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6966: Rights Groups Call on Aristide to Act On Reform Agenda (fwd)

From: nozier <nozier@tradewind.net>

 HRW World Report 2001: Haiti
 Rights Groups Call on Aristide to Act On Reform Agenda

 (Washington, D.C., February 5, 2001) -- Six international human rights
organizations called upon incoming Haitian President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide to adopt a series of important reforms, outlined in a joint
statement released today. The series of measures, framed as an "agenda
for democratic and human rights reform," include investigating and
 prosecuting acts of political violence, finding a fair solution to the
contested elections of 2000, establishing a credible electoral
commission, and developing a judicial  system that protects fundamental
human rights and stays independent of political  influence.
 "President-elect Aristide's stated  commitment to remedy Haiti's
current problems will only be meaningful if it is borne out by genuine
reform efforts," says  the joint statement.
 In 2000, the statement points out, civil and political rights in Haiti
were dealt serious blows. Notable among them were government attempts to
suppress dissent or otherwise intimidate its opponents, the
assassination of Jean L. Dominique, Haiti's most
 prominent journalist, and the manipulation of the May 2000
parliamentary vote.
 The joint statement includes recommendations to the international
community, urging countries to press the government of Haiti to
demonstrate a clear commitment to upholding and strengthening democracy
and the rule of law. The groups signing the joint statement are: the
Center for International Policy, Human Rights Watch, the International
Human  Rights Law Group, the National Coalition for Haitian Rights,
Rights and Democracy, and the Washington Office on Latin America.