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8414: Human rights activists reject "summary executions", criticize , president (fwd)




From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

Haiti: Human rights activists reject "summary executions", criticize
president
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jun 21, 2001

Text of report by Haitian Metropole radio on 21 June

Human rights organizations are asking President Aristide to reconsider his
decision following his statement about criminals. According to human rights
activists, the practice of summary executions is unacceptable. While
condemning criminal behaviour, leaders of human rights organizations say
that society should take a stand on morality. Pierre Esperance of the
National Coalition of Haitian Rights [NCHR] spoke as follows:

[Esperance - recording, in Creole] We believe that what the criminals
[Creole: zenglendos] are doing in the country is unacceptable. But, as a
human rights organization, we do not agree with the summary execution
system. It is not possible to have a police corps that is there to arrest
and kill people. That way will create regretful precedents, personal
revenge, political assassinations, etc. Because the police corps is not
supposed to be a criminal organization.

Our society should stand on morality. The country's constitution does not
provide for the death penalty and even then it would have to be up to the
justice department to make the appropriate decision.

We believe that the head of state will have to review his decision. It is
true that the country is facing an insecurity problem but it is up to the
authorities to develop good security plans and to make the effort to fight
against the existing insecurity with a functional judicial system. In this
way, when acts of banditry are perpetrated the judiciary can punish them
accordingly.

We definitely do not agree with the summary execution system. If we were to
support the statement that the president made, then that would create a bad
precedent, personal revenge, political assassinations, etc. Therefore, our
society should take a stand on morality.

Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 21 Jun 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.