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7297: Press Release (fwd)

From: patrick sylvain <sylvaipa@hotmail.com>


                        NO TO THE CLOSING DOWN OF LIBRARIES !

                                         NO TO OBSCURANTISM !

The Bibliothèque Etoile Filante (Shooting Star Community Library) of 
Fontamara 27, Port-au-Prince, makes a public protest against an arbitrary 
and dishonest closing down attempt by the office of the City Delegate of 
Port-au-Prince (Section One).

Since February 12, 2001, our library has been repeatedly subjected to acts 
of intimidation from the office of City Delegate Jean-Robert Dorélas (local 
elect which is part of City Hall sturcture). That office intends to 
arbitrarily seize and take over our library. On March 2, 2001, the library 
management received from the office of the City Delegate a summons to 
produce titles of ownership of the building where the library is housed, 
under threats of the closing down of the library. The building being rented 
to the library, management was forced to call upon the owner of the house, 
even though the office of the City Delegate has no legal right to make such 
a demand. The owner of the building also received threats of expropriation 
by the office. Although all concerned continue to resist against such acts 
of intimidation, we are increasingly concerned for our own safety, that of 
the library and of its members.

These days, instances of abuse of power by local authorities are being 
reported from throughout the country. In such a general climate, we feel it 
is imperative to denounce such inadmissible actions which can have serious 
consequences for our community.

For the protection of our rights to read, our rights to have access to 
knowledge, we demand that the relevant authorities take necessary steps to 
ensure our safety, that of the library and of its members.

Port-au-Prince, March 8, 2001

For the Comittee in charge of the library:

Yves Pierre, president and Marc Sinvilus, spokesperson
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