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6605: AI press release: Haiti (fwd)

From: maxblanchet@att.net


11 January 2001

AI Index AMR 36/001/2001 - News Service Nr. 7

     Haiti: Amnesty International urges immediate response to threats of
                            political violence
"Threats of political violence must cease", Amnesty International said
today calling on the Haitian authorities to act quickly to curb threatened
attacks against opposition figures and journalists.

     On 9 January representatives of popular organizations claiming to
support the dominant Fanmi Lavalas party issued threats of physical
violence against members of opposition parties and journalists during a
press conference in the Saint Jean Bosco church in Port-au-Prince.

     In issuing the threats, the speakers referred to a list of public
figures reportedly opposed to the upcoming inauguration on 7 February of
president-elect Jean Bertrand Aristide of Fanmi Lavalas.  The list is said
to contain up to one hundred names, including some opposition politicians
who have announced plans to form a "shadow government" following the
inauguration.  Journalists and religious leaders were also reportedly
named.  During the press conference, the speakers warned the individuals
concerned to change their position within three days or face violence.

     Amnesty International is deeply concerned at these overt calls by
self-described political partisans for violence against opposition members,
journalists and others.  Amnesty International reminds the Haitian
authorities of their obligation to safeguard the freedom of expression,
assembly and association laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other
international treaties, as well as in Haitian law. Further, the
organization calls on the authorities to take steps to curb threatened
violence by all political sectors, and to afford special protection for
those affected by the threats.

     Some popular organization members were implicated in acts of violence
and intimidation in the period leading up to the May parliamentary and
November presidential elections.  Amnesty International once again urges
the Fanmi Lavalas party and its leaders to publicly condemn acts of
intimidation and violence committed in the party's name, and calls on all
parties and political figures to assist the authorities in establishing a
climate in which fundamental freedoms are respected.


public document
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