Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti Could Face a ‘Perfect Storm’ with the Pandemic

1 month 1 week ago
Originally published in Pass Blue and authored by Fiona Shukri, featuring an interview with IJDH’s Sandra Wisner. Introduction As Covid-19 continues to ravage many parts of the world, the effect of the virus in Latin America and the Caribbean region has been particularly devastating. The situation in Haiti, for example, has alarmed international humanitarian groups, as the country lacks sufficient virus-testing ability and has limited health-care infrastructure, among other serious problems. Read the full article here. See also: Haitian mental health needs rise yet again with COVID-19 trauma
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Journalist Setoute Yvens survives shooting attempt, another reporter receives death threats in Haiti

1 month 1 week ago
Originally published by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Miami, August 4, 2020 — Haitian authorities should swiftly and thoroughly investigate the shooting attack on journalist Setoute Yvens and the death threats to journalist Pradel Alexandre and identify and prosecute those involved, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On July 28 around 8:45 p.m. in the Drouillard neighborhood of the Cité-Soleil commune in Port-au-Prince, Yvens, a journalist and camera operator for Radio Télé Mégastar, was returning home from work on a motorcycle when two armed men forced him to pull over, according to news reports and Jacques Desrosiers, secretary general of the Association of Haitian Journalists (AHJ), who spoke with CPJ via messaging app. The two men accused Yvens of having published information about them in his reporting on criminal acts in the area, according to the same sources, which did not provide additional details. Yvens was able […]
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Cholera remains a public health threat in Haiti

1 month 1 week ago
Originally published in The Lancet and authored by Jeannot Francis. Because of the significant decrease in the incidence of cholera in Haiti in recent years, there has been a tendency among public health agencies to lower guards and become increasingly complacent about prevention measures. In April, 2019, during an evaluation meeting with technical and financial partners in cholera control, officials at the Ministry of Health in Haiti celebrated the low number of reported cases and fatalities as a victory. However, cholera is still a major public health problem in the country: there are an increasing number of unreported cases due to a poor surveillance system, and there is a risk of disease resurgence. In a modelling study in The Lancet Global Health, Elizabeth Lee and colleagues estimate the health impacts of various cholera vaccination campaign scenarios in Haiti using simulations from […]
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Bachelet: Haiti ‘death squad leader’ must be served justice

1 month 1 week ago
Originally published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. GENEVA (29 July 2020) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said today that former Haitian paramilitary leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, who was deported from the United States last month, must be held accountable for the horrendous human rights violations committed during 1990s. In a landmark judgment for justice in Haiti, Constant was convicted in absentia on 16 November 2000 and sentenced to life imprisonment over his involvement in the 1994 Raboteau massacre when military and paramilitary forces attacked the neighbourhood of Raboteau in Gonaïves. The victims were between 10 and 80 years old. The total number of victims remains unknown as bodies were thrown into open sewers. Constant, who fled to the United States in 1994 after President Aristide’s return to power, was deported […]
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BAI and RNDDH joint letter to prosecutor of the Gonaives Tribunal of First Instance concerning the Raboteau Massacre Trial case file

1 month 1 week ago
FR Original: LETTRE OUVERTE AU COMMISSAIRE DU GOUVERNEMENT PRES LE TRIBUNAL DE PREMIERE INSTACE DES GONAIVES, Mag Sérard GASIUS, CONCERNANT LE DOSSIER DU PROCES DU MASSACRE DE RABOTEAU EN Translation: OPEN LETTER TO THE PROSECUTOR OF THE GONAIVES TRIBUNAL OF FIRST INSTANCE, Mag Sérard GASIUS, CONCERNING THE RABOTEAU MASSACRE TRIAL CASE FILE
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How ICE helped spread coronavirus

1 month 1 week ago
Originally published in the New York Times, by Barbara Marcolini, Emily Kassie, Dmitriy Khavin, and Drew Jordan.  The New York Times, in collaboration with The Marshall Project, investigated how Immigration and Customs Enforcement became a domestic and global spreader of the virus. Watch the full video here.  
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Exclusive: Hundreds of rights leaders demand U.S. end Haiti deportations

1 month 1 week ago
Originally published in Newsweek and authored by Chantal Da Silva Introduction Hundreds of human rights and racial justice leaders have signed a letter to the Trump administration demanding that the U.S. immediately halt deportations of Haitians amid the coronavirus pandemic. Signed by more than 300 human rights and racial justice leaders, including Black Live Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, Reverend Jesse Jackson, author Ibram X. Kendi and celebrity activists Danny Glover, Rainn Wilson and Susan Sarandon, the letter warns that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s deportation flights risk wreaking havoc on Haiti’s healthcare system. “Deportations export COVID-19 throughout the region and put countless lives at risk,” states the letter, which was sent on Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Michele Sison. Read the full article here. […]
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Press Invitation from the Association of Victims of the Raboteau Massacre

1 month 4 weeks ago
English Version Haitian Creole Version   ASOSYASYON VIKTIM MASAK RABOTO YO (Association of Victims of the Raboteau Massacre) Raboteau / Gonaïves                                                                                       Port-au-Prince, Saturday 25 July 2020   Invitation to the Press   The Association of Victims of the Raboteau Massacrerespectfully salutes the newsroom and on this occasion invites journalists from the newsroom to attend and cover a press conference at the Lycée Jean Robert Cius (Jean Robert Cius High School), tomorrow, Sunday 26 July 2020, starting at 4:00 in the afternoon. The objective of this press conference is for the Association of Victims of the Raboteau Massacreto demand the arrest and judgment of all the criminals convicted in absentia and sentenced to hard work in the context of the Raboteau Massacre trial, especially the criminals Emmanuel Toto Constant and Jean Robert Gabriel, whom Jovenal MOISE has named […]
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Briefing Paper: Reversing Post-Raboteau Massacre Trial Impunity

2 months 1 week ago
English PDF French PDF   I. Introduction In November of this year, it will have been 20 years since Haiti successfully prosecuted its most complex human rights case: after five years of community advocacy, investigations, and pretrial proceedings; six weeks of trial that included uses of expert testimony and DNA evidence; and unprecedented access for both victims and the public, 53 men, most of them members of the Haitian military and a government-affiliated paramilitary group (FRAPH) were convicted for their roles in the violent Raboteau Massacre. A diverse jury [1] found 16 of the 22 men tried in person guilty. The judge convicted another 37 men in absentia a week later. Victims, who had intervened as civil parties were awarded 1 billion Haitian gourdes (approximately U.S. $43 million at the time) in damages. The Raboteau Massacre Trial (the “Trial”) was […]
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Give Emmanuel Constant A Fair Trial; Give Death-Squad Leader Victims Justice

2 months 3 weeks ago
Op-ed originally published in Miami Herald and authored by Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph. French Version A Haitian prosecutor’s order on Wednesday to jail death squad leader Emmanuel Constant is a promising first step toward long-delayed justice for Constant’s victims. But actually achieving justice will require many more steps by both Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse and President Trump, and their administrations. Our 25 years of experience pursuing cases against Constant and other human-rights violators leads to deep concerns about whether either government will take those steps. In 2000, Haiti’s government demonstrated that justice was possible despite the challenges during the trial of Constant and others for the April 1994 Raboteau Massacre. The United Nations lauded the that trial as “a landmark for justice in Haiti.” Haitian judges, prosecutors and other officials led the prosecution, receiving important technical, security, financial and […]
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Seeking Overdue Reparations for UN-caused devastation in Haiti

2 months 3 weeks ago
Originally published in Harvard Law Today. In Q&A, Beatrice Lindstrom calls for international human rights organization to deliver remedies to cholera victims In 2010, United Nations (U.N.) peacekeepers caused a devastating cholera outbreak in Haiti. Nearly a decade later and with COVID-19 threatening an already fragile situation, affected communities are still waiting for access to remedy. Beatrice Lindstrom, clinical instructor and supervising attorney in Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, has been working for nearly a decade on pathbreaking advocacy to secure accountability from the U.N. for the destruction it caused. Lindstrom was lead counsel in Georges v. United Nations, a class action lawsuit on behalf of those injured by cholera. Prior to joining Harvard Law School, Lindstrom was the legal director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Harvard Law Today: How and why did the […]
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The World Economy Needs a Stimulus: IMF Special Drawing Rights Are Critical to Containing the Pandemic and Boosting the World Economy

2 months 3 weeks ago
Originally published by the Center for Economic Policy and Research and authored by Alexander Main, Mark Weisbrot, and Didier Jacobs. PDF Version Introduction IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has asked G20 governments for their backing to “boost global liquidity through a sizable SDR allocation, as we successfully did during the 2009 global crisis.”1 African and European heads of state have called on the IMF to “decide immediately on the allocation of special drawing rights.”2 Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers recently wrote that “if ever there was a moment for an expansion of the international money known as Special Drawing Rights, it is now.”3 Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, are not well known to the general public, but economists and development experts believe they could provide crucial support to countries facing economic and […]
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Moratorium on Deportations to Haiti during COVID-19 Pandemic (Sign-on Letter)

2 months 3 weeks ago
The letter to Secretary Pompeo, Ambassador Sison, and Acting Secretary Wolf was originally published here. The Honorable Mike Pompeo U.S. Secretary of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20037   The Honorable Michele J. Sison U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Tabarre 41 Route de Tabarre Port-au-Prince, Haiti   The Honorable Chad Wolf Acting Secretary U.S. Department of Homeland Security 301 7th Street SW Washington, DC 20024   June 19, 2020   Re: Moratorium on Deportations to Haiti during the COVID-19 Pandemic Dear Secretary Pompeo, Ambassador Sison and Acting Secretary Wolf: We write to express our gravest concern regarding U.S. deportations to Haiti during the coronavirus pandemic. Deportations export COVID-19 throughout the region and put countless lives at risk. The current COVID-19 reported incidence is spiraling out of control, and the true infection numbers are far higher, creating a situation where […]
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Intervention de Me. Jacques LETANG devant la Conseil de Sécurité

2 months 3 weeks ago
Jacques Letang is the President of the Haitian Bar Association. 19 juin 2020 | Filed under: Non classé Me Jacques LETANG a été invité à intervenir durant la réunion du Conseil de Sécurité sur la situation en Haïti et lemandat du Bureau Intégré des Nations-Unies (BINUH) tenue le vendredi 19 juin 2020 Madame la Présidente, honorables représentants des Etats Membres du Conseil de Sécurité, C’est avec plaisir que je prends la parole pour vous apporter un éclairage sur la situation haïtienne en ma double qualité de Président de la Fédération des Barreaux d’Haïti (FBH) et de membre du Bureau des Droits Humains en Haïti (BDHH). L’épidémie du coronavirus a profondément marqué le monde. Haïti n’est pas épargnée par cette vague, mêlant risque sanitaire, mise à l’épreuve des institutions et crise économique. Les services publics sont quasiment défaillants. Les droits les plus élémentaires […]
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IJDH & BAI Send an Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Calling for UN to Accept Legal Responsibility for the Cholera Epidemic & Provide Meaningful Recourse to Cholera Survivors

2 months 3 weeks ago
PDF Version June 17, 2020 Open Letter Re: UN Obligations to Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera Epidemic Mr. Secretary-General: This October will mark ten years since United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers introduced cholera to Haiti, sparking an epidemic that is estimated to have killed over 9,700 and sickened more than 819,000.(1) The real numbers are likely far higher. As documented in a briefing paper recently published by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) (“Briefing Paper”),(2) that decade has seen the UN compound its original negligence with repeated failures to take full responsibility for its conduct; to offer meaningful remedies for the loss of human life, illness, and corresponding material outlays; and to adopt effective measures for ensuring that similar harms do not happen again. On April 30, fourteen human rights experts entrusted […]
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IJDH & BAI Send an Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Calling for UN to Accept Legal Responsibility for the Cholera Epidemic & Provide Meaningful Recourse to Cholera Survivors

3 months 1 week ago
PDF Version June 17, 2020 Open Letter Re: UN Obligations to Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera Epidemic Mr. Secretary-General: This October will mark ten years since United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers introduced cholera to Haiti, sparking an epidemic that is estimated to have killed over 9,700 and sickened more than 819,000.(1) The real numbers are likely far higher. As documented in a briefing paper recently published by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) (“Briefing Paper”),(2) that decade has seen the UN compound its original negligence with repeated failures to take full responsibility for its conduct; to offer meaningful remedies for the loss of human life, illness, and corresponding material outlays; and to adopt effective measures for ensuring that similar harms do not happen again. On April 30, fourteen human rights experts entrusted […]
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