Haiti's Ministry of Justice and Public Security calls on citizens to defend themselves

By Jean Junior Celestin, Le Nouvelliste, March 6, 2023

In a press release published on Monday, March 6, 2023, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security called on citizens to organize the defense of their homes.

According to the government's release, "in the event that an armed individual enters your home with violent intent, the law authorizes you to defend yourself according to the prescriptions of articles 272 to 274 of the Haitian penal code".

Article 272 of the penal code specifies that "there is no crime or misdemeanor when the homicide, injuries and beatings were ordered by law and ordered by legitimate authority."

Article 274 provides for legitimate self-defense in the following two scenarios: "1) If a homicide was committed, if someone is wounded, or if the blows were struck while pushing back at an assailant during the night, the climbing or breaking into fences, walls or entrances to an inhabited house or apartment, or their outbuildings; 2) If the act took place while defending against perpetrators of theft or looting carried out with violence”.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, cites article 45 of the penal code, reminding citizens that all forms of collaboration with gangs, or any complicity in criminal acts, will suffer the same fate as gangs:

According to article 45 of the penal code, citizens who collaborate with gangs “shall be punished as an accomplice to an action qualified as a crime or misdemeanor: Those who, by gifts, promises, threats, abuse of authority or power, culpable machinations or artifices, have provoked this action or give instructions to commit it. Those who will have procured weapons, instruments or any other means which will have been used for the action knowing that they were to be used there. Those who have, with knowledge, aided or assisted the author or authors of the action, in the facts that will have consummated it, without prejudice to the penalties which will be specially imposed by this Code against the authors of conspiracies or provocations prejudicial to the internal or external security of the State, even in the event that the crime which was the object of the conspirators or the provocateurs, would not have been committed”.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security informs the population that the National Police of Haiti has been instructed to take all measures to protect the populations lives and property.


Translated by CHIP editors


Posted March 18, 2023