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Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Updated: 2 hours 53 min ago
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.
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
Adam Sharon 202-224-4651
Sue Walitsky 202-224-4524Senators 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.
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
Senator Bill Nelson
Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Edward J. Markey
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Patrick Leahy
Senator Christopher Coons
Click HERE for the original press release.
Click HERE for a pdf of the letter.
In this interview (starting at 29:50), IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon discusses Haiti’s first round of legislative elections, which took place on August 9, 2015. This round was seen as in indication of what to expect from the next round, which includes the presidential elections. Brian covers this topic, as well as the discrepancies between what was happening on the ground on Election Day and what international observers were reporting, and more.
Kevin Pina, Flashpoints
August 13, 2015http://www.ijdh.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/20150813-Thu1700.mp3
Click HERE for the original link.
There has been a new case of sexual abuse in the Central African Republic, where in just 3 years, 13 peacekeepers have been accused of rape or sexual assault. This article breaks down the problem of sexual assault and abuse as it relates to impunity of United Nations peacekeepers. Often, the victims never see justice as “To a large degree, a denial of justice in peacekeeper sexual abuse is baked into the system.” Many organizations, such as AIDS-Free World, are standing up to say that the culture of impunity must change.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.The U.N. Is Not Serious About Its Peacekeeper Rape Problem
Lauren Wolfe, Foreign Policy
August 13, 2015
It was a raid gone horribly wrong. In the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 2, U.N. peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic entered a Muslim enclave known as PK5 in the capital city of Bangui. They were after a man named Haroun Gaye, a suspect in a number of violent acts allegedly carried out on behalf of the Muslim community, in a country that has been torn apart by war between the mainly Christian “anti-balaka” groups and Muslim-majority Seleka rebels.
The operation quickly spiraled into chaos. A bloody gunfight broke out between the joint Rwandan and Cameroonian peacekeeping force and locals,killing one peacekeeper and injuring eight other peacekeepers, according to the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, or MINUSCA, the U.N.’s peacekeeping operation in CAR. During a second raid on Aug. 3, four other civilians, including a 16-year-old boy and his father, were killed, according to Amnesty International. A source who asked not to be named said that, according to MINUSCA, one more civilian was killed and 61 people in total were injured, including seven children — numbers, the blue-helmet mission said in an Aug. 13 interview, that it was “not in a position to confirm.” (Amnesty first learned of the attacks the same day of the first firefight — Aug. 2 — but didn’t release the news publicly untilAug. 11.)
In the mayhem of the attacks, according to Amnesty, one of the peacekeepers allegedly violently raped a 12-year-old girl.
Click HERE for the full text.
IJDH represents +5,000 Haitian cholera victims in a lawsuit against the United Nations, which is currently in the appeals process in New York Federal Court. The lawsuit is supported by scholars and experts around the world. Among these are notable Bertha Justice Initiative partner organizations, which have dedicated their own time and effort to eliminating governments’ and organizations’ limitless impunity around the world. IJDH would like to thank these organizations for maintaining solidarity with Haitian cholera victims and seeking accountability from the world’s leading governments and institutions!
An excerpt from the post is below. Click HERE for the original post.A Worldwide Fight Against Impunity
Rodline Louijeune, Bertha Justice Initiative Blog
August 13, 2015
In early June, eighty-six members of the international community filed amicus curiae briefs in support of Haitian cholera victims. In total, six briefs were filed presenting a number of legal arguments. This show of solidarity with Haitian cholera victims in their fight for United Nations (UN) accountability included support from Bertha Justice Initiative partner organizations hailing from eight countries across four continents. The endorsers included Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in the United States, CenterLaw in the Philippines, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Germany, Foundation for Fundamental Rights in Pakistan, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in India, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Proyecto de Derechos Economicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC) in Mexico, and Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI).
The briefs were filed in a case against the UN in Federal Court in New York brought by the Bertha Justice Initiative members Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Haiti and the U.S.–based Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH).
Click HERE for the original post.
Le chef de la mission de l’ONU en Centrafrique, Babacar Gaye, a présenté sa démission à l’insistence de Ban Ki-moon, le secretaire général de l’ONU. Cette démission vient après les accusations de viol et de meurtre par les forces onusiennes en Centrafrique. Ban Ki-moon a exprimé sa tristesse après les derniers événements et a nommé une commission pour enquêter la situation en Centrafrique.Viols présumés en Centrafrique : le chef de la mission de l’ONU renvoyé
12 août 2015
Le chef de la mission de l’ONU en Centrafrique (Minusca) a été renvoyé après une série d’accusations d’abus sexuels contre des enfants commis par des Casques bleus, a annoncé mercredi le secrétaire général de l’ONU Ban Ki-moon. Le diplomate sénégalais Babacar Gaye, 64 ans, “a remis sa démission à ma demande”, a déclaré Ban Ki-moon à des journalistes à New York. “Il m’est impossible de mettre en mot la colère, le tourment et la honte que je ressens après ces accusations récurrentes au fil des années d’exploitation sexuelle et d’abus commis par des forces onusiennes”, a assuré Ban Ki-moon. “Je ne tolérerai aucun agissement de ceux qui remplacent la confiance par la peur (…) assez, c’est assez”, a martelé le secrétaire général.
Cette annonce intervient au lendemain de l’ouverture d’une enquête sur des accusations de viol contre une fillette et de l’homicide d’un adolescent de 16 ans et de son père qui auraient été commis par des Casques bleus au cours d’une opération armée dans la capitale centrafricaine début août. Au moins cinq personnes, dont un Casque bleu, avaient été tuées et des dizaines blessées pendant cette opération qui s’est déroulée les 2 et 3 août, et visait à arrêter un ancien chef de l’ex-rébellion Séléka dans l’enclave musulmane du PK5 à Bangui.
La Séléka, à dominante musulmane, avait pris le pouvoir à Bangui en mars 2013, avant d’en être chassée l’année suivante, mais elle y a gardé des sympathisants, notamment dans le quartier du PK5.
La lenteur de l’ONU pointée du doigt
Cette enquête fait suite à plusieurs cas similaires mettant en cause des Casques bleus marocain et burundais.
Dans une affaire séparée, la France enquête sur des allégations d’abus sexuels commis sur des enfants en Centrafrique entre décembre 2013 et juin 2014. Ces accusations visent notamment 14 soldats français qui faisaient partie de l’opération Sangaris menée par la France en Centrafrique et n’étaient pas sous le commandement de l’ONU.
Toutefois, l’ONU a aussi nommé une commission indépendante pour enquêter sur ce cas et plus précisément sur la façon dont les Nations unies ont géré l’affaire, après des critiques pointant du doigt la lenteur de sa réaction sur le dossier.
Cliquez ICI pour le texte original.
The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently fired the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Central African Republic after evidence arose of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the country. However, Aids Free World stresses that this action does not go far enough; responsibility pervades the UN all the way to its top leaders in the Geneva and New York headquarters. Despite indisputable violations on the ground, the UN has not provided remedy for victims, and the responsibility of knowing about, but not doing enough to stop these horrendous acts renders top leadership culpable as well.
An excerpt from the statement is posted below. Click HERE for the original statement.UN peacekeeping: Rot at the top
Aids Free World
August 12, 2015
— AIDS-Free World responds to the resignation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Central African Republic, Ban’s convening of special session to discuss sexual exploitation and abuse —
What the Secretary-General of the UN did today in firing the SRSG in the Central African Republic was both necessary and commendable. But he went only part way. In every instance of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeepers, military or non-military, both the SRSG and the Force Commander should be fired.
That is the message the Secretary-General must deliver tomorrow when he meets with the SRSGs and the Force Commanders.
Only then will peacekeeping missions begin to learn that “zero tolerance” means what it says. Only then will the raping and abuse come to an end.
Click HERE for the original statement.
Not only has the United Nations (UN) used its immunity to protect itself from legal backlash for its role in the 2010 cholera outbreak, but it has failed to stand up as a global leader in justice. Despite significant scientific evidence determining that the UN caused the deadly outbreak, it has neither accepted responsibility nor done nearly enough to alleviate the crisis and provide Haitians access to clean water and vaccinations. Five months after the initial outbreak, hundreds of thousands of Haitians continue to become infected with cholera and receive little remedy from those responsible.
An excerpt from the article is posted below. Click HERE for the original article.UN must step up, apologize, and help drive cholera from Haiti
Editorial Board, The Boston Globe
August 12, 2015
When an earthquake ravaged Haiti in 2010, rescue workers from all over the world responded with medicine, food, and supplies for rebuilding. Unfortunately, a crew of United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal seems to have brought something else entirely: a deadly cholera epidemic that has killed 9,000 and sickened more than 700,000. This year’s rainy season has brought a new spike in cases, and health care workers dread the late-summer onset of hurricane season.
But justice for Haiti is slow in coming. Although there is ample genetic evidence that the peacekeepers contaminated a tributary of the Artibonite River with the virulent vibrio cholerae microbe, the UN has been tone deaf to international appeals for help and has prevailed in federal court, citing immunity to claims of damage. The case is now being appealed in the US Second Circuit in New York. Scores of human rights groups and legal scholars filed friend-of-the-court briefs in June. “There has never been a case like ours,” says Brian Concannon, executive director of the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, which brought the suit. “The liability is so clear and the damage is so great.”
Click HERE for the original article.
Amnesty International has brought new charges of sexual abuse and murder against UN peacekeeping forces in Central African Republic. UN peacekeepers have been accused of the rape of a 12 year old girl and the shooting and killing of a 16 year old boy and his father. The UN peacekeeping office in New York was not informed of the Aug. 2 and 3 incidents until Monday and has yet to investigate these claims due to “security constraints.”UN peacekeepers accused of deaths, rape in African mission
Cara Anna, Associated Press
11 Aug. 2015
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Amnesty International is accusing U.N. peacekeepers of indiscriminately killing a 16-year-old boy and his father and raping a 12-year-old girl in separate incidents in Central African Republic, the latest in a series of sexual and other allegations against peacekeepers there.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “personally dismayed and disappointed,” his spokesman said Tuesday. “We would like to emphasize once more that no misconduct of this nature will be tolerated,” Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
The U.N., however, has no powers of criminal investigation or prosecution, leaving it up to peacekeepers’ home countries — which U.N. officials often don’t name publicly.
Amnesty International said the two incidents on Aug. 2 and 3 occurred as the peacekeepers from Rwanda and Cameroon were carrying out an operation in the capital, Bangui. U.N. peacekeepers have been in the country since September to try to calm unprecedented, deadly violence between Christians and Muslims.
The girl was hiding in a bathroom when a man wearing a U.N. peacekeeping helmet and vest “took her outside and raped her behind a truck,” a statement from the human rights group said. It said a nurse who examined the girl “found medical evidence consistent with sexual assault.”
The next day, after armed clashes with residents had killed a soldier from Cameroon and wounded several others, peacekeepers went to the area and “began shooting indiscriminately in the street where the killings had taken place,” the group said.
Amnesty International said resident Balla Hadji, 61, and his son Souleimane Hadji, 16, were shot and killed outside their home. The group said it interviewed 15 witnesses immediately after both incidents, plus the 12-year-old girl and her family.
“An independent civilian investigation must be urgently launched, and those implicated must be suspended immediately and for the duration of the investigation,” the organization’s senior crisis response adviser, Joanne Mariner, said.
But one week after the U.N. was first informed of the allegations, it was not clear just how the peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic was looking into them. The U.N. peacekeeping office in New York wasn’t informed until Monday, despite its recent order to all peacekeeping missions to immediately tell it about any such allegations.
The mission’s spokesperson, Hamadoun Toure, told The Associated Press that “personally, I don’t think” the rape occurred. He said the peacekeepers had been trying to execute an arrest warrant for local judicial authorities when they were attacked, and that the girl was the sister of the suspect they were trying to arrest.
“I don’t know how we can reach out to this girl. They won’t accept any contact,” said Toure, interviewed by telephone from Central African Republic. He said the mission doesn’t have the names or details of the accused peacekeepers.
In an email from Bangui, the Amnesty International researcher in Central African Republic, Jonathan Pedneault, said the peacekeeping mission’s human rights division has “sadly, due to their own security constraints” not yet been able to investigate at the scene.
“In the rape case, the operation took place in the dead of night in a frantic atmosphere,” lit only by the peacekeepers’ flashlights amid a local power cut, he said.
He said an international medical organization has been following the girl but that UNICEF has not yet been able to visit her family.
The U.N. has been under international scrutiny over its handling of allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic last year, and an independent panel is now looking into that case.
In addition, U.N. peacekeepers in Central African Republic have been accused in recent months of rape and sexual abuse. In late June, mission head Babacar Gaye in a statement said he was “outraged” by allegations that U.N. peacekeepers had sexually abused street children in Bangui.
And in early June, the peacekeeping mission launched an investigation into an allegation of child sexual abuse received against one of its peacekeepers in the eastern part of the country.
“This is clearly not only not normal, it is not acceptable,” Dujarric said of the numerous allegations.
As of the end of June, six allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers had been reported since their arrival last fall, according to U.N. Conduct and Discipline reports.
The U.N. secretary-general in the past has expressed his interest in starting to “name and shame” the countries whose peacekeepers are accused of misconduct, though calling out countries has its risks. The U.N. has no standing army and relies on member states to contribute troops and police for its missions.
Click HERE for the original article.
Despite the widespread issues of violence, low voter turnout, and the unhappiness of many Haitians with the recent elections, international observers, including those of the OAS, have declared that the elections were sufficient and that no large problems were posed. However, based on the voting experiences of many Haitians and other observers, the elections were not simply “good enough.”
Part of the transcript is below. Click HERE for the full text and video.Despite Violence, Low Voter Turnout, Int’l Community Calls Haitian Elections Good Enough
Jessica Desvarieux, Jake Johnston, and Francois Pierre-Louis, The Real News Network
August 11, 2015
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
On Sunday, Haitians voted for the first time in four years in legislative elections. So think of this as the equivalent of U.S. Congressional elections. But Haiti’s parliament has not been in session since January after scheduled legislative elections in 2011 and 2014 were canceled, thereby leaving Haiti’s President Michel Martelly essentially ruling by decree.
Now joining us from Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince to give us the perspective on the ground is Jake Johnston. He is a research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and he’s the lead blogger for Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch. Also joining us via phone from Haiti is Francois Pierre Louis. Francois is an associate professor of political science at Queens College in New York.
Thank you both for joining us.
JAKE JOHNSTON, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, CEPR: Thanks for having us.
DESVARIEUX: So Jake, I’m going to start off with you.
FRANCOIS PIERRE LOUIS, ASSOC. PROF. OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, QUEENS COLLEGE: Thank you.
DESVARIEUX: Pleasure. So Jake, I want to start out with you. You’re on the ground, you were going to different polling stations. Many international reports highlight the lower voter turnout and the violence around, at certain polling stations during these elections.
Did you share the same experiences? And if so, do we have a sense of who is behind these disturbances?
JOHNSTON: Yeah, sure. So again, I was in the capital. I went to probably between a dozen and 15 polling centers throughout the day. It was a mixed bag. At some of the smaller ones things seemed to be going relatively smoothly. There were the problems many expected beforehand, people not being able to find their names on voter lists, material showing up late in some cases, polling stations opening up late. Problems with the ink, voting twice.
I think what the biggest issue was across the board was this issue with political party observers. It was announced just the day before the election that there would only be four allowed per voting booth and this caused a lot of tension, certainly in the morning. And again, at some polling centers, certainly in the area of Cite Soleil, there was quite a bit of violence and entire voting centers including the largest, the two largest in Cite Soleil, were both closed. One of them was ransacked by armed men who had showed up and just sort of littered the entire place with ballots.
Click HERE for the full transcript and video.
Hundreds of returned Peace Corps volunteers who have served in the Dominican Republic since 1962 join together to demand the U.S. abide by its principles and pressure the Dominican government to ameliorate its citizenship crisis. In a powerful letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, 560 returned volunteers and 3 former country directors ask for the U.S. to act in accord with the Leahy laws, which call for suspension of aid to foreign security forces engaged in human rights violations. The letter notes as evidence the U.S. State Department’s own reports that Dominican security forces engage in rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings and torture.
An excerpt from the article is posted below. Click HERE for the full article.
Click HERE for the original letter.Ex-Peace Corps volunteers unite for U.S. action on Dominican immigration policies
Mariano Castillo, CNN
August 10, 2015
The U.S. State Department’s position toward controversial citizenship and immigration laws in the Dominican Republic is being challenged by an unusual source: Hundreds of former Peace Corps volunteers who served there.
Some 560 former Peace Corps volunteers and three former Peace Corps country directors who worked in the Dominican Republic are calling for the United States to suspend funding to Dominican security forces accused of committing human rights violations against Dominicans of Haitian descent.
The letter to Secretary of State John Kerry documents abuses committed by some Dominican forces related to the country’s revocation of citizenship of Dominicans born of undocumented immigrants, and a simultaneous crackdown on illegal immigration from Haiti.
Click HERE for the full article.
Click HERE for the original letter.
Contrairement aux rapports des organisations comme OEA sur le sujet du déroulement des scrutins le 9 août, le Réseau National de Défense des Droits Humains a trouvé que les élections étaient vraiment affectées par des graves irrégularités, d’actes de violence et de fraude. Selon le RNDDH, il faut rectifier ces problèmes avant la prochaine élection.
Une partie de l’article est ci-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte original.
Click HERE for an unofficial English translation.Scrutin du 9 août 2015 : « un accroc aux normes démocratiques », selon le RNDDH
Marie Yolène Gilles Colas (RNDDH), Edouard Paultre (CONHANE), Me Gédéon Jean (CNO), Le Nouvelliste
le 10 août 2015
Le Réseau national de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH), le Conseil national d’Observation (CNO) et le Conseil haïtien des Acteurs Non Etatiques (CONHANE) ont observé le déroulement du scrutin du 9 août 2015. En attendant de produire un rapport circonstancié sur les différentes irrégularités, les incidents, les cas de fraudes et les nombreux cas de violence recensés, ces organisations se font le devoir de partager avec tous ceux que la question intéresse, leurs premiers constats. Nous publions in extenso le communiqué de presse publié par ces trois organisations sur le déroulement du scrutin.
Dans le cadre de ce scrutin, le RNDDH, le CNO, et le CONHANE ont déployé sur le terrain un total de mille cinq cents (1.500) observateurs. Ces derniers étaient présents dans tous les départements géographiques du pays et ont observé le déroulement du vote, de l’ouverture des centres de vote jusqu’à l’affichage des résultats du dépouillement.
1. Accréditation pour les observateurs électoraux et pour les mandataires des partis politiques
Le Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) a eu du mal à fournir aux différentes parties intéressés par le processus électoral, les cartes d’accréditation leur permettant d’avoir accès aux centres de vote.
En effet, les observateurs électoraux ont reçu tardivement leur accréditation. Certains autres, n’ayant pas été accrédités par le CEP, se sont contentés de porter un maillot avec l’inscription “Observation Electorale”.
Pourtant, des institutions n’ayant rien à voir avec l’observation électorale ont été accréditées par le CEP. Parmi elles, on peut citer MIRADE, MINO, MINOEH, etc. Leurs observateurs étaient en fait des mandataires de partis politiques. Leur technique d’intervention était simple : monnayer les votants.
Cliquez ICI pour le texte original.
Click HERE for an unofficial English translation.
In their preliminary observations of the August 9 elections, the OAS concluded that violent actions were not widespread and did not affect the polling stations. However, many Haitian groups, voters, and observers disagree, stating that the closing of polling stations due to violence caused more issues than the OAS is revealing.
Click HERE for the original document.Preliminary Observations of OAS Electoral Mission to Haiti
Organization of American States
August 10, 2015
Port-au-Prince, August 10, 2015 – The day after the first round of voting in Haiti’s legislative elections, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission (OAS-EOM), made up of 28 observers covering 171 polling stations throughout the country’s departments, has drawn up a list of preliminary observations.
The OAS-EOM particularly hails the fact that this first round of legislative elections was held and highlights that most Haitian political forces have participated. OAS Electoral Mission Chief Mr. José Enrique Castillo Barrantes also expressed the determination of the CEP (Provisional Electoral Council) to carry through with this electoral process.
Because the electoral process is ongoing, notably at the vote tally center, these preliminary observations concern the pre-electoral process and the August 9 balloting activities. As of the time of its arrival in the country, the Mission has been looking into issues pertaining to voter registration and dissemination of the information required by citizens to be able to cast their ballot.
The Observation Mission notes the CEP’s efforts in the area of electoral education. However, enhancements could be made in this regard in order to increase Election Day turn out. It would be particularly helpful to carry out a civic education campaign on how to vote targeting eligible voters.
The observers were able to ascertain on the ground that voter lists were posted at polling stations, a practice which greatly contributes to increased transparency. Notwithstanding, posting these lists in public places in advance of Election Day would have allowed citizens to readily identify the specific polling station where they were supposed to cast their ballot.
Our observers witnessed certain confusion as to voting procedures, most specifically in the case of senatorial elections. This problem could have been avoided by posting instructions at all polling stations in plain sight. Due to the fact that the voting procedure in the next round of balloting will be even more complex, it will be essential to make sure that information is more readily available. One way to alleviate this problem would be a greater presence of CEP monitors and public outreach workers.
The Mission has noted that a significant number of polling stations opened later than the scheduled time. However, it recognizes that the CEP made a significant effort to allow most voters affected by this delay to vote in any case. It was also established that the necessary voting materials were available at the beginning of Election Day at polling stations.
The Mission notes that a variety of political parties engaged in campaigns. Despite the late date of release of campaign financing and issuance of campaign officials’ accreditation, the Mission was able to observe several political events, campaign advertising and the presence of different parties at polling stations.
Observers’ reports note that, in many instances, the sites selected for voters to vote and polling station workers to stand were adjacent to each other and thus were not conducive to optimal voting conditions and to keeping the balloting secret. Remedying this issue is all the more important for the October elections, because there will be a higher number of polling stations.
The OAS-EOM also highlights the effort put forth by all political parties to ensure representation of women among both national observers and party leaders. In fact, based on the information gathered by the Mission, 33% of political party representatives and 24% of all national observers were women. The OAS-EOM encourages political parties to promote women leaders within their ranks.
The OAS Electoral Mission will pay special attention to the reports of authorities with regard to the violence reported on Election Day. We deplore the use of violence in the context of elections. It is important, though, to note that these violent actions were not widespread and that they did not affect the overall voting process, as most polling stations were able to successfully complete balloting without incident.
The Mission shall ensure a continued presence at the vote tally center, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, until all ballots are counted.
As for overall election financing, undisbursed funds must be provided in a timely fashion in order to ensure the success of the upcoming stage of the electoral process.
The OAS would like to thank officials for helping the Mission to properly discharge its duties.
The Mission also wishes to thank the governments of Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Quebec, Mexico and Peru for their financial support, which made it possible to conduct this Mission.
A second Mission will be conducted on the occasion of the first round of the presidential elections in October. After the electoral process is completed, the Mission will submit a report providing observations and recommendations to the OAS Permanent Council with a mind toward helping to enhance Haiti’s election system.
Click HERE for the original document.
Haiti’s long-overdue elections have the potential to initiate the country’s progress towards political stability. Many view this first round as a crucial test of Haiti’s ability to hold its own elections: the last elections in 2010 were orchestrated by third parties, including the United States. Despite Haiti’s indisputable progress since these last elections in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, doubts still linger about voter turnout, police intimidation and violence, among other concerns.
An excerpt from the transcript is posted below. Click HERE for the original story.Haiti Elections Seen As A Test Of Stability
August 8, 2015
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Haitians are set to vote tomorrow, a big step for the troubled country. These are legislative elections, and they’re more than three years overdue. And they are seen as a test for Haiti to prove it’s capable of holding credible and fair elections. Peter Granitz reports from Port-au-Prince.
PETER GRANITZ, BYLINE: Campaigning in Haiti has less to do with policy and more to do with getting your name out there. Candidates plaster their images and party logos on every of wall, house and billboard. They trash their opponents on the radio. And at any given hour, they send out trucks rigged with speakers blasting their song.
Click HERE for the original story.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled for Sunday in Haiti, and this first round of elections will likely indicate how the process will continue over the next few months. Currently, only 11 elected officials remain in office, but the current elections are being held for the chamber of deputies and 2/3 of the senate. Security concerns and poor voter turnout are among the list of lingering uncertainties, and IJDH and organizations around the world will be monitoring closely to track Haiti’s progress. After Sunday’s elections, presidential elections are scheduled for October, when 58 candidates will seek to replace President Michel Martelly.
An excerpt from the article is posted below. Click HERE for the original article.Haiti Elections: Long-Delayed Vote Will Be Crucial Test For Government
Brianna Lee, International Business Times
August 8, 2015
After years of fits, false starts and a festering political crisis, Haiti is finally set Sunday for long-delayed parliamentary elections. This weekend’s vote, originally scheduled for 2011, will be the first of three election rounds over the next few months in which Haitians will usher thousands of new officials into office. It will be a crucial show of democracy for the Caribbean nation that has been plagued by political uncertainty over the last four years.
But there’s little enthusiasm in the air. Haiti’s elections this year are the largest and most complex in recent memory, and questions are still swirling over whether the country’s electoral commission, formed in January, will be able to pull it off without major complications. The commission has been dogged by criticism in recent months over delays in training polling workers, disbursing campaign funds to political parties and distributing information to voters, and a spate of pre-election violence has boded ominously for security. Sunday will set the stage for the even higher-stakes voting rounds in October and December, which include parliamentary runoffs, mayoral elections and the presidential vote, so there is intense pressure on Haitian authorities to make sure this first Election Day goes smoothly.
Click HERE for the original article.
Elections in Haiti are scheduled to happen on three dates in 2015: August 9, October 25 and December 27.
Voting dates (jours de scrutin):
o 9 Aug – 1st round for 2/3 of Senat and 118 Deputies (Chambre de Députés)
o 25 Oct – 2nd round legislative and 1st round presidential and local
- 27 Dec – 2nd round presidential (if needed)
Dates results published:
o 19 Aug – preliminary 1st round legislative
o 8 Sep – final 1st round legislative
o 3 Nov – preliminary 1st round presidential
o 7 Nov – preliminary 2nd round legislative
o 15 Nov – final 1st round presidential
o 22 Nov – final 2nd round legislative
o 30 Nov – preliminary local
o 31 Dec – final local
o 17 Jan – Final 2nd round presidentialBackground:
The administration of President Michel Martelly came to power in 2011 through deeply flawed elections with outsized involvement by powerful countries outside Haiti. This administration proposed several Provisional Electoral Councils (CEPs) to oversee elections between 2012 and 2014, none of which met constitutional requirements, and none of which were approved by Parliament. As a result, no elections have been held since President Martelly took office, though legislative elections were constitutionally required in 2011 and 2013.
As a result of these election delays, the terms of all but 10 members of Parliament expired on January 12, 2015. With Parliament unable to act, President Martelly began governing without parliamentary oversight, in violation of the Haitian Constitution. A new CEP, regarded by most stakeholders as credible, has been established to administer presidential, legislative and local elections this year. In these elections, Haitian voters will elect over 5,000 public officials, including a new President, 20 Senators, 118 Deputies and thousands of local officials.
For a detailed 2006-2015 timeline see: http://haitielection2015.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/blog-post_21.htmlTerritorial Division:
There are 10 Departments in Haiti. These are:
Nord Est (North-East)
Nord Ouest (North-West)
Sud Est (South-East)
The list of all voting centers in each of the departments is available here: http://cephaiti.ht/Centre-de-vote.html
Michel Martelly is Haiti’s current President. He took his office on May 14, 2011.
Chapter III Section A (Articles 134 and 135) of the 1987 Constitution of Haiti specifies the qualifications for the presidency.
The President is elected to a five-year term. The President is not to be elected twice in a row; he may serve a second term only after an interval of five years, and can not run for a third term
Full list of presidential candidates is available here: http://cephaiti.ht/files/Liste/Liste_des_Candidats_agrees_a_la_Presidence_2015_v3.pdf
Chambre de Députés
Constituencies: 99 single-member constituencies.
Term: 4 years
Voting system: Majority: Two-round system.
To win a seat in the first round, candidates must obtain 50 per cent of the valid votes, or have a 25 percentage point lead over the second-place candidate. An absolute majority is no longer required in the second round.
Full list of Deputy candidates is available here: http://cephaiti.ht/files/Liste/DEPUTE_LISTE_DES_CANDIDATS_LEGISLATIVES_2015.pdf
Members (statutory / current number) : 30 / 20
Mode of designation: directly elected 30
Term: 6 years; one-third of the membership is renewed every 2 years
Notes Due to successive election delays, the mandate of all the members of the Chamber of Deputies as well as 20 members of the Senate expired on 12 January 2015.
The first round of parliamentary elections has been scheduled to take place on 9 August 2015 and the second round on 25 October. The elections are for terms of approximately six years and four years
Full list of candidates for the Senate is available here: http://cephaiti.ht/files/Liste/SENATEUR_LISTE_DES_CANDIDATS_LEGISLATIVES_2015.pdf
Chambre de Députés official website : http://www.leparlementhaitien.info/chambredesdeputes/
Senate official website : http://www.leparlementhaitien.info/lesenat/
The President’s website: http://www.presidence.ht/
The Prime Minister’s website: http://www.primature.gouv.ht/
CEP (Conseil Electoral Provisoire; Provisional Electoral Council): http://www.cephaiti.ht/
The Electoral Decree (2 March 2015): http://haitijustice.com/pdf/legislation/Drecret_Electoral_04_03_15-haitijustice.pdf
Click HERE for the pdf of this document.
After four years without any national elections in Haiti, the terms in office of all mayors, legislative deputies and two-thirds of senators have expired. That leaves the country with only eleven elected officials in office – the president and ten senators. Elections in Haiti are scheduled to happen on three dates in 2015: August 9, October 25 and December 27. Haitians will vote for 20 members of the Senate, 118 members of the Chamber of Deputies, 6102 local officials, and the new President.
Highlighted below are a number of key issues that make these elections particularly complex:1. Electoral violence
Since mid-May there has been a drastic increase in the number of politically-driven incidents of violence and intimidation. Haiti’s National Police (PNH) and the CEP (Provisional Electoral Council) initially hesitated to recognize the scale of the pre-electoral violence, but the statistics clearly indicate a rise in the number of victims who have been involved in the elections. The CEP recently released a clip urging all candidates and their supporters to refrain from using violence. So far, acts of violence, intimidation and vandalism have been targeted at CEP offices, members of the Council, party candidates and party supporters. Over twenty instances of violence and intimidation have been reported across the media with the most infamous one being President’s Martelly verbal abuse of a female participating in his party’s, PHTK, meeting in Miragoâne (Nippes).
This map compiles reports of violent incidents from media outlets in French, English and Haitian Creole.
On the 5th of August, RNDDH (Réseau National de Défense des Droits Humains, National Network for the Protection of Human Rights) published a comprehensive report (in French) of cases of violence linked to the elections. The report covers the period between July 9 and August 2, and provides an even higher number of violent incidents, among them:
- Nine (9) armed confrontations
- Five (5) assassinations
- Two (2) attempted assassinations
- Seven (7) wounded by gun shots
- Two (2) wounded by machete
- Seventeen (17) wounded by stone-throwing
- Ten (10) beatings
Despite legal requirements, female representation in politics remains extremely low. Both the Haitian Constitution (Article 17.1) and the Electoral Decree (Article 100.1) set a quota of female participation at 30 percent. According to the most recent lists published by the CEP, 4 out of 55 candidates for the President (7.2 percent), 23 out 209 Senatorial candidates (11 percent) and 129 out of 1,492 Deputy Candidates (8.6 percent) are female. The clash between legislative directives and the political reality could not be any more indicative; the existing legislative framework is not enough to combat female underrepresentation in the political sphere.3. Voter confusion
The record-high number of 128 political parties and groupings registered for the upcoming elections risks causing a high-level of voters’ confusion and increasing the difficulty of administering fair elections. The CEP, responsible for the organisation and administration of the elections, admitted that such high numbers make managing the elections much more difficult. In addition, with an almost 50 percent illiteracy rate in Haiti, voters will find it difficult to find their preferred candidates on the ballot papers. Finally, rather than being an expression of vitality of Haiti’s democracy, this proliferation points to the contrary. According to some analyses, President Michel Martelly is closely linked to as many as 66 of these parties.4. Voter apathy
Long overdue, the upcoming legislative elections have not generated as much public interest as might have been expected. It is important to remember that following the January political crisis, the establishment of the new CEP, the uncertainty over the electoral schedule, and the questioning of the CEP’s credibility (e.g. over its ruling of décharge), many voters doubted that these elections would actually take place. In addition, the recent citizenship crisis on the Haiti-DR border and the drastic weakening of gourde (1 USD=56 HTG) have been at the centre of political preoccupations.
A low turnout for the August 9 voting does not necessarily predict a low turnout for the full election cycle. In Haiti, as elsewhere, purely legislative elections typically have a lower turnout than Presidential ones. Public financing for the first round arrived late, and it appears that many parties are holding back campaign resources for the October voting. If the CEP builds its credibility through the August 9 voting, that fact combined with the longer lead time, the addition of the Presidential and local races, the narrowing of options in the legislative race, and higher campaign expenditures could lead to a high turnout.5. Risk of foreign intervention
Current electoral challenges are inseparable from the instances of voter fraud, foreign intervention and voters’ disillusionment which shaped the 2010 elections.
The 2010 elections were hindered by preparatory and administrative failures, voter disenfranchisement and numerous legal and political irregularities. Post-earthquake conditions as well as the UN-triggered cholera epidemic, for which the UN is yet to be held accountable, made it difficult for people to re-register to vote. Incidents of political violence, voter intimidation, and the arbitrary disqualification of over a dozen political parties further undermined the credibility of the elections. This directly contributed to an extremely low voter turn-out (below 23 percent).
Foreign intervention damaged the legitimacy of the electoral process in 2010 and could have a similar impact in 2015. When conflicts erupted in 2010 over irregularities with voting tabulations, an Observer Mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) stepped in to impose a solution. Ricardo Seitenfus, the OAS’s Special Representative to Haiti at the time, denounced his organization’s role in the dispute as “a white coup and a blatant electoral intervention.” (Seitenfus was dismissed from his position in December 2010 after publicly criticizing the international community’s influence over Haiti.) The OAS played an equally controversial role in disputes that arose after the May 2000 legislative elections. Recent investigations reveal that USAID provided funding to a group supporting Michel Martelly, the Haitian President, in 2011.
For more information, contact Brian Concannon, Brian@ijdh.org, (541) 263-0029 or Nicole Phillips Esq., Nicole@ijdh.org, (510) 715-2855 with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). Follow us on Twitter @ijdh and visit our website ijdh.org.
Click HERE for the pdf of this document.
The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) are pleased to announce an election ground-sourcing project for the 2015 Haitian elections!
In past elections, election monitoring in Haiti was provided by observers from other countries, who could only go to a small sample of polling stations. Now, the power to monitor can be given back to the Haitian people to report on the progress of their own elections.
This election day, we are calling for all Haitian voters to send us information on the administration of elections – whether it by violence, irregularities, or positive accounts. We will process this information and publish it on our website so that everyone can monitor elections in Haiti as they happen. We have already started to put together information about election violence, which you can see here.
To anonymously send us information on what you see this election day, please send an SMS to 4690–0896. Please include the the name of your town and your polling station number. We encourage you to send any photos that show election results. We want to hear from you!
POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE
Contact: Mario Joseph, Av., Avocat en chef, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), Mario@ijdh.org, +011 509 3701 9879 (en Haïti, français et kreyòl)
Brian Concannon, Esq., Directeur, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haïti (IJDH), Brian@ijdh.org, +001 541 263 0029 (aux Etats-Unis, anglais, français et kreyòl)
Ann kore elektè yo pou n kore demokrasi
Pak electoral la se vrè kontra sosyal mas pèp la
Port-au-Prince, le 6 Août 2015
Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) annonce le lancement du Pacte électoral (Pak Elektoral) pour appuyer les électeurs à soutenir la démocratie en Haiti. Selon Maitre Mario Joseph du BAI, « le Pacte électoral pourrait changer la culture de la relation entre les candidats et les électeurs après les élections. » Maitre Joseph invite d’autres organisations « à utiliser le Pacte pour engager les candidats aux questions des droits humains pertinents, notamment, les droits à la santé et à l’éducation. »
La nécessité du Pacte électoral est claire pour Maitre Joseph, « On dit en Haïti que les candidats ne visitent les provinces qu’une fois – pendant leur campagne électorale. On ne les voit plus après qu’ils soient élus. Le Pacte électoral est simple ; il demande aux candidats de retourner dans leurs communautés après les élections de manière à s’engager avec les citoyens ; à respecter les droits humains du peuple, surtout le droit des enfants d’aller à l’école et le droit aux soins de santé ; et à lutter au nom des Haïtiens pour les réparations contre les Nations unis qui nous ont apporté le choléra et la misère. »
Le Pacte électoral a été créé à travers le Programme d’Engagement Civique (PECBAI-IJDH) (Pwogram angajman sivik) du BAI, une nouvelle initiative qui utilise la capacité des communautés pauvres pour créer des changements durables dans la perspective de faire respecter leurs droits humains. Avec PEC, des avocats du BAI forment les membres de la communauté dans la défense des droits humains. Avec ces connaissances, ces membres de la communauté mènent des réunions et des ateliers dans leurs collectivités afin d’analyser les conditions de leurs droits fondamentaux et d’élaborer des stratégies pour réclamer leurs droits et ceux des enfants. Actuellement, le programme est dans sa première phase et effectif dans quatre communes : Saut d’Eau, Bouccan Carré, La Chappelle et Mirebalais.
Maitre Joseph affirme que « grâce au travail des communautés du PEC, plusieurs candidats ont déjà ratifié le Pacte. Nous demandons aux autres organisations de se joindre à notre projet et de signer le Pacte avec les candidats pour les encourager de travailler avec leur communauté pour le renforcement des droits humains. Les droits humains sont un fondement sur lequel reposent le droit et la démocratie. »
Pour de plus amples informations sur le Pacte électoral, veuillez visiter : ijdh.org
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) just launched the Pak Elektoral (Electoral Pact) to support democracy in Haiti. The Pact comes from BAI’s Civic Engagement Program: During the program, many communities spoke of the necessity for strategies to make candidates keep their promises after elections. Together, they created the Pact. Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of BAI, invites other organizations to use the Pact too, so they can engage candidates on human rights questions.
Click HERE for the English translation of the Pact.
Kreyol la ISI.
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) fèk lanse yon Pak Elektoral pou soutni demokrasi an Ayiti. Pak Elektoral la soti nan Pwogram Angajman Sivik BAI a: Pandan Pwogram lan, anpil kominote te pale de nesesite yon strateji pou fè kandida yo kenbe pwomès yo. Ansanm ansanm, yo vin kreye Pak la. Mario Joseph, avoka chèf BAI, envite lòt òganizasyon itilize Pak la tou, pou yo ka angaje kandida yo sou kesyon dwa moun.
Klike ISI pou li Pak Elektoral la.
Click HERE for the English translation.