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New Strategy to Raise Funds for UN Cholera Plan

January 17, 2017 - 11:50

David Nabarro, the British doctor put in charge of helping the United Nations raise funds for its new cholera plan, will bring the plan up at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The plan is for $400 million but so far, only a few countries have promised to contribute, for a total of around $7 million. Nabarro admits that it has and will be a slow process but is optimistic about getting more contributions. He will also build a high-level consortium to finance longer-term water and sanitation needs in Haiti, but stresses the importance that the funding come soon before cholera is worsened by the rainy season again.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti’s cholera fight hits global stage at World Economic Forum in Davos

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 17, 2017

The British doctor in charge of helping the United Nations raise millions of dollars to support Haiti’s anti-cholera efforts is taking his case to some of the world’s most deep-pocket power brokers.

David Nabarro arrived at the World Economic Forum in in Davos, Switzerland, this week with a plan to introduce Haiti’s plight “into the minds and hearts of people of power and influence, and people who wish to do good in key places.”

“It’s a golden opportunity to raise interest and support for the challenges Haiti faces in regard to cholera and sanitation,” said Nabarro, who on Wednesday will lead a high-level session on building a consortium to finance long-term water and sanitation needs in Haiti.

…Click HERE for the full text.

Vigilante Justice Used to Bypass a Broken System in Haiti

January 17, 2017 - 09:28

Vigilante justice is a problem in Haiti but the average citizen often seems either indifferent or approving of these types of lynchings, viewing them as necessity for justice due to the broken justice system. Nicole Phillips, an IJDH Staff Attorney, explains that if the government prioritizes improving the justice system, and if Haitians know how to use the justice system to enforce their rights, this will not be such a problem.

UN mission says vigilantes have impunity in Haiti

David McFadden, Associated Press, Yahoo! News

January 17, 2017

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A report issued Tuesday by the U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti rebukes local authorities for a losing battle against vigilante violence and displaying passivity or even tolerating mobs taking the law into their own hands.

The human rights section of the U.N. mission, known by its French acronym Minustah, said there has been only one conviction in a lynching case out of 483 incidents and 59 arrests reported between 2012 and 2015.

Frederic Gouin, coordinator of a legal analysis unit in the U.N. mission, told The Associated Press that researchers found that “inaction is merely a result of lack of will more than lack of resources or capacity.”

The report calls on Haiti’s justice ministry and judiciary to clearly instruct police, prosecutors and judges on their obligation to protect victims of lynching and take on cases instead of looking the other way.

“A lot could be achieved through very simple means,” Gouin said.

The findings and various recommendations have been submitted to Haitian Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles, but his office has not made any comment. Haitian National Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers told AP he could not speak about the report because he had not read it yet.

Vigilante attacks in Haiti have long been seen as a response over a dysfunctional justice system that all but ignores those living outside the crowded capital of Port-au-Prince.

But the new research suggests that lynching is mainly an urban phenomenon in Haiti. Some 70 percent of all reported lynching deaths between 2009 and 2015 occurred in the densely populated West department which includes Port-au-Prince.

Vigilante justice accounts for 11 percent of killings in Haiti, where homicide rates have long been far below the rates of many other countries in the hemisphere. Since 2009, there has been a slight increase in lynching deaths, with 7.5 per month in 2009 to 8.1 per month in 2015. There was a peak of 10 per month in the first half of 2014.

Nicole Phillips, a human rights lawyer with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, said lynchings and other crimes will continue to go unsolved until the government prioritizes improvements to the justice system. She said pervasive corruption must be rooted out.

“Haitians must also understand how to enforce their legal and human rights within the justice system, rather than reverting to their own form of justice,” she said.

Citizens interviewed by the AP often appear indifferent to or approving of vigilante justice, arguing that the absence of a fair and efficient legal system gives people no choice but to take the law into their own hands.

The U.N. report says a precise breakdown of killing methods in 80 per cent of the reported lynching cases remains unknown since that level of detail is missing in most police reports. But stoning, machete attacks and decapitations are reported by witnesses and AP journalists in Haiti have gone to the scenes of numerous lynchings over the years.

The large majority of Haitian lynching victims are male theft suspects. Twenty-five percent of women targeted for vigilante violence are suspected of being witches, according to the U.N. report.

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Click HERE for the original article.

Haitian Farmers File Complaint Against Land Grab During “Recovery” Efforts

January 12, 2017 - 19:40

A collective that represents hundreds of Haitian farmers filed a complaint with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) regarding the land grabs that occurred during the 2010 earthquake recovery efforts. This complaint was filed on the 7th anniversary of the earthquake, as Haitians continue to face the consequences of the creation of the Caracol Industrial Park (CIP) after the quake. Initially, IDB and Caracol promised to provide replacement land to the farmers who were displaced by the CIP but ended up, instead, providing a small cash compensation package. Now, the farmers are struggling to survive food and financial insecurity, particularly with the CIP being placed on the most fertile land in the area. The collective is seeking accountability and a remedy for the suffering initiated by the IDB and CIP.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

On 7th anniversary of earthquake, Haitian farmers file land grab complaint highlighting harm caused by disaster “recovery” efforts

Accountability Counsel

January 12, 2017

Today, the Kolektif Peyizan Viktim Tè Chabè, a collective representing hundreds of Haitian farmers, filed a complaint to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) about its role in a case of land grabbing. In 2011, approximately 3,500 people the lost their livelihoods when they were forced off their land to make way for the Caracol Industrial Park (CIP), a major business project funded by the Bank and other international donors, with post-earthquake disaster funds. The Bank funded the CIP from its earliest stages and will eventually provide more than US$242 million in support of its construction, operation and expansion. The Kolektif, supported by Accountability Counsel, ActionAid and local partners, is calling for fair compensation and for the IDB to address the many environmental and social problems linked to the industrial park.

The Kolektif filed the complaint on January 12, 2017, the seventh anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. The IDB and other international donors heralded the CIP as a key earthquake reconstruction project: it would provide jobs and economic benefits while encouraging population migration to the less affected north of the country. The project was fast-tracked, with the Bank claiming that the “urgency” of the situation required shortcuts.

These shortcuts came at the grave expense of local communities. In January 2011, almost a year to the day after the earthquake struck, at least 442 smallholder farmers and their families found that their plots of land – incredibly fertile land that had been cultivated by some families for generations – had been seized to make way for the CIP. Fences were hastily erected to prevent their access. Crops and buildings were destroyed. Some had only a few days warning that they were losing their land, while others had no warning at all. Almost overnight, these families, over 75% of whom lived below the poverty line, lost their primary source of food and income.

Click HERE for the full text.

Why President Obama Should Support Cholera Victim Compensation

January 12, 2017 - 16:02

United Nations peacekeepers sparked a deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti in 2010, the first time Haiti had cholera in at least a century. For six years after that, the UN stonewalled and dodged responsibility by hiding behind its immunity, while over 10,000 Haitians died and at least 800,000 became ill from cholera. Before President Obama leaves office, he has a chance to help make this right by committing U.S. funds to the victim compensation fund and cholera elimination plan. This would be more than fair, as it appears that the U.S. was a major reason the UN took the “stonewalling position” to begin with.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

President Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera Are Compensated

Mark Weisbrot, The Huffington Post

January 12, 2017

Seven years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, President Obama has a chance to see justice done in Haiti before he leaves office, and help address one of the island nation’s lasting humanitarian crises. That is the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 10,000 Haitians and infected at least 800,000 ― or about 8 percent of the population. Families of the victims have demanded compensation from the United Nations, which brought this deadly epidemic to Haiti; and President Obama can help ensure that they receive it.

Prior to 2010, Haiti did not have cholera ― a bacterium that can kill people within hours from dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting ― for more than a century. Then, in October that year, UN troops from Nepal leaked some of their fecal waste into Haiti’s Artibonite river, the country’s largest supply of drinking water.

I visited a cholera treatment center in Mirebalais in 2011, and watched as victims ― some too weak to walk ― were taken into a large tent for rehydration. They were luckier than many rural residents not far away who could not get to a treatment center in time. The ones that I saw survived, but so did the cholera bacteria; the number of infections will rise this year due to the devastation brought by Hurricane Matthew in October.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

Seven Years after the Earthquake: Haiti in an unprecedented humanitarian, food, and climate crisis

January 12, 2017 - 08:47

Press Contact: Nicole Phillips, Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) Nicole @ijdh.org (510) 715-2855

Seven Years after the Earthquake: Haiti in an unprecedented humanitarian, food, and climate crisis

January 12, 2017 – Washington, DC –  On the seventh anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, human rights groups, faith-based organizations, policy institutes and humanitarian organizations would like to honor those who lost their lives in the earthquake, as well as those who lost their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Haiti’s vulnerability to natural disasters is the result of human policies, which can be changed. As the election crisis comes to an end, and President-elect Jovenel Moise is set to take office on February 7, 2017, there’s a unique opportunity for sustained change now.

January 12, 2010 Earthquake

The earthquake and the more than 59 aftershocks that followed took the lives of an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 people, displaced 1,300,000, and directly affected 3,000,000. Despite the billions in aid offered, thousands remain homeless. As of September 2016, the International Migration Organization (IOM) estimated 55,000 people remain in spontaneous or organized camps. For hundreds of thousands of other Haitians “Building Back Better” left them in precarious ‘permanent’ housing vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change to which Haiti is ranked one of the most vulnerable countries.

Hurricane Matthew on October 4, 2016

The Category 4 Hurricane with winds reaching up to 145 mph tore through the country, causing widespread destruction of buildings, agriculture, infrastructure and human lives, directly affecting 1,400,000 people, taking an estimated 546 lives, displacing 175,500, and pushing 806,000 into extreme food insecurity.

The Haitian government, along with civil society, responded to Matthew with prior evacuations and warnings. Various Haitian agencies are now coordinating the hurricane response with civil society actors and international agencies, but funding is greatly needed. The government and UN’s Flash Appeal for $21 million to provide food assistance to 800,000 people over three months still lacks 44 percent of the needed funds.

Many Matthew victims continue to live in temporary shelters or shelters pieced together with scrap aluminum, tarps, and wood. Approximately 750,000 Haitians are without safe water, causing the number of cholera cases to double in some of the hardest-hit areas. An estimated 80-100 percent of the crops and 50 percent of livestock were destroyed in the country’s south and southwest. These livestock not only provide food, but are the savings bank for many who reside in the countryside – producing a decapitalization in rural Haiti reminiscent of the 1980’s Kreyol Pig eradication.

The devastation of the 2016 hurricane season follows on the heels of the worst drought Haiti has seen in 15 years. The opportunity to replant certain crops during winter planting season was largely missed due to insufficient access to seeds. The ripples of this are felt across the country with the Grand Anse department, the ‘bread basket’ producing 60 percent of the locally produced food. The damage to the Grand Anse renders communities dependent on imported food and increased food prices by 15 – 25 percent.

Haiti’s Future

Although the earthquake, drought and hurricane may make Haiti appear condemned to suffer from natural disasters, in fact the country’s extreme vulnerability to natural disasters is the product of human policies that can be reversed. The international community has today a unique opportunity to support Haiti in breaking free from its cycle of extreme vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change, and to move away from aid dependency.

In the short-term, houses, hospitals, roads and schools still must be rebuilt. Haiti also urgently needs support to control and respond to the surging cholera crisis that took 420 lives and sickened 39,329 in 2016 alone. The UN’s new two-track cholera response announced December 1, 2016, promises to reduce cholera transmission and improve access to care and treatment. If funded, the response should control the outbreak in Matthew-affected areas as well as other parts of the country, and also promises to provide material assistance to victims of the epidemic introduced by UN peacekeepers in 2010.

The international community must also be reliable over the long term. A key priority must be to fully fund the UN’s cholera response, which proposes to build the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to eliminate cholera from the country over the next 10-15 years. Haiti will also need reforestation and crop support to ensure long-term food security and address environmental degradation and climate change. Furthermore, ongoing support for disaster mitigation and preparedness is badly needed. Preparation is by far the best form of disaster response.

We encourage greater accountability and transparency of international actors in Haiti. With President-elect Jovenel Moise set to take office on February 7, 2017, any intervention in Haiti must reinforce the capacity of the government and local institutions, and include participation in project design and execution from aid recipients. This type of approach will make aid more effective and sustainable, and allow Haitians to move towards autonomy.

In solidarity with the grief suffered by families of victims of the 2010 earthquake and hurricane Matthew, we honor the memories of those who have passed by translating lessons into action. We can and must do better to address the current humanitarian, food and climate crisis.

 

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Diaspora Challenge Initiative (DCI) Symposium [EVENT]

January 11, 2017 - 08:34

The Diaspora Challenge Initiative (DCI) sponsored by the LEAD Program of the Pan American Development Fund (PADF) invite you to a celebration and award ceremony presented to honor/congratulate all the winners of the Challenge.

Please join them in recognizing the great work of these brilliant champions and Innovators who responded to the call, leading the way in the Haitian Diaspora’s pursuits and actions for a better Haiti

Learn more about the DCI at: http://dci.naahpusa.org/

For all questions or to submit your application, email the DCI team at: dci@naahpusa.org

WHERE:

MIT Conference Center

50 Memorial Drive

Cambridge, MA 02142

WHEN:

Saturday January 21, 2017

9am to 4pm

 

For more info or to register for this event, click HERE.

Was the drug arrest of elected Senator Guy Philippe legal?

January 11, 2017 - 07:41

Four days before he would be sworn in as a Senator in Haiti and thus gain immunity, 2004 coup leader Guy Philippe was extradited to the U.S. on drug charges. As Philippe is a Haitian national, this move appears to be illegal based on Haiti’s Constitution. This article outlines the corresponding articles of the Constitution and a few treaties relevant to this matter.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti – FLASH : Guy Philippe was extradited on what legal basis ?

HaitiLibre

January 11, 2017

Many wondered about the legality of the extradition of Senator Guy Philippe on Thursday January 5th, great is the confusion in the minds of many including our parliamentarians, what say the texts of laws in Haiti ?

First of all, many speak of the agreement signed on 17 October 1997 between US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and President René Préval, which would have served as a legal basis for the extradition. To be precise, none of the articles of this agreement makes mention of extradition, even when interpreting it in the broad sense…

There is indeed an extradition treaty between Haiti and the United States, but it is dated August 9, 1904, and it is stipulated in its article 4 “None of the contracting parties will be bound to deliver its own citizens.”

The amended Haitian Constitution, currently in force, is very clear :

Article 8.1 “The Territory of the Republic of Haiti is nviolable and may not be alienated either in whole or in part by any Treaty or Convention. ”

Click HERE for the full article.

Human Rights Lawyers Call Haitian Electoral Court’s Verification a Lost Opportunity (Français inclus)

January 10, 2017 - 12:21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact :

Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, Mario@ijdh.org + 509-3701-9878 (French, Kreyol)

Nicole Phillips, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Nicole@ijdh.org + 001-510-715-2855 (English, French)

Human Rights Lawyers Call Haitian Electoral Court’s Verification a Lost Opportunity

(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, January 10, 2017) – The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) are disappointed in the incomplete verification conducted by Haiti’s electoral authorities, which fell far short of the comprehensive inquiry ordered by the National Electoral Challenges Bureau (BCEN).  The verification panel’s January 3rd decision ignored legitimate demands of the process raised by political parties and observer groups, putting at risk the credibility of the recently-announced presidential results.

On December 20, the BCEN ordered a review of 12 percent of the tally sheets (1,560 total) from the Vote Tabulation Center, in response to a challenge of the results by three presidential candidates. However, the verification panel, composed of CEP members, lawyers and judges, did not examine if the tally sheets were signed by the poll workers or verify the national identify numbers with the liste d’émargement (the electoral list that voters sign or fingerprint next to their national identity number and photo), which were supposed to be reviewed per an order of the BCEN.

“The verification process was a genuine fiasco,” said Mario Joseph, managing lawyer of the BAI. “When observers and contesting parties objected, the panel illegally changed the review procedures to prevent them from officially registering their concerns, in violation of the BCEN order, rendering their participation futile.” One of the human rights organizations that withdrew from the observation denounced the BCEN verification panel’s lack of transparency and called the process “a veritable theatre.”  The panel concluded on January 3rd that there was no evidence of massive fraud, but only irregularities that could not decisively affect the electoral process.

This verdict is unconvincing, according to IJDH Staff Attorney Nicole Phillips. “It is hard to have confidence in these results when 40 percent of national identity cards (CIN) are unaccounted for,” said Phillips. Prior to the election, the head of the National Identification Office (ONI) admitted that 2.4 million activated but undistributed cards had gone missing, out of a total of six million national identity cards in circulation. “In such a situation, it is imperative that they check the identity of the voters against the official registry of the ONI, but the panel refused to do so,” Phillips argues.

In addition, problems with electoral lists prepared by the ONI prevented many would-be voters from casting a ballot on November 20. Phillips added, “The ONI is dysfunctional, which reflects badly on the international community.” The ONI was established in 2005 through a partnership of the Haitian government and the Organization of American States, funded by Canada and other foreign governments.

The commission that investigated the October 2015 elections warned that the “sale and purchase of electoral cards” was becoming a common practice in Haitian elections, and pointed to the risk that undistributed cards could be used by individuals who “would pay for the luxury of voting more than once.” In the October presidential election, 16.2 percent of traceable votes had been cast using false CIN numbers, the commission found.

Haitians questioned the integrity of the August and October 2015 elections, despite assurances from the Provisional Electoral Council and international community that the elections were free and fair. After two independent commissions found massive fraud, the government finally admitted the fraud and scheduled new elections. Joseph calls for a transparent and accountable verification to dispel the suspicions that hang over these results. “The BCEN makes it clear that fraud and/or irregularities do not change election results, a reliable audit is needed to correct the electoral process for Haiti’s next upcoming elections.”

The verification process’ problems compelled the three main opposition parties to boycott the process, and all three have announced they refuse to accept the Presidential results.  The CEP has the last word, so neither the candidate nor the voters have any legal recourse, but opposition parties have vowed to continue to protest. The spoiled verification undermines the credibility of the electoral process and the legitimacy of the incoming President.

The lawyers are also concerned by multiple reports of Haitian National Police (PNH) using excessive force against journalists and protestors, despite lawful permits to protest. Although the police have the obligation to purse criminal acts by political actors, they must also guarantee the right to legal protests. In addition, President-elect Jovenel Moise endorsed an unconstitutional “municipal police force” created by the mayor of Les Cayes to work “next to” PNH. Joseph calls on the Minister of Justice and Public Security and PNH “to respect the Constitution, which prohibits any armed force outside of the PNH, and which guarantees the freedom of expression of protestors.” (See, Haitian Constitution, articles 31 and 263-1).

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POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE

Contact :

Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, mario@ijdh.org +509-3701-9879 (français, kreyòl)

Nicole Phillips, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, nicole@ijdh.org +001-510-715-2855 (anglais, français)

Des avocats de Droits Humains appellent les conclusions du BCEN une occasion perdue

(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haïti, le 10 janvier 2017) – Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) et l’Institut pour la Justice et la Démocratie  en Haïti (IJDH ) déplorent la vérification incomplète effectuée par les autorités électorales d’Haïti, qui sont bien en deçà de la vérification indiquée dans « l’Avant Dire Droit »  du Bureau du Contentieux Electoral National (BCEN). La décision du BCEN du 03  janvier 2017 ignore les demandes légitimes des partis politiques et des groupes d’observation et met en péril la crédibilité des résultats des élections présidentielles récemment annoncés.

Le 20 décembre 2016, le BCEN a ordonné, par un avant dire droit, l’examen de 12 % des procès-verbaux (1 560 au total) depuis le Centre de Tabulation des Votes (CTV), en réponse à la contestation des résultats par trois candidats à la présidence. Toutefois, le BCEN, composé des membres du CEP et des avocats et des juges, ont vérifié les procès-verbaux sans prendre le soin d’examiner s’ils sont signés par des membres des bureaux de votes ni si les CIN sont conformés avec la liste d’émargement, qui devaient être examinés suivant l’ordonnance du BCEN.

« Le processus de vérification était un véritable fiasco, » a déclaré Maître Mario Joseph du BAI. « Lorsque les observateurs et les partis contestataires s’y sont opposés, le tribunal électoral a changé la procédure de vérification  afin de les réduire au silence et de rendre leur participation futile en violation de l’ordonnance du BCEN. » Marie Yolène Gilles du RNDDH, qui s’est retirée de l’observation, a dénoncé le manque de transparence du BCEN et a qualifie le processus « un véritable théâtre. » Le BCEN a déclaré  le 03 janvier, « il ne relève aucune fraude massive mais des irrégularités qui ne peuvent affecter le processus électoral. »

Cette décision n’est pas convaincante, selon Maître Nicole Phillips de l’IJDH. « Il est difficile d’avoir confiance dans ces résultats, lorsque 40 % des Cartes d’identifications nationales (CIN) se sont disparues, » a déclaré Maître Phillips. Avant l’élection, le chef de l’Office National d’Identification (ONI) a admis la disparition de 2,4 millions de cartes qui ont été activées mais pas distribuées, sur 6 millions CINs en circulation. « Dans cette situation, il est impératif que le BCEN vérifie l’identité des électeurs dans le  registre officiel de l’ONI, mais le tribunal a refusé de le faire, » affirme Phillips.

En outre, des problèmes avec les listes électorales préparées par l’ONI ont empêché plusieurs électeurs potentiels de voter le 20 novembre. Phillips a ajouté, « L’ONI est une débâcle, qui reflète mal la communauté internationale ». Car l’ONI a été créée en 2005 en partenariat avec le gouvernement haïtien et l’Organisation des États américains, et financé par le Canada et d’autres gouvernements étrangers.

Le Commission Indépendante d’Evaluation et de Vérification Electorale (CIEVE) qui  a étudié les élections d’octobre 2015 a prédit un « commerce de cartes électorales » qui allait devenir chose courante à la veille des joutes électorales et a souligné le risque que les cartes non distribuées puissent être utilisées par des individus qui « se paieront le luxe de voter plus d’une fois. » À l’élection présidentielle du 25 octobre  2016, 16,2 % des votes traçables ont été précipités à l’aide des faux CIN, a constaté la CIEVE.

Le peuple haïtien a mis en doute l’intégrité des élections d’août et d’octobre 2015, malgré les assurances données par le Conseil électoral provisoire et la communauté internationale que les élections ont été libres et équitables. Deux commissions indépendantes ont découvert des fraudes massives, le gouvernement a été forcé d’admettre les fraudes. Maître Joseph réclame une vérification transparente et responsable pour dissiper les soupçons qui décrédibilisent  ces résultats. « Le BCEN laisse comprendre  que les fraudes et / ou les irrégularités ne changent pas les résultats des élections, une vérification fiable est nécessaire pour corriger le processus électoral pour les prochaines élections en Haïti. »

Les problèmes du processus de vérification ont contraint les partis contestataires à boycotter le processus et à refuser d’accepter les résultats de la présidence. Le CEP a le dernier mot, donc ni les candidats ni les électeurs n’ont aucun recours légal, mais les partis contestataires ont juré de continuer à protester. La vérification gâchée mine la crédibilité du processus électoral et la légitimité du nouveau président.

Les avocats sont aussi concernés par les multiples rapports de la Police nationale Haïti (PNH) à une force excessive contre les journalistes et les manifestants, malgré les notifications  légitimes pour protester. En outre,  le Président soi-disant élu, Monsieur Jovenel Moise, a endossé la « polis kominal »  inconstitutionnelle créé par Monsieur Gabriel Fortuné, le maire de la ville des Cayes, à travailler « a kote » de la PNH. Maitre Joseph appelle le Ministre de la Justice et de la sécurité publique (MJSP) et le Commandement de la PNH « à respecter les articles 31 et 263 – 1 de la Constitution haïtienne, qui interdit toute force armée en dehors de la PNH, et qui garantit la liberté d’expression des manifestants ».

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Le Canada promet 6 millions pour lutter contre le choléra

January 10, 2017 - 11:33

Le 1 décembre, l’ONU a annoncé un plan de 400 million de dollars pour combattre le choléra en Haïti.  Le problème est que les États membres de l’ONU doivent avancer ces millions et jusqu’aujourd’hui, seulement la France et la Corée du Sud avaient promis chacune 1 million. Le Canada a maintenant annoncé sa contribution de 6 millions sur deux ans. Comme un leader en matière d’aide humanitaire pour Haïti, le Canada espère donner un bon exemple aux autres membres de l’ONU a l’égard de ce plan.

Partie de l’article est ci dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Haïti: Ottawa versera 6 millions pour lutter contre le choléra

Gabrielle Duchaine, La Presse

10 janvier 2017

À deux jours du septième anniversaire du tremblement de terre en Haïti, le Canada promet 6 millions sur deux ans pour lutter contre l’épidémie de choléra qui a fauché 10 000 vies depuis que des Casques bleus ont introduit la maladie dans le pays, en 2010. L’ambassadeur du Canada à l’Organisation des Nations unies (ONU) invite les États membres à emboîter rapidement le pas pour corriger «une situation exceptionnelle qui exige une réponse exceptionnelle».

L’annonce coïncide avec la publication dans La Presse la semaine dernière d’un grand dossier sur l’épidémie de choléra, pour laquelle l’ONU a reconnu en décembre, près de sept ans après les premières victimes, une responsabilité morale et offert ses excuses au peuple haïtien, promettant du même coup 400 millions pour éradiquer la maladie.

Ces 400 millions, ce sont les gouvernements des pays membres qui doivent les avancer, et cela, sur une base volontaire.

Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Un-Vaccinated UN Troops Risk Exacerbating Haiti Cholera

January 10, 2017 - 08:10

Though cholera vaccines are now mandatory for all UN troops and peacekeepers, a unit deployed to Haiti from India, where cholera is endemic, was not vaccinated. This is alarming because cholera was first brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers in 2010 and has since sickened at least 800,000 and killed at least 9,500. Though a UN spokesperson said that responsibility for peacekeeper vaccinations is placed on member states, it should be up to the UN to enforce the rule and make sure that it doesn’t cause another cholera epidemic elsewhere.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

UN Police Unit Deploys to Haiti Without Cholera Vaccinations

Associated Press, VOA News

January 10, 2016

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — The U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti is administering cholera vaccines to a police unit from India months after it arrived in the impoverished Caribbean nation without the required protection, officials said Tuesday.

The failure to ensure that U.N. police personnel from a cholera-endemic country were vaccinated comes after the waterborne disease was introduced to Haiti’s largest river in October 2010 by sewage from a base of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, one of the units that have rotated in and out of a multinational force here since 2004.

Over six years later, Haiti continues to wrestle with the globe’s worst outbreak of the preventable disease in recent history. Cholera has sickened roughly 800,000 Haitians and killed at least 9,500.

Vaccination for cholera is now mandatory for all U.N. troops and police deploying to peacekeeping operations. The U.N. puts responsibility for peacekeeper vaccinations on member states, according to Ariane Quentier, spokeswoman for the U.N. mission in Haiti.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Does validation of Haiti’s election allow optimism for cholera aid?

January 7, 2017 - 06:41

David Nabarro, who is heading up the United Nations’ cholera response in Haiti, has high hopes for funding the plan now that Jovenel Moise has been confirmed as Haiti’s new president. Though contributions from UN member states besides France and South Korea have been slow, Nabarro hopes that funding will pick up now that there is an established government for the funds to go into. The World Economic Forum will take place later this month and Nabarro plans to use that opportunity to convince potential donors to invest in a long-term plan for Haiti.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

UN hopes Haiti election will open door for cholera aid

World Bulletin

January 7, 2017

The United Nations is struggling to get pledged aid for Haiti’s cholera epidemic victims but hopes nascent political stability will inspire confidence in donors and investors.

In early December, the United Nations for the first time apologized to Haitians for its role in the epidemic. It announced a plan to help the victims’ families and bolster the fight against the disease, hoping to mobilize $400 million over two years.

But donations have only trickled in, said David Nabarro, a British doctor who is special adviser to the UN on the organization’s sustainable development agenda.

“Money remains a serious problem,” he said Thursday. “I have never found it so hard to raise money for an issue as I am finding it to raise money for this.”

Click HERE for the full article.

Details on Drug-Related Arrest of Elected Haitian Senator

January 6, 2017 - 10:46

Four days before he would officially become a Haitian Senator, 2004 coup leader Guy Philippe was arrested on drug charges from 2005. He was arrested by Haitian National Police after appearing on a radio show, and brought to Miami by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents. His arrest apparently comes at a time when Philippe was vulnerable – between immunity from being a political candidate and immunity that would have come from being a Senator. This article provides more details on what allowed this arrest to happen, and some reactions from a US attorney.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti’s Philippe dropped his guard before his capture by U.S. agents

Jacqueline Charles and Jay Weaver, Miami Herald

January 6, 2017

Four days before his arrest, ex-rebel leader and newly elected Haitian Senator Guy Philippe swaggered through Haiti’s capital on a VIP tour.

Traveling with armed bodyguards, including Haiti National Police officers, he visited the chic Best Western and El Rancho hotels in Petionville, partied at Hotel Ibo Lele and dined on goat meat at a private home in the La Boule suburb.

Former Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe at his appearance Friday in U.S. federal court in Miami. Handout

Cocky and confident, Philippe, 48, even swung by a newly opened restaurant run by a close friend of interim President Jocelerme Privert. Afterward, thumbing his nose at the head of state, Philippe posed for a photo with heavily armed men in pink and white T-shirts. The photo would later explode on social media.

Philippe’s fate would be sealed when the Ninja-like figure, who always had a network of informants and seemed to be one step ahead of the feds, forgot the first rule of his military training: Always check your surroundings.

Click HERE for the full text.

Seoul Daily Paper Criticizes Ban Ki-moon, Especially for Cholera

January 6, 2017 - 09:28

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently stated that he would “burn his own body” if it would help Korea but his indecisive record at the United Nations makes many people doubt that. With the cholera epidemic in Haiti especially, Ban received major criticism for apologizing six years after the UN caused the epidemic. This, despite a UN expert panel establishing the UN fault in 2011 and everyone from cholera victims to UN experts criticizing the lack of UN response for several years. With Ban’s eye now on the Korean presidency, as his UN term has ended, many believe that the belated apology was really just an attempt to erase the cholera stain from Ban Ki-moon’s UN legacy.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

[Correspondent’s column] Is Ban Ki-moon really willing to burn his own body?

Yi Yong-in, The Hankyoreh

January 6, 2017

“If it would contribute to the development of the Republic of Korea, I would be willing to burn my own body if need be.”

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the comment during a meeting with South Korean correspondents that was held at the UN Headquarters in New York on Dec. 20. Ban’s phrase about burning his own body implied that he intends to move ahead despite the risk and regardless of the cost. It is a remark fit for the declaration of a presidential campaign.

Presuming that Ban has prepared the remark in advance, one can guess what his intentions were. His choice of strong words was probably deliberate, since he is aware of criticism that he is not very charismatic or decisive. The unprecedented intensity of Ban’s remarks in recent months suggest that Ban is attempting to move beyond his reputation as a slippery eel.

But strangely enough, I could hardly sense any dedication or gravity in his words, his facial expression or his eyes during the meeting with reporters. I replayed a recording of the occasion several times, but I couldn’t shake that feeling.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

Alleged Drug Trafficker Arrested Before Becoming Haiti Senator

January 5, 2017 - 14:31

Guy Philippe, who helped orchestrated the 2004 coup against then-President Aristide, has been wanted by the US DEA since 2005 but somehow managed to elude the DEA. Finally, just four days before he was set to be sworn in as a Senator in Haiti, he was arrested by the Haitian National Police and handed over to the DEA. Many say this is a last-minute effort to prevent Philippe from gaining the immunity from arrest or prosecution that lawmakers enjoy. There are mixed reactions in Haiti but one activist who approves of the arrest only laments that more criminals who were voted into office haven’t also been arrested.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Former Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe arrested

Jacqueline Charles and Jay Weaver, Miami Herald

January 5, 2017

Former Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe, who has been wanted for more than a decade on drug charges in the United States, was arrested Thursday in Haiti and federal agents were bringing him to Miami.

Philippe, 48, was arrested after he left a Haitian radio station, local media reported. Police fired several shots during the 10 minutes it took to take him into custody outside Scoop FM in Petionville. Late Thursday, he was transferred to the custody of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

The ex-rebel leader, charged with drug trafficking by the DEA under a 2005 sealed indictment, had just been elected to a six-year term in the Haitian parliament as a senator from the Grand’Anse area of Haiti. Earlier in the day, before the radio interview, he had picked up his legislative certificate.

…Click HERE for the full text.

Human rights lawyers to denounce and investigate death threaths against Pierre Esperance

January 3, 2017 - 13:08

POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE

Contact:
Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, mario@ijdh.org +509-3701-9878 (français, kreyol)
Nicole Phillips, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, nicole@ijdh.org +001-510-715-2855 (anglais, français)

Des avocats de Droits Humains exhortent le Gouvernement haïtien à dénoncer et à enquêter sur les menaces de mort proférées à l’encontre de Monsieur Pierre ESPERANCE, défenseur des droits humains en Haïti

(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haïti, le 3 janvier 2017) – Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) et l’Institute pour la Justice et la Démocratie  en Haïti (IJDH ) exhortent le Gouvernement Haïtien à prendre très au serieux les menaces de mort proférées à l’encontre Monsieur Pierre ESPERANCE, éminent défenseur des Droits Humains et directeur exécutif du Réseau National de Défense des Droits humains (RNDDH). Selon Maitre Mario JOSEPH du Bureau des Avocats Internationaux,  « le Gouvernement a l’obligation de veiller à ce que Monsieur ESPERANCE comme défenseur des droits humains puisse mener ses activités sans crainte de représailles, conformément à la Déclaration des Nations unies de 1998 sur les défenseurs des droits de l’homme.. »

Le 28 décembre 2016, Monsieur ESPERANCE a reçu une enveloppe du groupe « Baz dlo nan je » contenant une lettre et une balle au siège de son organisation.  La lettre menace Monsieur ESPERANCE et sa famille à cause du travail du RNDDH en connexion avec la vérification des résultats préliminaires des élections : « Nou gen kontwòl lakay ou, travay ou, fanmi w ak deplasman w… Si nou panse nou ka anpeche vrè rezilta pase. Jou nou konte. Pa twò lontan n ap jwenn repons apwopriye pa rapò ak zak nou ». La Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ) a été mise au courant de la réception de cette correspondance et la balle, et une plainte a été déposée auprès du Maitre Danton LEGER, Commissaire du Gouvernement près le Tribunal de Première Instance de Port-au-Prince.

Monsieur ESPERANCE avait reçu une lettre et une balle de la même manière le 2 avril 2014, ce qui avait conduit la Commission Interaméricaine des Droits de l’Homme (CIDH), dans la Résolution 17/2014, d’ordonner au Gouvernement Haïtien de prendre « les mesures nécessaires pour garantir la vie et l’intégrité personnelle de M. Pierre Espérance » et les autres membres du RNDDH.  Selon cette ordonnance, le Gouvernement devrait également « faire un rapport sur les mesures prises pour enquêter sur les événements  qui ont conduit à l’adoption de ces mesures conservatoires et ainsi éviter leur répétition », ce qui n’a  jamais été fait selon Monsieur ESPERANCE. En 1999, il a failli être tué par des tirs d’hommes armés.

Maître JOSEPH, «Je suis très préoccupé par la vulnérabilité des défenseurs des Droits Humains en Haïti, qui luttent pour la liberté et les droits du peuple haïtien, mais qui ne sont  protégés ni par les institutions ni par les dirigeants de l’Etat haïtien. Il faut que la DCPJ et Maitre Danton LEGER s’engagent à diligenter, sans délai, une enquête indépendante sur les menaces proférées contre Monsieur ESPERANCE et à traduire les responsables  en justice.»

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact :
Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, Mario@ijdh.org + 509-3701-9878 (French, Kreyol)
Nicole Phillips, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Nicole@ijdh.org + 001-510-715-2855 (English, French)

Human rights lawyers urge the Haitian Government to denounce and investigate death threats against human rights defender Pierre Espérance

(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, January 3, 2017) – The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) urge the Haitian Government to take seriously the threats made against prominent human rights advocate Pierre Espérance, Executive Director of the National Network of Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH). According to Mario Joseph, managing lawyer of the BAI, “the Government has the obligation to ensure that Espérance is free to conduct his activities as a human rights defender without fear of reprisals, pursuant to the UN Declaration of 1998 on Human Rights Defenders. »

On December 28, 2016, Espérance received an envelope at the RNDDH office from the group “Baz dlo nan je” containing a letter with a bullet. The letter threatens Espérance and his family because of the work of RNDDH in connection with the verification of the preliminary results of the November 20 elections: “We have to control of your home, your job, your family and your trips … If you think you can prevent the real [election] results.  Your days are limited.  Soon we will find the appropriate response in relation to your actions.” The Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ) was made aware of this correspondence and the bullet, and a complaint has been filed with Danton Leger, Prosecutor for the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince.

Espérance received a similar letter and a bullet on April 2, 2014, which led to Resolution 17/2014 from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ordering the Haitian Government to take “the necessary measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of Mr. Pierre Espérance” and the other members of the RNDDH. According to this order, the Government should also “report on the measures taken to investigate the events that led to the adoption of these measures and avoid their repetition”, which has never been done according to Espérance. In 1999, armed men almost killed Espérance by gunfire.

Joseph added, “I am very concerned about the vulnerability of human rights defenders in Haiti, who fight for freedom and the rights of the Haitian people, but who are not protected by the Haitian government’s institutions or leaders. The DCPJ and Prosecutor Leger must immediately conduct an independent investigation into the threats made against Espérance and bring those responsible to justice.”

 

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UN Cholera Apology’s a First Step But Much More Needs to Be Done

January 2, 2017 - 11:48

On December 1 before the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized for the cholera epidemic and detailed a $400 million plan to fight the disease. While the apology is a necessary first step towards justice and something that cholera victims have been demanding for years, the UN was very careful not to imply legal responsibility in the apology. Even the description of the plan was “solidarity” rather than accountability or responsibility. This may be contributing to the trouble the UN is having with getting member states to contribute to the plan. The UN must also make sure to fully consider compensating victims and find strategies to do so.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

The UN’s Apology Won’t Heal Disease, But It’s A First Step to Justice

Beatrice Lindstrom, Opinio Juris

January 2, 2017

When the outgoing Secretary-General issued his long-overdue apology for the UN’s role in Haiti’s cholera epidemic, he turned a corner on six years of silence and stonewalling. At the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux—the Haitian public interest law office that has led the charge against the UN for introducing the disease to Haiti—about 100 victims and activists were gathered to watch a live-stream of the statement in Port-au-Prince. They broke into spontaneous cheers and applause when the apology was delivered.

“This was a victory for us today. It wasn’t easy. We sent thousands of letters and took to the streets to get this victory, for them to say today that they were responsible. They said that, and we thank them…” said Desir Jean-Clair, a cholera survivor who has been organizing for justice, in a statement following the apology.

A public apology has been a central demand of the victims, along with cholera eradication and compensation for families who have suffered. While the disease has caused thousands of deaths and massive suffering since UN peacekeepers contaminated Haiti’s largest river with cholera-laden sewage in 2010, the UN’s failure to own up to its actions has itself been an affront to victims’ dignity. By continuously denying responsibility in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, and by hiding behind immunity to avoid an independent hearing on the merits of victims’ claims, the UN turned its back on Haitians and on its own human rights principles. Against this background, an apology from the Organization’s top leadership is a fundamental component of a just UN response.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Celebrate Haitian Resilience and Honor Our Elders

December 31, 2016 - 20:40

Join Youth and Family Enrichment Services for a celebration and commemoration as the seventh anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake approaches. The suggested donation to keep the program going is $15.

WHERE:

25 Gile Road
Milton, MA 02189

WHEN:

Sunday, January 8, 2017
5:30pm

For more information, call 617-364-0370 or email youthprograms@yofes.org

Can apology without admitting fault clear Ban Ki-moon’s legacy?

December 28, 2016 - 17:11

On December 1,before the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the UN’s role in the cholera epidemic in Haiti. It was a major moment and much-needed in an effort to salvage Ban’s legacy before he (likely) goes on to run for president of his home South Korea. But the carefully-worded apology didn’t include an acknowledgment of the UN’s fault in the epidemic. A current and a former UN official say that without that, it will be very difficult for the UN to raise funds to support cholera elimination and Ban’s legacy may not be saved after all.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

With an Eye on South Korea’s Presidency, Ban Ki-moon Seeks to Burnish his U.N. Legacy

Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy

December 28, 2016

On Jan. 15, 2016, Australian lawyer Philip Alston paid a visit  to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his 38th-floor office at U.N. headquarters. Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, was preparing a report that would castigate the United Nations for skirting responsibility for introducing cholera into Haiti more than five years earlier. If Ban hoped to salvage the world body’s good name, as well as his legacy, he had better move fast to right a historical wrong.

“It would be a great pity to go out on this note,” Alston said he later told Ban in what amounted to a thinly veiled warning.

For a man weighing a likely run for the South Korean presidency, the hint of a potential scandal proved persuasive. Ban, 72, subsequently ordered a review of the U.N.’s response to Haiti’s cholera epidemic, which has killed more than 9,000 Haitians.

And so on Dec. 1, after months of deliberation, Ban offered an extraordinary apology to Haitians on behalf of the U.N., ending years of denials about the organization’s complicity in the cholera epidemic. In a carefully crafted statement that acknowledged the U.N.’s moral, if not legal, responsibility, Ban said he was “profoundly sorry” and pressed U.N. member states to cough up as much as $400 million to treat and cure Haiti’s cholera victims.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

“Kenbe Fèm” with BAI and IJDH

December 26, 2016 - 11:30


Dear [[Short_Salutation]],

I know that many of you in the U.S. and elsewhere are concerned about the future. We are concerned in Haiti too—the 21st Century has already brought us a coup d’état, manipulated elections, intense political oppression, an earthquake, a cholera epidemic and several deadly hurricanes.

Haitians often say “kenbe fem”- “hang in there”, “stand firm”. We use it casually, when friends take leave to face the daily challenges of life here. We use it more seriously, too, to encourage each other to stay strong in the face of particularly weighty challenges.

We not only hang in there, but we resist, mobilize and fight back. We successfully reversed the 2004 coup, stopped manipulated elections last January, survived the earthquake and hurricanes, and earlier this month, forced the UN to respond justly to its cholera epidemic. 

Our secret to success is “men anpil, chay pa lou”- “many hands make the load light”. Haitians have been working together to defeat injustice since we kicked out Napoleon and abolished slavery in 1804. We inspired and assisted independence movements in South America, Africa and beyond over the subsequent two centuries and fought off occupations and dictatorships at home. We hope that our example, courage, strategy, persistence and collaboration can inspire and support your efforts to preserve justice in your countries over the coming months and years.

We hope that you can help us too. Friends from abroad have lent their hands to our previous victories, especially our recent ones. We will need you to fight with us now, to kenbe fem by our side, contacting your leaders, writing letters, taking to the streets and educating your media.

And we need your financial support. Year-end donations from allies like you are crucial for BAI and IJDH to keep fighting on the front lines, to keep winning victories against injustice. Together, united, all hands in, we are unstoppable.

Are you with us?

Kenbe Fem,

Mario Joseph

Managing Attorney

Bureau des Avocats Internationaux

Why Re-Designating Temporary Protected Status for Haiti is Much-Needed

December 25, 2016 - 12:40

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was first designated for Haitians who were in the United States on or before the devastating earthquake of 2010. Now, after Hurricane Matthew has worsened Haiti’s already-poor infrastructure and cholera epidemic, TPS should be redesignated. Haiti cannot currently support people who were deported, and redesignation would also help much-needed remittances be sent back to help Haiti recover. In this article, IJDH’s Steven Forester and FANM’s Marleine Bastien explain the importance of TPS and urge president Obama to redesignate it while he still has the chance.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Here’s why Obama should broaden TPS for Haitians

Marleine Bastien & Steven Forester, Miami Herald

December 25, 2016

Last week, Haitian Americans nationwide contacted the White House and their representatives in Congress urging President Obama to act on three goals within his control and moral purview.

When a natural catastrophe in a country makes it unsafe to deport nationals there, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can designate it for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Haiti was so designated after the devastating earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. Nationals who had arrived in the U.S. on or before that date were protected from deportation and, for a significant fee, allowed to apply for a work permit.

TPS for Haiti needs to be updated — “redesignated.” In early October, Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti’s southern peninsula. The Category 4 hurricane’s 230-mile-per-hour winds and over 10 inches of rain inundated vast areas, killing, injuring, rendering homeless and displacing hundreds of thousands. It left 1,250,000 Haitians, including 500,000 children, without safe water, and more than 800,000 Haitians living in extreme food insecurity because almost 100 percent crop destruction and half of the livestock destroyed. It caused cases of cholera, the water-borne disease introduced to Haiti by negligent United Nations practices.

 

Click HERE for the full text.