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8432: INS Wants To Deport Haitian Torturer Former Anti-Gang Chief Jackson Joanis (fwd)
From: Jean Jean-Pierre <firstname.lastname@example.org>
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 22 2001
Haitian enforcer bids to stay put
By Jody A. Benjamin
A former top official of the Haitian government who is accused of
political prisoners is fighting to stay in the United States because, he
says, he would be tortured if he were returned to Haiti.
But in a closed immigration court hearing in Miami on Thursday, the U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service asked a judge to deport Jackson
because he himself condoned heinous acts, including murder, while at t
he helm of Haiti's powerful Anti-Gang police unit in the early 1990s. In
Joanis, who had already fled to South Florida, was convicted in absentia
murdering a political opponent.
The case is being closely watched by human rights groups, which say the
United States has been slow to evict foreign torturers and war criminals
have taken up residence here, sometimes living among their former victim
Earlier this spring, legislators re-introduced the Anti-Atrocity and
Deportation Act in Congress, where last year it stalled in committee.
proposal would bar anyone believed to have committed acts of torture abr
oad from entering the United States, and establish an office to
arrest and remove suspected torturers already living here.
Introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach, the
has been pushed by the Boynton Beach-based International Educational
Missions, a group dedicated to revealing and removing torturers living
he United States.
"We're expecting it will pass this year," said Richard Krieger, founder
On Thursday, Joanis, 42, testified nearly six hours at a hearing inside
Krome, the 500-bed detention camp at the edge of the Everglades in
County. Joanis denied charges that he committed or condoned atrocities,
and argued that he should be released.
"He was happy to get the chance to give his side of the story," said
attorney, Carlo Jean Joseph.
Immigration officials declined to allow members of the media to attend
hearing, saying that it was too sensitive. They declined to be more
According to Joanis' attorney, the former captain denied that he had
committed or condoned atrocities in Haiti. He testified that he helped
and jail four subordinates found to have beaten citizens.
Joanis also stated that the man he was convicted of killing, businessman
Antoine Izmery, was a creditor and family friend. He denied killing
and maintains the conviction was the result of a political trial.
A spokesman for the INS said the agency is intent on deporting Joanis to
Haiti. "We're trying to remove Mr. Joanis back to Haiti. Everything is
focused on that right now," said INS spokesman Rodney Germain.
A worker for the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami said he was surprised
learn that Joanis had moved to South Florida, taking up residence in
Hollywood. Samedi Florvil said he had helped many of the police
ims resettle here. He said Joanis was known for his cruelty, earning him
name `Rache-Pwel,' or hair-puller.
"That guy was a killer," Florvil said. "He should not be here."
Joanis has been in INS detention since Nov. 16. INS arrested him, along
13 other alleged persecutors, in an operation dubbed Home Run. Some have
deported and several were released after posting bond while they a
ppeal deportation orders.
Joanis, who was not granted bail, may nonetheless win the right to stay
under rules that block the agency from knowingly sending anyone --
or not -- to a country where they face torture. But even if that h
appens, Joanis may not be released, as his attorney wants. By law, the
could hold him until conditions in Haiti improve.
The asylum case, filed in 1996, is being heard by Judge Lloyd King.
will be more testimony at a later hearing, said attorney Jean Joseph.
An unfavorable ruling could be appealed to the Board of Immigration
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 22 2001
INS arrests suspected Haitian torturer who won Florida Lottery
By Jody A. Benjamin
Continuing its crackdown on suspected torturers, the Immigration and
Naturalization Service arrested a former Haitian coup leader who was
convicted in absentia of masterminding one of that country's most
Former army Col. Carl Dorelien surrendered to INS at his home in Port
Lucie early Thursday. Last November, Dorelien was one of 30 top army
convicted in Haiti of the 1994 massacre at Raboteau that killed dozen
s. He was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor.
"He's now sitting at Krome," said Bill West, chief of INS special
investigations, referring to the south Miami-Dade immigrant detention
Once a vociferous critic of the United States, Dorelien fled to South
in 1994 after a U.S. invasion restored his enemy, Jean Bertrand
power. He bought a house in Miramar. Later, he won $3.2 million in
the Florida lottery and moved to Port St. Lucie.
But that new life began to crumbleon Tuesday, when an immigration judge
denied Dorelien's claim for political asylum and instead declared him to
"He's been on our human rights persecutor list for some time now,'' West
said. "Once we got the ruling, we were free to act."
Dorelien, who faces removal to Haiti, is expected to appeal the decision
his asylum claim.
In fact, the colonel almost got away.
As investigators spoke with his wife at the front door shortly before 9
Dorelien was at the back of the house pushing out a screen.
"He attempted to jump out the window," said West. When spotted, Dorelien
back into the house, then surrendered to agents. The INS has stepped up
pursuit of accused torturers, especially in the agency's Florida di
strict, which has made 26 similar arrests in the last year. The agency
cases in the immigration court system and makes an arrest once a judge
declared an individual to be a persecutor. There are about 140 cases
statewide that investigators are tracking.
An attorney, who has represented several other Haitians accused
by INS of having committed torture, said the Haitian government is
manipulating the agency. Attorney Carlo Jean Joseph, who does
not represent Dorelien, said the colonel was convicted during a
"This is ridiculous," said Jean Joseph. "All Aristide has to do to get
rid of his enemies is to convict them in absentia."