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17949: Blanchet: Fw: Amnesty International: International day of solidarity with the Haitian people - 15 janvier 2004 (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>


AI Index:       AMR 36/002/2004    (Public)
News Service No:         012
15 January 2004

  Haiti: International day of solidarity with the Haitian people

Numerous Haitian non-governmental organizations will be mobilizing today
to draw attention to the Haitian people's struggle for respect of their
fundamental human rights. The organizations will be also calling on the
international community to support their pledge.

        In solidarity, Amnesty International repeats its call for an end
to all abuses of human rights in Haiti, and urges the international
community to help the country's institutions re-establish a climate in
which the human rights of all Haitians can flourish.

        "The threats to human rights in Haiti, whether from police who use
brutality in repressing demonstrations or from political activists who use
violence against their perceived opponents, are the most serious that we
have seen since the 1994 return to democratic order," Amnesty
International said.

        "Moreover, we are extremely worried at the potential for a
downward spiral into increasingly widespread and acute political violence
that would place fundamental rights even further in jeopardy," The
organization stressed.

        Recent events indicate that the institutions most responsible for
protecting rights, the judiciary and the police force, find it ever more
difficult to act with independence and impartiality.  Recently Daméus
Clamé Ocnam, a junior prosecutor from the Port-au-Prince courts, announced
from exile that he had fled Haiti to avoid being forced to issue arrest
warrants for opposition leaders.

        Similarly, while the Organisation of American States mission to
Haiti congratulated the Haitian National Police for effective crowd
control during demonstrations over the past weekend, reports from
subsequent demonstrations indicate that violence between activists of
opposing sides continues to produce victims among ordinary Haitians.

        Meanwhile, freedom of expression continues to be undermined: on
Wednesday, armed men attacked the installation housing a number of radio
antennas outside Port-au-Prince, forcing seven private radio stations, as
well as government-affiliated radio and television stations, off the air.

        "On this day of international solidarity, Amnesty International
appeals to all Haitian and international actors to place concern for the
human rights of all Haitians above all else, and work together to find a
solution to the current political impasse," Amnesty International

Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW.  web:

For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org