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8933: Justice for Dr Blondel AUGUSTE (fwd)

From: E Vedrine <evedrine@hotmail.com>

              "Justice for Dr Blondel Auguste" - text forwarded

[The family of Blondel Auguste demands justice for Dr. Blondel Auguste, a 
Haitian physician illegally arrested last month in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

On Sunday, July 22, 2001, at 4:00 PM, eight heavily armed civilians 
presenting themselves as security officers of the Haitian presidential 
palace (USGPN) arrested Dr. Blondel Auguste, a 39 years old, popular Haitian 
surgeon without a court order. Held first at the national palace, Dr. 
Auguste was then transferred to the headquarters of the Port-au-Prince 
police department, where they put him in jail. Later, the spokesman of the 
national police, Mr. Daddy Siméon, attempted to justify the imprisonment by 
claiming that a rifle and hand-grenades were seized at Dr. Auguste's house. 
The family Auguste feels these acts by Haitian officials prove that the 
country is experiencing a dangerous return to the state-terrorism that 
characterized past regimes.

Who is Dr. Blondel Auguste? A graduate from the National School of Medicine, 
Dr. Auguste received post-graduate training in different fields at 
institutions in Latin America and Europe, such as Hospital Administration 
(Chile), Medical Emergencies (Cuba) and Healthcare Amid Disasters (France).  
Since January 2001, he has been in charge of Hospital Sainte Catherine 
Labouré in Cité Soleil, a well-known shantytown in the outskirts of the 
Haitian capital.  He is also a founding member of APROSIFA (The Association 
for the Promotion of Comprehensive Family Health) an institution that 
provides healthcare in the area of Carrefour-Feuilles.  He is currently the 
head of APROSIFA's board.

On July 26, after a large-scale mobilization of civil society and human 
rights organizations, a court in Port-au-Prince temporarily released the 
surgeon. This so-called "temporary release" is unacceptable since there are 
no legitimate charges against Mr. Blondel Auguste.  The family asks that the 
head of the National Police must provide all necessary explanations on the 
circumstances surrounding those multiple violations of Dr. Auguste's rights. 
The family of Mr. Auguste  also demands that there be a full investigation 
of all officials involved in the case, and that those who have violated due 
process or the law be brought to justice.

There is a history of harassment of Dr. Auguste by the Head of the Haitian 
Ministry of Health, Dr. Henri-Claude Voltaire. In March 2001 he sent a group 
of four thugs to threaten Dr. Auguste.

In spite of the Haitian people's struggle for democracy and justice in 
recent years, the country continues to live in a general state of 
lawlessness. The constitutional institutions do not work properly. Behind 
both the justice system and the legislative assembly, impunity and 
politically motivated threats, arrests and attacks continue to be rampant.

The family of Dr. Blondel Auguste asks you to send letters to the Haitian 
justice minister Mr. Gary Lissade, to the Head of the National Police and to 
the President of Haiti, Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide urging them to:

1.      Immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Dr. 
2.      Fully investigate the unlawful arrest of Dr. Blondel Auguste and to 
bring those responsible for the violations of his rights to justice.

For more information please contact:

Rose-Anne Auguste
Reebok Humans Right Award Recipient 1994
Email: auguste_lody@yahoo.com

Mtre. Jean Joseph Exumé (Lawyer of Dr. Blondel Auguste)
Phone: (509) 558 01 11
E-mail: jexume@hotmail.com

Please send letters or faxes to:

Ministre de la Justice, Monsieur Gary Lissade. tel:
509-245.1626; fax: 509 245-0474

Monsieur le Président d'Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
tel: 509-222.3024

Chef de la Police Nationale : Nesly Lucien ]

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