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Haiti’s Failed August 9th Elections Placed In Context

August 25, 2015 - 14:20

On August 9th, Haiti held its first round of legislative elections after more than three years of delays and political squabbles. Election Day was marred by violence, fraud, and other irregularities all over the country but initial accounts from the Electoral Council (CEP) and major international observers ignored those issues. The article below examines the problems with these elections in the context of dangerous precedents set by Haiti’s past elections ever since the country’s very first democratic election in 1990.

Click HERE for the full article text.

Electoral Carnival in Haiti

Etant Dupain, Woy Magazine

August 25, 2015

The elections of August 9th, 2015 are clear proof that Haiti has a serious disease. We waited 4 years for these long overdue elections, only to end up with a demagogic mess. These words are not simply my opinion, but also the remarks of RNDDH one of the largest human rights organizations in the country. RNDDH had more than 1500 observers throughout the country on Election Day.

Starting at 6 am, voters took to the streets in search of their local stations. The first place I visited on August 9th was the polling station in Bel Air at Ecole National Dumarsais Estimé. Workers were counting ballots by candlelight in a small dark room, while security fought with proxies sent by political parties trying to enter the office but could not. After Bel Air, I went down to the Silvio Cator stadium one of the biggest polling places in Port-au-Prince. There, I found the same problems, political party’s proxies unable to enter the office. Only political parties like Verite, PHTK and Bouclier were given access to the center. This was also the case in Bel Air.

A proxy (mandatè in Kreyòl) is a representative that every political party or candidate sends to observe at polling centers. The electoral law grants every party and candidate (even independent ones) access to all polling centers through proxies to observe the process on election day. This practice comes from the lack of trust that exists in the Haitian electoral system, the proxy is tasked with observing the process on behalf of their party to ensure nothing fraudulent is happening. However, a lot of times, it is these very representatives that cause problems on election day in Haiti; proxies tend to stuff ballots and commit fraud for their candidate.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Haitian Election Observers Call for Independent Investigation

August 25, 2015 - 12:57

In a 57-page report, election observers in Haiti detail the many problems with Haiti’s August 9th round of elections. These issues include violence, ballot box stuffing, ineffective indelible ink, and even some murders. Though two political parties closely affiliated with President Martelly were tied to most of the violence and intimidation, the Electoral Council has only issued warnings so far. While some applaud the CEP’s initial efforts, such as re-running elections in 25 constituencies, these observers say that much more needs to be done to yield accurate election results and to prevent this from happening again.

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

Click HERE for the report.

Haitian electoral observers demand investigation into election day chaos

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

August 25, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Local observer groups are calling for an independent investigation into Haiti’s violence-marred Aug. 9 legislative elections, saying that recent sanctions taken against 16 candidates by elections officials do not go far enough.

The observers, led by Haiti’s leading human rights group, said the balloting was not only marred by “grave violence” but also massive fraud with ballot stuffing and people repeatedly voting because their fingers were not properly marked with ink. The process also lacked confidentiality with voters forced to vote behind “cheap” cardboard dividers and put their ballots in see threw plastic boxes.

Observers further dismissed a communiqué by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) calling out the political parties behind some of the candidates accused of the violence. The one-page announcement shows that two parties close to President Michel Martelly, PHTK and Réseau National Bouclier Haitien, led the pack. No sanctions, however, have been announced.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Click HERE for the electoral observers’ report.

Officiel de l’UE admet des problèmes majeurs avec les élections du 9 août

August 25, 2015 - 11:50

José Antonio De Gabriel, chef adjoint de la mission d’observation électorale de l’UE en Haïti, a été interviewé par Le Nouvelliste et essentiellement confirmé ce que nous savions déjà: Il a dénoncé (à titre personnel, il nous semble) la «violence méthodique” des candidats ciblant centres de vote dans les zones où ils ont moins de soutien, pour influencer le résultat. Il admet également, contrairement au rapport préliminaire de l’UE, que l’impact de cette violence était énorme, et que la violence a découragé la participation des électeurs.

La mission de l’UE apparemment ne sera pas publier un rapport complet sur ses observations jusqu’à la fin de tout le processus électoral.

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

L’Union européenne fait des propositions pour améliorer le processus électoral

Louis-Joseph Olivier, Le Nouvelliste

25 août 2015

La Mission d’observation électorale de l’Union européenne n’a pas encore donné un rapport définitif sur le déroulement du premier tour des législatives. Ce rapport ne sera rendu public qu’à la fin de tout le processus électoral. Mais il existe des faits marquants qui retiennent l’attention des observateurs deux semaines après le premier tour des législatives. José Antonio De Gabriel est revenu pour Le Nouvelliste sur ces faits saillants du premier tour des législatives comme la violence électorale, le faible taux de participation et les problèmes logistiques.

« Le faible taux de participation est un élément à prendre en compte avant la présidentielle du 25 octobre, tant par les partis politiques que par le Conseil électoral provisoire », a fait savoir le chef adjoint de la Mission d’observation électorale de l’UE. José Antonio De Gabriel déplore que trop peu de citoyens se sont rendus aux urnes durant la journée électorale du 9 août. Mis à part le faible taux de participation, estimé à 18% par le CEP, l’atmosphère de violence qui a régné le jour du vote est pointée du doigt par l’observateur qui n’a pas mâché ses mots. « José Antonio De Gabriel dénonce l’existence d’une violence méthodique dans laquelle certains candidats attaquent certains centres de vote où ils pensent que les résultats ne leur seront pas favorables. C’est une pratique qu’il faut attaquer, c’est une pratique qu’il faut condamner », a poursuivi José Antonio De Gabriel.

En ce sens, il a salué la décision du Conseil électoral provisoire de radier les candidats responsables de ces attaques contre les centres de vote. Tout comme l’élimination et la reprise du vote dans ces endroits où le volume des attaques avait pris une ampleur justifiant la reprise du vote. La violence selon José Antonio De Gabriel vient du milieu politique. Ce sont pour la plupart des candidats qui se permettent de perturber le vote dans les endroits où ils ne sont pas populaires. Une violence dont les conséquences sont énormes pour le processus électoral.

 

Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Haiti Temporary Protected Status Designation Extended

August 25, 2015 - 06:20
Temporary Protected Status Extended for Haiti

US Citizenship and Immigration Services

August 25, 2015

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Haiti’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months. The extended designation is effective Jan. 23, 2016, through July 22, 2017.

Current TPS Haiti beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Aug. 25, 2015, through Oct. 26, 2015. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Aug. 25, 2015.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS Haiti beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 22, 2017. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Haiti EADs bearing a Jan. 22, 2016, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through July 22, 2016.

Haiti was initially designated for TPS on Jan. 21, 2010, after a major earthquake devastated the country. Following consultations with other federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security has determined that current conditions in Haiti support extending the designation period for current TPS beneficiaries.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:

Applicants may request that USCIS waive the Form I-765 application fee and/or biometrics fee based on an inability to pay. To do so, applicants must file a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. Fee waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

Additional information on TPS for Haiti—including guidance on eligibility, the application process, and where to file—is available online at uscis.gov/tps. Further details about this extension of TPS for Haiti, including the application requirements and procedures, appear in a Federal Register notice published today.

Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit uscis.gov. Follow us on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/TPSHaiti

Denationalization Conflated with Immigration Policies in DR

August 24, 2015 - 19:26

In 2013, the Dominican Republic (DR) Constitutional Court made a decision to retroactively strip citizenship from countless people of Haitian descent. When faced with international backlash to this decision, DR covered for this human rights violation by framing the policy as an immigration issue. DR often asserts that it is taking the same kinds of steps that the United States is taking to regulate immigration, without addressing the retroactive (and thus illegal) nature of the 2013 decision. The US government has yet to take a strong stance on the crisis caused by the decision. This article describes exactly why denationalization and mass deportations are illegal and urges the US to take a look at its own stance on citizenship.

Click HERE for the full text.

Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Promotes Abuses in the US and the Dominican Republic

Ediberto Roman and Jennifer Moore, The HuffPost Blog

August 24, 2015

Over the past few weeks, virtually every American has heard, or heard of, Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. Without addressing facts, Trump plays to our most base and racist instincts. Disdainful of evidence that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than citizens , he continues to allege mass numbers of rapists and drug dealers are being “sent” across our border. On August 19, two South Boston brothers attacked a homeless immigrant, claiming they were inspired by Trump .

Hatemongering can incite individual acts of violence and can also inspire policies threatening to immigrants and citizens alike. Trump is not only scapegoating immigrants, he is calling for an end to birthright citizenship. If his plan somehow succeeds, it may jeopardize the human rights of millions, particularly members of minority communities. If this prognosis seems alarmist, we need look no further than the Caribbean region.

Thousands of citizens of the Dominican Republic were recently denationalized and threatened with mass expulsion and the prospect of statelessness. . As a result of a 2013 ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal, described by many as motivated by racial animus, the country did away with birthright citizenship by limiting Dominican nationality to individuals with one Dominican parent, regardless of their own birth on Dominican soil. Despite the language of the Dominican Constitution, this decision stripped the citizenship of generations of Dominican citizens, applying retroactively to 1929 onward.

The vast majority of these newly undocumented former Dominican citizens are dark-skinned people of Haitian descent. In a country where the poor typically have a very difficult time obtaining birth certificates, the decision effectively singles out poor Dominican-born children whose ancestors have resided in the country for several generations.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

People Fleeing DR Lack Support from Haitian and US Governments

August 23, 2015 - 07:40

This article does an excellent job of explaining the crisis currently unfolding as tens of thousands of Dominicans and Haitians leave the Dominican Republic (DR) for fear of violence from their neighbors. It describes the historic conflicts between DR and Haiti that led up to the current animosity between the two countries, and the current lack of support from the Haitian government to the people now living in border camps. As DR officially began mass deportations last week, many fear that the situation will become much worse.

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

The Culture of Fear Fueling the Dominican Deportation Crisis

George Altshuler, The American Prospect

August 23, 2015

I left the Dominican Republic because people said they would kill all the Haitians,” said Mona Jermin in Haitian Kreyòl. “Now I have nothing.” Two weeks ago Jermin gave birth to a baby boy in a dusty tent at a camp for Haitians who have fled the Dominican Republic. She had no medical care, and she says her child lacks food, clothes, and still hasn’t seen a doctor.

Although the Dominican government did not begin mass deportations of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent following a June 17 immigration deadline, some 66,000 people have already fled the country. And while the threat of deportation may have played a part, it seems to be only part of the story. In more than two-dozen interviews in camps of Haitians who have fled the Dominican Republic in recent months, most people told stories of threats and intimidation from Dominican civilians. The threat of deportation remains very real for Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent, but the threat of violence they face in the DR is in many cases just as serious.

The figure of 66,000 people having left the Dominican Republic comes from the Dominican government, which claims those who left did so “voluntarily” following the June deadline to apply for legal residency. The Dominican officials put into place its residency program after a 2013 ruling of the Dominican Supreme Court retroactively stripped away the citizenship of hundreds of thousands of people.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

City of Miramar Stands Against Mass Deportations from DR

August 21, 2015 - 06:53

The City of Miramir in Florida, which has a large population of Haitians, just passed a resolution condemning mass deportations in the Dominican Republic. Most of the people at risk of deportation are of Haitian descent, making this a key issue for both the Dominican and Haitian communities. The issues of mass deportation and statelessness are also important for anyone who stands against violations of the human rights to citizenship and due process.

Click HERE for the pdf.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Edna LaRoche, Executive Asst. to the Mayor

(954) 602-3198 (o); (954) 541-7562 (c)

elaroche@miramarfl.gov

CITY OF MIRAMAR COMMISSION PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING HAITIANS IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…City of Miramar, FL – Mayor Wayne Messam initiated a Resolution at Wednesday’s Commission meeting condemning the mass deportation of Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The Commission voted unanimously in support.

The Commission added an amendment to Temp. Resolution #R5897, urging the Dominican Republic to comply with international human rights laws, halting all impending deportations.

“The City of Miramar has a large population of Haitians in our wonderful City and it is important that they know we support the community during this difficult time,” said Messam.

Attending and speaking at the meeting were a number of supporters including Executive Director of Haitian Women of Miami, Marleine Bastien, who spoke passionately stating that Haitians born in the Dominican Republic are not immigrants, they are Dominican and should not be deported. Also addressing the Commission were Guithele Ruiz-Nicolas, President of the Haitian American Democratic Club of Broward County and attorney Marlon Hill.

Miramar’s first elected Haitian American, Vice Mayor Darline Riggs, also spoke in support of the resolution asking attendees to imagine themselves in a similar situation.

Photo #1 – Mayor Wayne Messam with Haitian Women of Miami Director Marleine Bastien and Patrick Jabouin

Photo#2 – Mayor Wayne Messam with Miramar Commissioners and meeting attendees including Guithele Ruiz-Nicolas of Haitian of HADC and Marleine Bastien of Haitian Women of Miami.

###

About The City of Miramar

The City of Miramar is located in South Florida within Broward County. It is a diverse community of 126,619 residents and recognized as a geographic hub for numerous corporations of various sizes including major players in key global industries such as airlines, cruise lines, healthcare, finance, media and communications. As a strategic destination in South Florida, it is noted for its quick access to all major highways, South Florida’s ports and airports. For more information about Miramar, please visit: http://www.miramarfl.gov.

 

 

Click HERE for the pdf.

Haiti Will Partially Rerun Elections Due to Violence at Polls

August 20, 2015 - 18:29

On Sunday August 9, Haiti held the first round of its 2015 elections but there were many issues including violence and names missing from voter lists. The Provisional Electoral Council has now announced that it will redo the elections in 25 constituencies, and also take measures to make the next round of elections go more smoothly.

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

Haiti to redo legislative elections in 25 constituencies

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

August 20, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE – Balloting in Haiti’s recent violent, chaotic legislative elections will be rerun in 25 constituencies nationwide, including in the Artibonite Valley where the vote for several seats in the lower Chamber of Deputies has to be redone because of violence at the polls.

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) made the announcement Thursday afternoon while also declaring a number of corrective measures it plans to take for the Oct. 25 runoff to prevent a repeat of the violence, late starts and voters’ list problems that marred the Aug. 9 legislative election. Among them: the campaigning period will extend beyond a month for candidates in the runoff and credentials for political party monitors will be available 15 days before the vote.

Officials also announced that voter turnout was a measly 18 percent countrywide with the West department, which includes Port-au-Prince, posting the lowest with 10 percent.

CEP member Nehemy Joseph also warned that the council wasn’t done taking sanctions against candidates — or political parties for the election day violence.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Why the US Should Suspend Military Aid to the DR

August 20, 2015 - 11:07

As calls for justice in the Dominican Republic increase, the United States continues to remain neutral on the issue. The US and DR have close economic ties, which many are urging the US to use as leverage to pressure the DR to end its human rights violations against people of Haitian descent. This article describes the US response thus far, how the US can leverage its influence to call for justice, and the situation people of Haitian descent are facing in DR and in Haiti after deportation.

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

The End of U.S. Complicity In the Dominican RepublicHow Washington Should Respond to the Humanitarian Crisis

Lauren Carasik, Foreign Affairs

August 20, 2015

In the past two months, more than 60,000 Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent have fled the Dominican Republic under the threat of deportation. The exodus is in large part the consequence of a 2013 ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Court that effectively stripped some 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship, thereby creating the largest stateless population in the Western Hemisphere. Since then, thousands of ethnic Haitians have resettled on the Haitian side of the border, including the family of 28-year-old Molene Charles, which lives in a squalid settlement with 700 other families in Anse-à-Pitres. Their home in the Dominican Republic, the AP reported last week, was burned to the ground by locals.

Such grim reports contrast sharply with the initial assessments of U.S. officials. In July, during a visit to the Dominican border town of Pedernales, just two miles from Anse-à-Pitres, U.S. Ambassador James Brewster, who had posed for photos with the heads of the Dominican army, border patrol, and migration directorate, praised the Dominican security forces and denied that Santo Domingo was violating human rights. Brewster’s evaluation corresponded neatly with that of his U.S. counterpart in Haiti, U.S. Ambassador Pamela Ann White, who likewise claimed in July that there was no evidence of a humanitarian crisis in the Dominican Republic.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

US Must Act to End the Statelessness Crisis in DR

August 20, 2015 - 06:40

Earlier this month, over 500 former Peace Corps volunteers wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the US to end military aid to the Dominican Republic (DR), in order to pressure DR to reverse the policies that led to the current citizenship crisis. In the article below, one of those former volunteers describes his experience in DR and how the High Court decision that sparked the crisis strained relations between Haitians and Dominicans. He emphasizes the structural issues that have led to many Dominicans being wrongly categorized as Haitians, as well as the need for the US to act to end the crisis.

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

Why I want to end military aid to the Dominican Republic, a country I love

Kaveh Azimi, Antillean Media Group

August 20, 2015

Shortly after the 2010 earthquake struck Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, I found myself in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Listening to the radio, I was moved when the program’s host interrupted the music to call on his listeners to donate food, supplies, and money for Haiti.

Today, this generosity of spirit is missing in the Dominican Republic.

Instead, the country’s government has failed to take meaningful steps to resolve the crisis of statelessness that started two years ago when the Dominican High Court retroactively stripped citizenship from hundreds of thousands of Dominicans, mostly of Haitian descent. Since then, at least 60,000 people have “self-deported” to Haiti, ostensibly for fear of violence or summary expulsions, which can mean being separated from family members and not getting a chance to collect their belongings. Tens of thousands of Dominican citizens of Haitian descent have been told that their official identification documents are no longer valid. They need to re-register, first as foreign nationals, before eventually – hopefully – their status as Dominican nationals is returned.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti Faces a Humanitarian Crisis with Cholera at the Center

August 19, 2015 - 13:09

According to the head of the UN Office for the Coordinaton of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Haiti is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. OCHA says that cholera cases are up 300% in early 2015. According to UN data, nearly 20,000 people have been affected and 170 killed by the disease since the beginning of the year. In all, more than 8,800 Haitians have died of cholera since it appeared in October 2010 and, even today, cases recorded in Haiti surpass the total number of people with the disease elsewhere in the world. On top of the cholera problem, thousands of people are fleeing the Dominican Republic into Haiti.

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

Cholera, climate change fuel Haiti’s humanitarian crisis: UN

Amelie Baron, France24

August 19, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Climate change, cholera and the return of thousands of emigrants from the neighboring Dominican Republican are fueling a humanitarian crisis in Haiti, the UN warned.

The impoverished Caribbean nation is facing a deluge of problems, pushing an already vulnerable population closer to the edge, said Enzo di Taranto, who heads Haiti’s UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Among these pressures is a new cholera outbreak. Cases are up 300 percent in the first months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, di Taranto said in an interview with AFP.

Haiti — the poorest country in the Americas — is already suffering from chronic instability and struggling to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and crippled the nation’s infrastructure.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Some Call August 9th Elections a “Political Coup”

August 18, 2015 - 13:49

Apart from international observers, many have decried the August 9th round of elections in Haiti as being marred by violence and fraud. In this interview, Youseline Augustin Bell of Fanmi Lavalas explains why she’d even call it a “political coup.” Among her reasons are the violence perpetrated mostly by two parties tied to President Martelly and a party backed by former president Préval, which caused some towns to cancel voting altogether.

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

“A Political Coup” – Interview with Youseline Augustin Bell, Cap-Haïtien

Propaganda Press!

August 18, 2015

Mdm Youseline Augustin Bell is an educator, psychologist, and attorney. In 1995 together with her husband Bell Angelot they opened the College Bell Angelot in Cap-Haïtien  which presently has 1,000 K-12 students. A well known human rights activist and a member of Fanmi Lavalas, Mdm Bell successfully ran for Senator of Haiti Nord in the 2000 elections.

For the past 11 years, Fanmi Lavalas have been prevented from participating in Haiti’s elections, so it was with great hope that Augustin Bell chose once again to run for Senator of Haiti Nord. However as she explains, the legislative elections of 9th August, 2015 were marred by excessive levels of fraud and violence committed in the main, by three parties: President Martelly’s PHTK; presidential candidate, Steeve Khawly’s Bouclier party with close links to Martelly; and  Vérité* which is backed by former President René Préval  In her words, there was a ‘political coup’.

The kinds of fraud which took place were: the physical prevention of party representatives, Mandataires, from doing their job or by handing out their papers too late; the opening of voting stations for shorter than the designated time, opening late and closing early; armed men entering voting stations [in some cases accompanied by the police] leading to voters fleeing; destroying voting equipment including ballots and boxes, removing them and returning later with full boxes; physical violence including the death and injury of civilians and police. All of the above occurred across the country and in some towns only minimal, or no voting was able to take place.

Click HERE for the full text.

Le CEP accuse 14 candidats de la violence electoraux

August 18, 2015 - 12:26

Selon ce qui est prévu dans le décret électoral, 14 candidats aux legislatives risquent la prison a cause de leurs actes de violence au cours de la ronde des élections du 9 Août. Parmi ces candidats sont des candidats du PHTK, Renmen Ayiti, Pitit Desalin and Fanmi Lavalas. Selon les rapports des médias, de ces trois candidats disent qu’ils ont réagi au contrôle de PHTK du processus de vote.

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

14 candidats aux législatives risquent la prison…

Robenson Geffrard, Le Nouvelliste

18 août 2015

C’est la première grande décision du CEP depuis le scrutin du 9 août. Pierre-Louis Opont sort ses griffes et laisse croire que d’autres candidats fauteurs de troubles sont dans sa ligne de mire. Dans un communiqué rendu public mardi matin qu’il a lui-même signé, le président du Conseil électoral provisoire  informe la population en général, les partis, groupements politiques et les candidats en particulier « que suite aux actes de violence perpétrés le jour du scrutin du 9 août en cours dans plusieurs circonscriptions électorales, sur le rapport des commissions et après délibération du Conseil, des candidats sont radiés en conformité avec l’article 119 du décret électoral. Suit la liste provisoire
des candidats indexés qui sont tombés sous le coup des articles 196, 199, 203, 213, 214 et 218 du décret électoral du 2 mars 2015. »

En tête de liste, il y a François Tony Antonelly de PHTK, candidat à la députation à Port­de­Paix. Le CEP lui reproche d’avoir « saccagé le centre de vote de l’École nationale de Fatima, de destruction de bulletins et perturbation du déroulement du scrutin ». Ensuite, il y a DORLÉUS Gergot du parti RENMEN AYITI, candidat à la députation à Savanette, qui est accusé d’« irruption armée au centre de vote de Savanette et enlèvement de bulletins de vote ».

Pour Moïse Frantz (ADRENA, candidat à la députation à Marigot) le reproche est « violation du scrutin, saccage de centre de vote et destruction de matériels électoraux ».

 

Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Supports Democratic Elections in Haiti

August 17, 2015 - 18:30

In this op-ed, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson explains why Haiti’s 2015 elections are such a critical test for Haiti’s democracy and ability to self-govern. She ties the obstacles Haitian voters faced before and during the August 9th round of elections into the obstacles many American voters face with recent blows to the Voting Rights Act. Wilson contrasts the violence that was reported from observers on the ground with reports from international organizations like OAS, which claimed that the elections were “a step forward for Haitian democracy.” She emphasizes the need for the US to hold Haitian elections to the same standards that we hold our own and not settle for “good enough.”

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

Haiti’s critical test — and ours

Frederica S. Wilson, Miami Herald

August 17, 2015

Haiti faced a critical test last week when voters headed to the polls to cast ballots for the men and women who will serve in the next Parliament. The election, three years overdue, was the first of three to be held by December and will measure the nation’s ability to hold fair and transparent elections and self-govern.

In this first round, more than 1,800 candidates vied for approximately 130 seats, which in itself is extremely problematic. During the inevitable October runoffs, voters will also cast ballots to elect a new president from yet another overcrowded field of more than 50 candidates.

Its current head of state, President Michel Martelly, has governed by decree since January, when the last Parliament coincidentally dissolved on the fifth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000 people. Without the same checks and balances that most democracies enjoy and not enough lawmakers to even form a quorum, Martelly has been unable to achieve much in the past eight months.

Click HERE for the full text.

 

UNHCR Hiring Field Assistant in Haiti

August 17, 2015 - 12:07

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is looking for an Itinerant Field Assistant to help with the ongoing statelessness crisis in the Dominican Republic. Responsibilities of the Assistant include monitoring the border and collecting information on those at risk of statelessness. The Assistant must be fluent in French and Haitian Creole. A good grasp of Spanish is a plus. The application deadline is August 24.

Click HERE for more information (in French).

Terms of Reference for Independent Contractor (UNOPS) Joint Plan for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Assistant de Terrain Itinerant

1) Project/ABOD No.: OPs

2) Project/Title: Plan conjoint pour la République dominicaine et Haïti, Assistant de terrain Itinerant (Joint plan for the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Itinerant Field Assistant)
3) Monthly salary: US$1,230, payable en monnaie locale (payable in local money)
4) Duration of this assignment and dates: From: Dès que possible To: 31 Décembre 2015 (as soon as possible to December 31, 2015)
5) Duty Station: Port au Prince, Haiti
6) Reporting Officer: Soufiane Adjali

7) General Background of Project or Assignment:
La loi 169-14 a été adoptée afin de faire face aux conséquences de la décision de 2013 de la Cour constitutionnelle, qui a arbitrairement privée des dizaines de milliers de personnes de leur nationalité dominicaine en les rendant apatride, en mettant en place des dispositions spéciales pour le “Groupe A” ( les personnes qui avaient des documents d’identité dominicains qui étaient soumis à un «audit» suite à la décision de la Cour constitutionnelle) et le “Groupe B” (personnes qui, autrement, auraient bénéficié des mêmes dispositions que le Groupe A, mais n’ont jamais été inscrits à la naissance). A la fin de 2014, l’UNHCR estimait officiellement qu’il y avait 210 000 apatrides dans le DR.
L’enregistrement spécial pour les personnes du groupe B en vertu de la loi 169-14 a pris fin le 1er Février 2015. Seules 8755 personnes ont présenté une demande, laissant une population estimée à 45 000 individus, hors de ce processus et qui continuent à avoir besoin d’une solution quant à leur statut de nationalité.
Le 27 Février 2015, le Président Medina a déclaré qu’aucune autre prorogation de la loi 169-14 ne serait approuvée, et que les individus relevant du Groupe B devraient demander la résidence dans les mêmes conditions que les étrangers en vertu du Plan de régularisation pour les étrangers, qui prenait fin le 17 Juin 2015. Il a en outre déclaré que tous les étrangers qui n’auraient pas régularisé leur séjour, seront soumis aux procédures établies par la loi.
Depuis lors, le HCR Haïti se prépare à recevoir un afflux de personnes à risque d’apatride et comme prévu dans le plan de contingence, une équipe d’assistants de protection se livreront à un exercice d’enregistrement et de vérification.

13) Deadline for Applications: 24 Août 2015

Click HERE for more information.

Presidential Candidate O’Malley Stands for Cholera Justice

August 17, 2015 - 09:30

Democratic Presidential nominee Martin O’Malley has spoken out about UN accountability in Haiti’s ongoing cholera epidemic. In the op-ed below, O’Malley describes both the origin of the epidemic and the response since then, including a letter from 154 Haitian-American organizations and leaders demanding justice. O’Malley emphasizes both how the lack of UN response discredits the organization and that it is in the United States’ interests to demand accountability for the epidemic.

U.N. should take responsibility for Haiti’s deadly cholera epidemic

Martin O’Malley, CNN

August 17, 2015

There is a humanitarian crisis happening in our own hemisphere, but it’s not likely you’ve heard of it. Thousands have died, threatening the economic and social stability of an entire country. And most tragic of all, it was inadvertently caused by a critically important international organization, which has not yet taken full responsibility for its actions.

I am speaking of the cholera outbreak in Haiti.

It’s hard to imagine a country enduring more hardship than Haiti has in the last five years. It was already the poorest country in our hemisphere when a massive earthquake leveled its capital in 2010, killing more than 200,000 people. Shortly after, cholera mysteriously appeared and produced a devastating epidemic. It has now infected upward of 700,000 people, and has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000.

The outbreak perplexed public health experts. Cholera had not been documented in Haiti in 100 years. Then The Associated Press reported that U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal carried strains of the disease with them, contaminating a large portion of Haiti’s drinking water. The United Nations initially denied any role in the outbreak, and has refused to redress complaints, claiming immunity under a 1946 convention. In January, a U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by human rights groups seeking compensation for Haitian victims.

Recently I met with members of the Haitian-American community in Miami to receive an update on the crisis. Last month, 154 Haitian-American leaders and organizations expressed their “deep outrage” at the United Nations’ failure to take responsibility for its mistakes, highlighting the need for justice and greater resources to combat the disease. And last year, 77 members of Congress sent a letter urging the United Nations to provide a settlement mechanism for victims.

The ongoing crisis in Haiti, where cholera continues to infect hundreds of people each month, is not getting the attention it deserves. We should not be indifferent to injustice against the most vulnerable among us.

First, the United Nations should acknowledge its role in this tragedy. Continuing to deny wrongdoing harms its credibility and could compromise the essential work it does around the world saving lives. To its credit, the United Nations established an independent panel to investigate possible wrongdoing. It should fully implement the panel’s recommendations — including better peacekeeper screening and sanitation at peacekeeper locations — and allow for an independent audit to verify progress.

Second, while resources are tight, as always, the United Nations should endeavor to broaden its campaign to combat the ongoing epidemic. There is still a threat of the situation worsening. Since cholera is a water-borne disease, Haiti could be one hurricane away from a massive spike in infections.

Third, the United States must assume a greater leadership role in our own hemisphere. We should lead an effort with the United Nations to better fund what needs to be done before we are all dealing with the failure to act. Healthy, functioning and stable societies in our half of the world are squarely in our national interests. Cholera has already spread to other countries — with one case reported in Florida. We must ensure that agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have the resources they need to address crises before they reach our borders.

As president, I would embrace a new national security approach focused on proactive, long-term threat reduction and reinvigorated regional alliances. I would begin by improving our relationships with our closest neighbors, guided by the principles of transparency and accountability.

The United Nations, which has done so much to alleviate human suffering in the world, should pursue a similar approach. Some disasters, like earthquakes, are acts of God. But when they are made worse by human error, those responsible should acknowledge and correct their mistakes.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

New Cholera Figures Raise Concern as Lack of Funding Continues

August 17, 2015 - 07:11

New outbreaks of cholera have been reported in Haiti’s most at-risk departments, with 2015 already having a much higher number of cholera cases and deaths than 2014. Improved water and sanitation is much-needed to help stem the epidemic but funding for cholera eradication is still only about 31% of what’s needed. Perhaps accountability from the United Nations, which started the epidemic, is what’s needed to boost donor morale?

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

Haiti – Health : Important and alarming cholera outbreaks

HaitiLibre

August 17, 2015

According to OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), despite the efforts of the Haitian Government and national and international partners who have helped to reduce the number of people affected by cholera since the start of the epidemic and were able to control the dramatic situation of the beginning of the year, new outbreaks are reported in the most at risk departments including the West, Centre, Artibonite and North. The cholera epidemic remains a major humanitarian concern given the limited resources to fund monitoring operations.

Since the beginning of the year, 19,949 cases and 170 deaths were reported in Haiti while from January to July 2014, the country recorded only 7,739 cases for 56 deaths. An increase of +256% and +300% deaths for the period analyzed in 2015.

Worrying figures, that demonstrate the need for health authorities and partners to maintain the vigilance during the wet season, usually accompanied by outbreaks in areas where access to safe drinking water and the sanitation remains difficult.

Click HERE for the full text.

Reports of DR Deportations Raise Concern Among Human Rights Advocates

August 15, 2015 - 08:23
Rights 4 ALL in the DR is Gravely Concerned over Dominican Media Reports of People Being Rounded Up in the Streets and DeportedFor Immediate Release: August 15, 2015Contact:France Francois, Co-Coordinator of Rights 4 ALL in DR- (305) 502-3373; f.francois08@gmail.comFrancesca Menes, Co-Coordinator of Rights 4 ALL in DR- (786) 340-1646; francesca@floridaimmigrant.org Rights 4 ALL in the DR, a national coalition against human rights abuses in the Dominican Republic, is gravely concerned over the escalating human rights crisis in the Dominican Republic. According to media reports, the Dominican government has green-lighted mass deportations. La Dirección Nacional de Migración and Dominican police are stopping those perceived to “look Haitian” in the street and deporting them to Haiti, continuing an unacceptable patternn of government-sanctioned profiling, racism, and human rights abuses that results in broken families and communities. #Rights4AllinDR will continue its vigorous efforts of to shine a spotlight on these abuses until families and communities are no longer being destroyed, and instead enjoy inclusive policies that respect human dignity and foster prosperity. We call on the U.S. government to leverage their economic and political power to insist that the Dominican Republic restores full citizenships to Dominicans of Haitian descent and allow real due process for Haitian immigrants to apply for to become regularized. It is time that the U.S. lives up to its reputation as a defender of human rights at home and abroad. ###For additional interview and booking opportunities, please respond to this email with your request.
Additional InformationArticle 22(5) of the American Convention on Human Rights  states that “No one can be expelled from the territory of the state of which he is a national or be deprived of the right to enter it.” In the case of children, the protection against expulsions that they enjoy under international law is extended to their parents on the basis of the best interests of the child and the interest of family unity. Thus, it is a violation of human rights to conduct deportations in this “stop and frisk” manner based solely on racial profiling and without due process to inform people of their rights prior to beginning deportation proceedings. In just one account, 4 of the 7 people who were rounded up and sent to deportation centers along the border with Haiti had their proper legal documents.The Dominican government has refused to negotiate a protocol for deportations with the Haitian government that respects human rights and dignity prior to this official announcement, reports from the media and human rights organizations show that the military, police, and vigilante groups in the Dominican Republic have participated in a campaign of terror and intimidation, forcing people to flee their home, families, and livelihoods. Now over 60,000 people- Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian immigrants alike- have fled the DR. Many recount experiences of being grabbed on the street and dumped at the border, families being torn apart, and legal identification documents being destroyed by Dominican officials. Many Dominicans, as well as Haitian immigrants who have lived in the DR for decades, have no ties to Haiti and no family there. Hundreds of these refugees now reside in squalid tent camps along the Haitian border.

“[M]any who are fleeing have lived for decades in Dominican Republic. A Dominican Republic court ruling has retroactively stripped citizenship of native Dominicans of Haitian ancestry. Many people are being forced to prove their citizenship and those of Haitian descent believe the issue is racist.” — NBC and The Associated Press
#Rights4ALLinDR is a broad coalition of organizations and individuals advocating around one simple idea: the most basic tenets of human rights and dignity should be extended to all people in the Dominican Republic regardless of race, class, or ethnicity. These rights include a restoration of citizenship for Dominicans of Haitian descent and real due process- without fear of violence and intimidation- to allow Haitian immigrants residing in the DR to come out of the shadows and have their status regularized. Human rights know no borders and bow to no nation’s sovereignty. Follow us on Social Media:www.rights4allindDR.comTwitter: @Rights4ALLinDR Hashtags: #Rights4ALLinDR #BlackLivesMatterDR  |  Facebook Page here. Sign the White House Petition urging action from the Obama Administration: http://wh.gov/iI2lI

Dominican Republic Authorities Resume Deportations

August 14, 2015 - 08:36

In June, the Dominican Republic’s government promised to begin deporting those who didn’t meet a difficult registration deadline. After international backlash, DR held off on the deportations but now, it seems they have begun. The Haitian government doesn’t have the capacity to handle the hundreds of thousands estimated to be at risk of deportation, and has warned that mass deportations will create a humanitarian crisis there.

Dominican Republic resumes patrols to deport migrants

The Associated Press

August 14, 2015

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – Dominican authorities on Friday resumed patrols to detain and deport migrants, the majority of them Haitians, who lack documents after a more than yearlong hiatus.

The move came weeks after the government ended a one-year period for migrants to apply for legal residency under a program that has drawn international criticism.

Bernardo Jimenez, director of the government’s immigrant detention center, said only six Haitians had been detained as of Friday. Four of them were released after proving they had enrolled in the immigration program, he said.

Officials stressed that foreigners must carry documents at all times to prove they are living legally in the Dominican Republic.

Authorities have said nearly 289,000 people enrolled in the program out of an estimated 524,000 migrants living in the Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Migration officials say more than 66,000 people have moved to neighboring Haiti.

Haiti’s government has warned that the actions by Dominican officials are creating a humanitarian crisis.

Relations between the two countries have grown increasingly strained since a Dominican court ruled in September 2013 that children born in the country to non-citizens did not qualify for automatic citizenship because their migrant parents were “in transit.” Most of those affected have been Haitians.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

US Senators Urge Secretary Kerry to Respond to DR Crisis

August 13, 2015 - 16:36

Seven Democratic Senators have spoken out about the current crisis in the Dominican Republic (DR), in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. In the letter, the senators outline the uncertain situation faced by the estimated 210,000 Dominicans who are now stateless. They ask that Secretary Kerry work with the DR government to find a “timely, efficient, and inclusive” solution for those who have been denationalized.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 13, 2015

CONTACTS:

Adam Sharon 202-224-4651

Sue Walitsky 202-224-4524

Senators Express Concern in Letter to Secretary Kerry Regarding Treatment of Dominican-born Individuals of Haitian Descent in the Dominican Republic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.), wrote Secretary of State John Kerry today regarding the treatment of Dominican-born individuals of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.

In their letter, the Senators write: “As you know, in 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Tribunal issued a controversial ruling that annulled the citizenship of anyone born in the country after 1929 to parents who could not prove their citizenship. While the Administration of President Medina has taken important steps to mitigate the effects of the ruling, we remain concerned that the process does not encompass the full range of individuals with a legitimate right to remain in the country.”

The letter appears below.

August 13, 2015

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We write to express our concern about recent developments in the Dominican Republic, which negatively impact, in overwhelming majority, Dominican-born individuals of Haitian descent.

As you know, in 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Tribunal issued a controversial ruling that annulled the citizenship of anyone born in the country after 1929 to parents who could not prove their citizenship. While the Administration of President Medina has taken important steps to mitigate the effects of the ruling, we remain concerned that the process does not encompass the full range of individuals with a legitimate right to remain in the country.

According to the most recent national survey conducted in the Dominican Republic, there are an estimated 210,000 Dominican-born persons of Haitian descent residing in the country. Through its Regularization Plan and Special Law 169-14, the Dominican government identified a group of approximately 55,000 individuals who should receive full restoration of citizenship rights, as well as an additional group of 8,700 persons who may be eligible for appropriate documentation. While authorities have proposed a fair solution for both of these groups, the fate of the rest of individuals documented to have been born in the country remains uncertain.

In this context, we respectfully ask that you work with the Dominican government to ensure that the process is timely, efficient, and inclusive of everyone who was born in the country. It is imperative that all individuals documented in the national survey and their children are provided a solution that guarantees their right to live in the only country they have known since their birth.  It is equally important that vulnerable populations receive appropriate protections so that they can fully access their rights as citizens.

Additionally, it is important to note that more than 36,000 individuals of Haitian descent voluntarily have left the Dominican Republic during the past months. This action has overwhelmed Haitian authorities, who are not prepared to attend to such numbers. We are concerned that as individuals are coming across the border, they are not being afforded appropriate screening and reintegration assistance.

In closing, we encourage you to continue your support for joint cooperation between the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti so that all cases are handled in a manner that is fair, transparent, and consistent with international standards.

 

Sincerely,

Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

Senator Bill Nelson

Senator Sherrod Brown

Senator Edward J. Markey

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Christopher Coons

 

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Click HERE for the original press release.

Click HERE for a pdf of the letter.