis
sw'sc- .-t la '-rte de. l'im de -es terrain* domaniuas situs6 & Prt-a-Prince
(or '.Wtfn d'..s -n-mei-ih f 52 IM : I'.
-D.Wf I Ctjonnant la Cone tiona r I& rh-vct8n et It i-rs.,-in Jde In-
( r.' n- cent- le* pprSn'set joui. onB d'u p-otrrtion latera tiueals, y
comprh; lt Arent, D!plomtiqme Covnetinn annrxe.
-Tit de t ,i I,.aneopcnt de hI S'.'tA Anonrt.ne dn fe : *Gaturd A:tites
Vmr-.. lalt' S. A .. %tnfl t et e 'nti,'i? vnn.0.
-.A-r:-t a;p'ownt l Ti;ql>it-ien de pc',n ,ril't'fre ~ns *--lat "I-'.( 7'4,
r d-* In tr' Aleandrjo rPhiogine uno Emeline Jo:. Glnes Canimir a drolts
de fee son poux..
-*-r--"- *t'-t ,-1 Oreorw-e- ell 4 .ndstrist AxtnoraI da Rostsotr
'"-- '*.--, de t.'kei,.p ot de Cmwn ._e.
President i Vie do Ia R publiquI
Vu !es Artc!Ces 2C, SZ 2", CS. 93, 9^ et 94 de la Cons-itution
Vu le ddc:et du 13 Juin 1930, rapportant la Loi da 15 D.cembre 1921
sT:r Is Presse: .
Vu !e Dicret du 26 Aoott 10957 modifiant celui du &a unm 1950;,
Vu le Dicret du 23 AoOt: 1060 or-anisant un regime special en a-
viur des Soei6s Arnony-:ns;
Vu ]a Lol du 16 Septembre 193 sur les SociPI:s Anonymes Mxter,
V'u I* Dicret du 9 Janvier 1963 sur les droilt d'auteur d'cavues
litUraires, scient:fiques ct artistiques;
Vu le Ddcret du 12 Octobre 1977 ur la rayiodiffusion
Vu .'a Loi du .1 Sepcmbr 19.9 sur la Presst;
Vu les articles 9, 77, 78, 258, 282 (ler. alinia), 283. 313 & 322 d.
Vu Ies articles 19 & 53 du Code de Corume-rc; .
Vu leo nrlticle 13 et 14 de I Convontion Ir.er-Amiricaine sur les
rain de I'dhime (Pacte de San Jose de Cesta Rica) ratii par la .
rPfpubltq-e d'Ha!ii le 20 Aout 1979; .
Vu Ie D&cret do la Ch=abre L-~'atIv, er. date du 20 rtr' s.-
brm 1979, sumpendant tes gaantics priv:es asu articles 17, 18, 19,
20 21. 34, 43, 50, 70, 71. 72, 93 (dernii alinia), 95, 105; 212;
1W3, 1-2 (2tie. alir.a), 125 (2ime. alEn.,), 131, 133, 14. 135,
1ST, 141, 150, 155, 193 :: 135 d Is Cor. ..:*:t:cn et aecordant Ple' n
Fo-uirCsn au Clt! du Pomvowr ErleOif, p-ur L'4 per~n-ttr do
pr:end jurqu'au deux ime lundi dav-il 1-.30, p-r Dcret' a*o it
f-r,- de Lois, tc:ttes returns qu71 Juero r,--Lesabo '& 9a-rm6.
r.r-*e oe ltE*t. &k la enRolida'.ip doe "O-dre et d!i I Pai., a'j
-stez !4: It 1 .%l&; rovoraquo l :%irc dr &- la Nat"-w,
& I'appror.d ssemet du bi-n.tree icf .o'7ulatios r-'cres at -
ta'r.es, A I& d;fense des Inti.-ts G.-k-ms ds !a IU:ub'que;
Co2S.idrant qti::. I Constitutioa ccracme le preirei-. te la '"aert.
d'cxp-ession: qi'Ell, pc-rn-t h ch.rtrn d'*n ionir dans lou les do-
mnines.et par tous lei mr.'ens en son pouvoir;
C-- i:.".:> ,:- :*-e' a --r lr'. c.tI ;.-. c's ms*'n*>s dlon
'" -. r1?% .:i: r.:c. r":-" :i :-'" "':. *o:'- *; I' 'r-.'' .'*"-'. : -
et::.- fcur *:>- rI priVr.oreal dar. !".-.-o!:--". e s cB--.n--."u:: s d"-.
menrati:*es qul se olivent en rotour de lui assurer l'indipendaom
t la t4uritt ai-.! qVe tou'.es les fadlits ndcesSa s a oa eantla
Consildrant que les dalits de pre-se sont avant tout des dafts as
droa' common; que teuls ceux qui portent attainto a l'ordro co .ts -
tionneil sont des dmlits politiques; :
Consid6rant qu'il convent de rapporter la Lot do 29 Septambre
1979 sur Is Presse et de la re:placer par une l6gislation plus coo.
forne & la politique do libralisation du Gouverrtement do la R.cts-
Sur le rapport des Seeritaires d'Etat de l'Intrleur et de la Difanm
* Nationale, de la Justice, de Is Coordination et de I'nformatimo .
Et apr+s delibration an Come ll des See.ita:rw d'at; .
DE LA PRESSE
Article Itcr- La Presse group : .
1) les imprimeus, les naisons d'idition et les libraries;
2) Ics journaux qsotidiens, les hebdomadalrcs et autres ph4oda
ques te:s los zugatins, les cahienr ou feul.es paralsant & Interml-
les : .
3) les sftions ue ridiodiffusion et de thlivision tells que definlie
.**l Cbspitre IV du Decret du 12 Cctobre 1977 sur Ia radiodiffusio;
4) les agencies de presse.
Artie:. 2- Tout citoymn ha:en pe.t, sans autorisat.on prid4t ',
s'adonnce aux professions a!firentes aum quatre branches d'activitd,
+ Aricle 3.- L'ecerc'ls de 'ce activ'4ti reste ctpendant masivis
La prdsente lbeislation come aux lots s=r la profession come-wcal.,
sur la proorliti littiraie, sur Isa radio.iffusion et la tilivisio .
Article 4.- Tout imprimi rendu public doit porter l'itdication des
nor, pr.nom at domicile de I'imprimaur at de 1'dilteur, la dae at It
num4ro dordre de I'edition; --
Article 5- L'imprimeur est tenu, drns les 72 heures arwt ba pW-
rut'on de deposer cinq (5) exnmplaires do 1'mprimr, savoir .'
.- it Port au-Prinee, A la Secr4tairerie dEtat de llatrirour at dr
Ila Difense Nationale. : "' .. .' :.
en Province, & e'H8tl de la Prfeesure on, c d&faut do matte
Institutcca. & I H6tal Communal, ..
Article 6.- Sont dispenses du dipt :
a) les ouvrages dits de vifle (lettres, cartes d'ivtation, d'avs,
d'adresse. de visit, paper & Iettres. aoveloppes a en-tele...)
b) les travaux d'impression dits admin:stratfs (factures. a~es, "-
Bistres...), .- -. ..* .. I
c) les travaux d"impresslon dif de commerce tariffs lnstrwrdon.
C:ir.uettes. cares d'ichantillon ou autrr"),
d) Ie- bulletin: de vete, IlS tires de publication non er.re-c i-=rt-i
m=s le-. ires et erti!icats d'anion et d'obliatirCs des soc'it:& cos-
T.'"' OP~* S DTE P1Etey E T Dr'S JOT'TlNAT.T .-
A- ".le T7.- To.-i en'-rp;.e de p-erC **I av-ji- Lt ri"ni, *---'! .
sz!te c:' r.zi'r.alti katicn:xe. jo".i=-t .e -. cd.roit civils rt r.,lh'
-N nL'CT LTR. 1233
INFRACTIONS ET SANCTIONS
Article 27.- I eat interdit au organs de prmse de diWfuser des
ducu qLes e: dest -tl l.e ...Ca.. ita ju:o&.e e3 .'c.et qu. "as Lr:-
nes ou dilits, ou de nature A corrompre lenfance ou la jeunesse ou
A evcou-a;er le traffic et I'us=;e des stupdfiants sous paine d'une
snaende de 500 A 1.000 gourdes ou d'un emprisonnement d'un u:sa
A tois mois avec zaisie ct destruction des publications.
Article 2J.- L'outia.e fait aa Chef de I Etat. h la Premlkre Dame
de la Ripublique sera puni d'un e--,prisonnement d'ua an A trois ans.
Aiticle 29.- L'mncromp..;temrnt des formal' 6 p.evues aux ar-
ticles 4. 5. 8, 9, 12 et 13 de la prsente loi entralneTa Ia suspension,
par le Dipar'ement de JIntirieur et de la Difense Nati=nale, de I'or
Cane de pzesje ou de 'acLtvi., ir.rmirk:.
Article 30.- Linobervnee de l'une des dispositions des articles
22 et 23 d? a prdsente L:i e;t puaie d ure amerde d; 500 A 5.00
gourd:a ou d'un emp:iLoncement de 3 mo*s A 12 mcs.
Article 31.- Ceux qui auront frauduuleusemien ob'enu et utl l6
la carte d'ident::i de journa'is:e s ront poursuivis pour usage de.
faus.e quality et pa-'.ib dune awende de deux cents A cnq cents.
DES POURSUITES ET DE LA PROCEDURE
Article 22.- Selcn le cas, seront poIwSvis ..conmme autrsm pr'- .
c'paux. des dl.ts de presse:
1) lez au:eunr ou gdants responjsab'e;
2) Its id- ure ou impizmaur .
Article 33.- Le prcpri6asirv dun or-ane de presre e;: reponsa-
bIle des reparat:ons picunisires au profit d- !a parties civ I:.
Artic'e 34.- Toute personnel qui tv pritndra lise. par an di-
lit de pres'e pourra s'adteswer di.ec.ement au Tr bunal Correction-
'gI ou eo rerd.e iIIa'. dan Les former privues par Je Code dlns-
truct on CrjinelJe (CJ.I.C.)
Aj'^Icle 35.- Lac.on publique en matter de dilit de presa a.
prescrit par tiris moi, A computer du jour du dilit ou du jour d'un
e interrnvp'. di '* pres= pt.oc.
Article 36.- L'action pnale, en madtre de dilit de prrss. asera
po:tie drvant Ze Tr.bunal du lieu du ilit: ou de cJlui de la Ar-
de=ce du privenu ou de ce!uj ou I- privenu aura *i6 trouvd.
La cause sera juzgie touted a&fair" cessantes, ars r=mL- n,
tour do r6le; at e jugen'ant rendu d.n L tbois jou a dt ia di -
e.J on ordonnant Je dl:bWr4.
Article 37.- La provocation est wn cause d'exemui ligale dui
dili: d'injur. et rend ce diit non pun'ssable.
ArJ.cee 38.- Larre::ation prevent.:, en matCire de delit do
prese, nest pau de droit, except danm les cas prevusl aux artic
22 (paragrapb:s 4 et 5), 28 de Is prisenae Lai at ei la liber pro-
vwo're ec sera pas accordie.
Artcle 39.- La police judicaire cnflJquenra Its exetnplairm- do
rerl: ou les doss.ers tombant sous le coup de Ja prisente LIi it
deierera ;es responsables par.devan: Its Tribunaux charges d* 1w
ArScle 40.- En malinree d delit de pressr, le Jugement est ms-
ceptuble d'opposition, de pourvoir ean Cas.aon.
Cos re-ours *-ront exercise dans les frmes prsacritei par.] Co-
de d Instruction Crminaelle.
Art'oa 4L- Une commission, foamte la diligence de la Setr-
falrerie d'Ea: de l'Informat on at do la Coorda ntiop, asiLawr is
ciaivs-as itranaers A I'occas!on de tournage d* iilms.
Art:cle 42.- En venu de l'article 21 de la prisente LoL aucene
cesure pralAble ne peut frapp:r une reprisentation thiArale, ci.
nadmn:ographique, chor grtphiquc, sous reserve des d spositions du
D'cret du '9 janvier 2968 rur les Droits dauteur d'cruvre" littirai-
e. ivc'entifiques et art'stiques.
Art cle 43.- Les rangers ou !es sar-iids comierciales trang .
sea re pourront, en au-un cas, .*re deenfeurs en Haiti. dam urn
r-ren-ise d; press queleonque, de plus de 40% der action ou du
Artic'e 4t4- L'exe.cice de factiviti d'azent de publodt .camms.
ciale dai Js joumnaux, 4a rad;o, La it vision ou autres eat str.ct.
m-r. r&s-rv&e aux na'onamux.
La v.olation de ce..e d sposition entrainera pour le g&cant rep-
ponsable oj Ia proprttair' de l agency une a=e.nd:. el 540 & 1 L00
g-urds A proncr.:er p:r le Trib. nlJ c.a-tent. Di plus, a cart*
dident;:i professo. -:Le de l 6ranger sera annuge *l t nLe c
Art'cle 45.- Le p:.sent Dic-et ab.Oge tcu.es Lois ou d spositlons
i* Lois, to-us Di-res ou disL.posi'on ee EDtre?, aous Decrts,-Los
ou dispol"ions de Dcrd ts-Lo s qul Jul Orr: en.:raires et sera puhli6
e. ex6c:6 *i a diligence des Secritaires 6E:at de lIntrt'eur t de
1 Dif r.e Nationa'e, d? Is Coardnation at de Lafar mation d& Ia
Ju'Zce, chacun en ce qu, le concerned.
Donns -u Palais National. Por.-au-Prince, 31 mr ,s t Ani
17Time. de IIndcer.dance.
Par 10 Prai"Aa
sa*i, 'Zrata do flrin d.ma t ~ la 4 f eam fti
C' .J. RArHOD
L Ze Secrdaimr d taX do la Coo.ination of di rrmwast s
L. S -,tairv dEtWa d k luastice Me. Ew Id ALEXIS
StesAwe tl de fea*ei a de Aflw zs`. jsi
Or. 1troj BUILtH
tL Sacritaire frat u e ommswc. at do rinu tri .
*to ScriStair Etuta d la Sant Fub iqu at d Populs -io .
Dr. Wi'r VIRLM"l
K. SE crtistanr Eta# dre Altoiers Eftra.g rg f dA C4Zea 1, .
Cevrg' SALOMON j
S. Swmd.i' Ett s.. d ai ... r.bv. ANa Trm ue
CoSn-rn etion : In. AJix CINEAS -
M do Dvifql"rw,"t Rural : XA'rl'o.nw' PJd SL. CLAIIL. -
JL Socrtatir drtEt du Plan Racu) BERAT'
Zo Socriwro dEta* des M'.ee rt dAi R4.cuXvcd E itfiqiw
Frit PIERRE LOUIS -'
a Sotri tair J*Es' & Trew.e1 #I d Afldne S-c41l1t
Ilu)l'q di RfNtFyRAY
to* Sv ip JEtat do rEdeetion H onau
wil, C. BE'RAARD
Ce. SecrriC rEtW A Is ;Jes- at a Spart
TUAA L- ACHILLE
No. &* Jte;dJ 3 Avrfl IM
LIST OF DEFENDANTS AT THE AUGUST 1981'
AND AUGUST 1982 TRIALS
1. Sylvio Claude
2. Marie France Claude
3. Berthony Pierre Paul
4. Jacques Price Jean
5. Gabriel Herard
6. Frantz Dossous
7. Roger Nicolas
8. Yves Theodore
9. Joseph Antoine
10. Alvarez Cineus
11. Paul Theodate
12. Augustin Auguste
13. Ernst Benjamin
14. Raoul Acean
Haitian Christian Democratic Party
Haitian Christian Democratic Party
Driver for Sylvio Claude
15. Jacques St. Lot
16. Michel Francois
17. Clervio Claude
18. Eben Ezer Jean
19. Jacques Perard
20. Jacques Lumercier
21. Anelus Vernet
22. Georges Dominique
Lycean at Centre de Formation
Intellectuelle Constant D.
PARTIAL LIST OF PERSONS DETAINED WITHOUT
CHARGE IN AUGUST 1982 IN THE CASERNES DESSALINES
1. Herve Denis
2. Felix Lamour
3. Leslie Delatour
4. Guy Malary
5. Robert Dominique
6. Phillip Baker
7. Jean Rouzier
8. Elizabeth Silvera
9. Roger Rouzier
10. Guy Bouchereau
11. Gary Rouzier
12. Michel Chamaly
13. Joseph Saliba
14. George Izmery
15. Antoine Izmery
16. Masin Izmery
17. Sonia Gabriel