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9308: BBC - Haitian human rights group denounces zero tolerance policing (fwd)

From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

Haitian human rights group denounces zero tolerance policing 
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 22, 2001

The Human Rights Defence Organization (NCHR) in Haiti has expressed serious concerns about the current politicization of the National Police. According to the NCHR, the police have been undermined by ideological and political conflicts, while the population regards them as a "rotten institution". The NCHR also alleges that the zero tolerance policy has led to summary executions and other human rights violations. The following is the text of report by Haitian Radio Vision 2000 on 20 October; passages within double oblique strokes in Creole: 

The Human Rights Defence Organization [NCHR] sent an open letter to the CSPN [Superior Council of the National Police]. The NCHR calls the attention of the PNH [Haitian National Police] directors to the serious situation of the institution, which is supposed to guarantee order, peace and stability in the state. The situation is troubling, the NCHR stresses. It cites examples of intolerance by the police agents, the emergence of political and ideological conflicts, and cases of human rights violations. Wendy Richard reports the following: 

[Richard - recording] Copies of the open letter, which is addressed to Prime Minister Jean-Marie Cherestal, have been sent to each member of the CSPN. The NCHR mentions a series of acts and human rights violations perpetrated by PNH agents. According to the NCHR, the police institution has been undermined, reviled, by ideological and political conflicts. To the population, it is a rotten institution. The agents of order seem to have full power to kill or let people be killed with complete impunity, the NCHR says. 

Its letter focuses on three major points. First, the NCHR condemns the manoeuvres of those who want to politicize public security. (Viles Alizar), who is responsible for the NCHR's programme, said the following: 

[Alizar] //The politicization of the police is a hindrance to the socioeconomic development of Haiti. It creates a situation of instability. The population has lost confidence in the institution, for instance, in the case of Dr Blondel Auguste. They arrested him and led him to the National Palace, not to a detention centre. There was also the raid that took place at the offices of the Convention for Democratic Unity [KID]. We do not consider that a professional act. Following those arrests, when the prosecuting authorities were asking for certain police officers to come and testify, they just used delaying manoeuvres that created a stupid conflict between the police authorities. We could also mention the 28 July events.// 

[Richard] Alizar condemns the involvement of the National Police in the zero tolerance operation, which he considers an obstacle to the principle guaranteeing public order and security. 

[Alizar] //We believe that the zero tolerance method encourages violence. It is the tolerance of assassination and so forth. We believe that it is inconceivable. It is a bad concept that encourages the police to commit crimes. It becomes a criminal institution when it practices the zero tolerance method. And zero tolerance means summary executions.// 

[Richard] The ultimate preoccupation of the NCHR is the reintegration of policemen who were fired for committing crimes. This decision is a very serious offence to the population. 

[Alizar] //There are policemen who were fired, because they committed serious human rights violations, thefts, corruption and so forth. Now they have been reintegrated. And yet, there are policemen who are doing their best to respect internal regulations and behave like responsible policemen, but those people do not benefit from such privileges. One of the rewards they [the reintegrated policemen] get most of the time is to be assigned at the level of director-general, where their tasks are not defined. So, they only cluster there.// 

[Richard] For these reasons, the NCHR urges the leaders of the CSPN to set up a plan to professionalize the police. Otherwise, the future of the PNH has been signed away, according to the NCHR, which makes the following recommendations: 

[Alizar] //The CSPN should work to professionalize the institution. It should ensure that the ethical norms are respected. It should ensure that the management and the police institution are respected. The director general should make public the list of the former policemen who have been reintegrated in the PNH since February 2001. It should make public the list of the policemen who were fired right from the beginning of this new institution. A career plan should be set up within the police. They should also put an end to the practice of torture that exists today in the detention centres, because torture is now a current practice in the detention centres.// 

[Richard] The country needs a police force to truly guarantee public order. The involvement of PNH agents in violent scenes like in Carrefour-Feuilles and more recently in Cite Soleil gives cause for worry. And those worries are all well founded. [End of recording] 

Source: Radio Vision 2000, Port-au-Prince, in French 1130 gmt 20 Oct 01 

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.

(CORR)Aristide blames Haitian crisis on international "coup d'etat laboratory" 
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 21, 2001

Twenty-four hours after the meeting between the representatives of the international community [and President Aristide], Yvon Neptune has launched a new attack against the countries known as Friends of Haiti, the Democratic Convergence and the Civil Society Initiative Group [GISC]. He presents them as a laboratory that produces anti-people potions. 

The contested senator and interim leader of the FL [Lavalas Family] has once again leapt to the defence of his party. Neptune urged the Haitian people not to let themselves be swayed. Neptune speaks as follows: 

[Neptune - recording, in Creole] The coup d'etat laboratory, that laboratory was formed step by step in the crisis situation over the 21 May 2000 elections. The people voted on 16 December 1990. The people voted on 21 May and 26 November 2000. The people are watching, observing and thinking. 

The coup d'etat laboratory created 30 September 1991. The people then forced the coup d'etat to step back. The laboratory was obliged to bring President Jean-Bertrand Aristide back to Haiti. The laboratory set up the plan for the electoral coup d'etat of 21 May 2000 and 26 November 2000. The intelligence of the people thwarted the lab and its terrorist apprentices, the lab that controls the OAS [Organization of American States], the lab that invented the crisis, that lab created the Convergence and the GISC. The coup d'etat lab, the laboratory of negotiations to pursue the coup d'etat plan. It is that laboratory that created the Convergence and the GISC. 

On 14 October 2001, it was the laboratory that controls the OAS that put on the negotiating table a chain for the Haitian people to shackle their feet and a rope for the FL to hang itself. It is quite normal for the Convergence and the GISC to agree with the laboratory. 

Haitian patriots, true patriots, our ancestors, broke the chain of slavery. We will not accept the chains of modern slavery from anybody and nobody can force us to wear them on our feet, around our necks or in our minds. This is the word of the people, the word of the Great Master. [people in background respond: "Amen, amen, amen."] [End of recording] 

Source: Radio Vision 2000, Port-au-Prince, in French 1130 gmt 20 Oct 01 

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.

CORR)Haiti's apostolic nuncio urges Aristide to share power 
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 21, 2001

The apostolic nuncio has issued a call to the Lavalas Family [FL], saying that this crisis has lasted long enough and that the FL should put an end to it. Luigi Bonazzi asked President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to share power, because that is what the people also want. Bonazzi said that it is up to the FL to make concessions to get the country out of the impasse. As the ruling party controls everything, it should make a gesture, the apostolic nuncio said. Somehow, the political solution depends on the FL. The apostolic nuncio said the following to correspondent Roosevelt Mondestin: 

[Bonazzi - recording] Unfortunately, the difficulties the country is facing are mostly due to the crisis. I call on those who are responsible for the crisis, and who can put an end to it, to do so as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will be held responsible for the foes of the country. Everybody is responsible to a certain extent, but some are more responsible than others. I allow myself to issue a special call to the leaders of the FL. I want them to understand that, because they are the ones who now control all the state institutions and power, I am issuing a call so they may understand that, if they want a united country, then it is vital to share power. I believe that this is also the desire of the Haitian people. They want this power to be shared. Therefore, the FL should create all the conditions to allow the sharing of this power, with respect for the will of the people. [End of recording] 

Bonazzi made that statement 24 hours after a meeting between Aristide and the representatives of the group of the countries known as Friends of Haiti. The meeting took place at the National Palace, but the executive refrained from releasing any information about this meeting. 

Source: Radio Vision 2000, Port-au-Prince, in French 1130 gmt 20 Oct 01 

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.

Civil Society Group supports nuncio's call for power sharing in Haiti 
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 21, 2001

The Civil Society Initiative Group [GISC] supports the statement by Apostolic Nuncio Luigi Bonazzi. Rosny Desroches said that it is time for the leaders to understand the necessity of practising political pluralism. Desroches spoke to correspondent Marie Lucie Bonhomme. 

[Desroches - recording] I think that the declaration by the apostolic nuncio refers to the necessity to adopt the principle of political pluralism. In fact, in Haiti we have the unfortunate habit of wanting to monopolize power. We always want - that is, all our leaders always want to have absolute power, to have absolute control. We even have, I would say, the principle of unanimity, where everybody is supposed to be unanimous with one current, around one chief, and so forth. 

However, democracy involves pluralism. Within a society, there are different tendencies. There are different sensibilities. There are different interests. And all these sensibilities, all these currents should be represented within the power. I believe that the apostolic nuncio is quite correct in reminding [the Lavalas Family, FL] of the need for pluralism. The fact that he said the people want that is because, during the 21 May 2000 elections, the Haitian population voted in different directions. 

When we consider the results of the legislative elections, we realize that the votes were apportioned in different directions. Unfortunately, the current ruling party made a subterfuge of calculations that caused the senatorial seats to go in the direction of the Lavalas Family. I believe that this is not acceptable, and that is why the Haitian community, through all its different institutions, reacted. The international community reacted, too. Therefore, the people's vote must be restored so that power may be shared. Then we will have senators and deputies who represent different currents at every level of power. 

[Bonhomme] Professor Desroches, Bonazzi affirms that the people want power sharing. Is that also the opinion of the GISC? 

[Desroches] Absolutely. I believe that the people voted for different candidates. They demand that their votes be respected, and that the seats should be allocated according to the people's votes. And if the second round of the elections for deputies had taken place in a normal way, with everybody's participation, and that vote was respected, the results would have been different from what they are now. 

I believe that everybody who cares about democracy should work for the welfare of the Haitian people. That is what all people, all entities that respect themselves and care about democracy, demand from the current power. 

[Bonhomme] Parallel to the declaration of the apostolic nuncio, there is also that of Yvon Neptune. He attacked the GISC and the international community. What is your reaction to that? 

[Desroches] Well, instead of shooting his arrows at everybody, I would ask the interim leader of the FL to examine himself and for the FL to examine itself. That party ought to be saying that, yesterday, the international community, countries all over the world, the countries of Latin America, the Northern countries, the African countries, everybody supported President Aristide to return him to Haiti, to re-establish the constitutional order. Because, according to the democratic principles, that is, respect for people's votes, that principle was scorned. Therefore, the whole world was mobilized for the first time in history, I believe, to demand respect for that principle. 

Today, the whole world is mobilized to demand that another democratic principle be respected, which is the principle of pluralism. The FL leaders ought to say: we benefited from that yesterday, so we must comply with that same principle today. [End of recording] 

Source: Radio Vision 2000, Port-au-Prince, in Creole 1130 gmt 20 Oct 01 

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.