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#758: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Haiti (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Haiti
OCT 20, 1999, M2 Communications - Port-au-Prince -- Amnesty
International, which currently has a delegation in Haiti looking into the
overall situation of respect for human rights in the country, is concerned
about a series of attacks on police in Port-au-Prince.
The latest two attacks occurred following the 7 October 1999
resignation of Secretaire d'Etat a la Securite publique (Interior
Minister) Robert Manuel.
"These events have taken place against a background of a reported
campaign to undermine the neutrality and effectiveness of the young
national police force, charged in addition to its basic law and order
mandate with providing a climate of security for the upcoming legislative
elections in March 2000," a member of Amnesty International's delegation
On 14 October, around 9:30 pm, the Directeur de la Police judiciaire
(Head of the Police), Commissaire divisionaire (Police Superintendent)
Mario Andresol narrowly escaped an assassination attempt near his home in
the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince. According to reports, as Commissaire
Andresol approached his home, armed men in a speeding car opened fire on
his vehicle, reportedly hitting it with at least five bullets. The
Commissaire managed to escape.
Commissaire Andresol's department is responsible for the investigation
into the 8 October 1999 killing of ex-Forces Armees d'Haiti (Haitian Army)
Colonel Jean Lamy by unidentified armed men in what appeared to be a
well-organized attack. The victim, reportedly an adviser to the Police
nationale d'Haiti (Haitian National Police), had been mentioned as a
possible replacement for Robert Manuel; his killing occurred with 24 hours
of the former's resignation.
"These attacks occurred in an increasing violent climate in Haiti,"
Amnesty International added pointing out that 18 police officers have been
killed since the beginning of 1999.
Amnesty International is concerned that the reversal of efforts to
construct a professional and independent police force could have a serious
impact on the capacity of the Police nationale d'Haiti to ensure respect
for human rights, particularly in the context of the upcoming elections.
Amnesty International calls on the government of President Preval and
Prime Minister Alexis to take all steps necessary to reinforce the ability
of the Haitian National Police to fulfill its professional tasks in an
independent, neutral and impartial manner.
It also urges the government to guarantee that full and transparent
police and judicial investigations into the recent attacks be carried out
so that the perpetrators may be brought to justice.
Finally, Amnesty International urges the Police nationale d'Haiti,
while investigating these attacks, to act within its own as well as
internationally-recognized codes of conduct for law enforcement officers.