Sherlson Sanon's press conference

De gauche à droite l’ingénieur Jonas et l’ancien prisonnier Sherlson Sanon, le 2 février dernier lors de sa conférence de presse


By Isabelle L. Papillon, Haiti Liberté, Feb. 8, 2023

The former prisoner of the National Human Rights Network (RNDDH), Sherlson Sanon, released from the National Penitentiary on January 20, finally appeared before the press to give his own version of the facts of a narrative for which he had been forced to become the main protagonist.

On Thursday February 2, the former prisoner summoned the press to the site of the political party Pitit Desalin. Unfortunately, the mainstream press boycotted this conference, they did not want to hear the truth behind the RNDDH's plot to frame Sanon.

With few exceptions, the Haitian press has clearly shown its complicity with the criminal system that collaborates with certain human rights organizations. Their complicity in defending Pierre Esperance, director of the RNDDH, is a form of class solidarity, as they have the same bosses. Preventing justice for those who've been targeted by the corrupt actors in the political class.

Sherlson Sanon explained the plot behind his arrest, as well his ten years incarceration. Accompanied by Jonas, an engineers and new member of Pitit Desalin, Sherlson  told the story of his arrest and the intimidations that he received from the lawyer provided to him by the RNDDH. He also described his various interrogations by the DEA and FBI agents who found nothing to charge him with.

The Haitian press revealed itself in how it handled the case of Sherlson Sanon. It allowed itself to be manipulated by powerful interests into silence on this flagrant case of breach of trust, kidnapping, and corruption. 

The press is not the only asset of this plot, there is also Haitian justice system that should be renamed Haitian injustice so much the stench of its rot is nauseating.

The RNDDH arrested Sherlson Sanon and imprisoned him with the collaboration of certain judges. First the government commissioner at the time, Lucmanne Délille met Sanon at the RNDDH office and he had a copy of a report containing Sanon's alleged confession in hand. What was the then government commissioner doing at the RNDDH office? Which report ? This is a question that Délille should answer.

It was in Pierre Espérance's office that he sat that day as government commissioner, offering his support for the arrest arrangement. Lucmanne Délille must  prove that he was not part of this collaboration.

Judge Maxine Pierre then used Pierre Espérance's report to send Sanon to prison on July 1, 2013 without asking him the slightest question about the report, or how Sanon's "confession" was obtained. Wasn't he an integral part of this conspiracy?

Certain facts have been revealed that point to Pierre Espérance's influence not only of the Haitian justice system, but also of the prisons. Through a phone call he was able to get the head of a Penitentiary to have a cell searched to recover a prisoner's phone. This is the case of the late Edrick Léandre, the former director general of the vehicle insurance office against third parties (OAVCT), who was accused of corruption.

Sherlson arrived, on July 1, 2013 and was presented with a script that Pierre Espérance and Maitre Beauvoir provided. Sanon claims they told him to “learn this text by heart, otherwise you will never get out of prison”. Immediately after reading the text, Léandre called Pierre Esperance to say: “What you did to this young boy is not right. It's a crime!"

The next day, a police officer from the National Penitentiary Administration (APENA) came to search the cell and retrieve Léandre's phone. While Sherlson was transferred to solitary confinement before being transferred to Croix-des-Bouquets prison. A way to keep him away from other prisoners who could no doubt help him contact his family to get him out of this painful situation.

Three years after his incarceration - in 2016 - Sanon regained contact with his family. Until that point, he had only been authorized to contact only the RNDDH and the American embassy.

Haitian journalists have been unwilling to call out Esperance for his role in Sanon's unjust imprisonment. 

It was a great act of courage on Sanon's part to speak out publicly against his accusers. 


Translated by CHIP editors


Posted Feb. 19, 2023