[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

a30: Haiti: Amnesty International press release 18 Dec 01 (fwd)

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


18 December 2001
AI Index AMR 36/015/2001 - News Service Nr. 224

 Haiti: Amnesty International condemns attacks

Amnesty International today expressed concern about the armed attack
on the National Palace in Port-au-Prince in the early hours of yesterday
morning which left at least five people, including two civilian bystanders,
dead. The organization also condemned a series of reprisal attacks by
government supporters on opposition parties and journalists.

During  the  attack on the National Palace,  two  police officers
were apparently killed and several  others  wounded. At  least one of the
assailants was killed, and several  others  were said to have been
arrested, while police spokespeople said that many more had escaped.

Despite  President Jean Bertrand Aristide's public calls yesterday
afternoon for peaceful popular  mobilization, the attack was followed by
numerous acts of targeted violence at  the hands of armed government

These included the killing of two members of the opposition
MOCHRENA party in Gonaives, and the  burning down of the headquarters
of Convergence Démocratique, the main opposition  umbrella  group,  and
KONAKOM,  another  opposition  party, in Port-au-Prince. Crowds also
burned the private residences of opposition figures in Port au Prince, in
Cap Haitien and elsewhere in the country.  Opposition members and their
families reportedly went into hiding. According  to  various  sources,
police either were not present or did not intervene during these

Many reporters  and radio stations were also targeted yesterday.
Several,  including a Métropole correspondent in Gonaives, were attacked
in the  street by pro-government crowds. Radio stations Signal FM and
Caraibes FM  were  surrounded  and  threatened by crowds, and the latter
had windows broken  and  vehicles damaged on their premises.  Other
stations such as Métropole,  Vision  2000  and  Kiskeya  curtailed
coverage after receiving telephone threats.

"The government of Haiti has an obligation to protect all of its
citizens, and must act decisively to end reprisal attacks," Amnesty
International  said,  urging  President Aristide to continue calling on
his supporters to exercise restraint and for the security forces to act
within the rule of law and respect human rights  in their efforts to
restore public order.

"The Haitian National Police, the judiciary and all other
authorities must  act  on  the  President's  message by fully
investigating all acts of violence, in the National Palace and elsewhere,
and by making every effort to bring those responsible to justice,"
the organization added.

public document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW   web
: http://www.amnesty.org