RESOLUTION Nš 43/83
September 26, 1983
1. In a
communication dated January 19, 1983, the Commission received the
entire Deeb family was arrested on Monday, January 17, in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, including John Deeb, a well-known member of the
Deeb, who has retired from politics, was said to have been very sick
recently and hospitalized in a clinic. The arrest of John Deeb and his
family is a very serious matter that is indicative of the human rights
situation in Haiti and is significant for purposes of assessing the
present political crisis in Haiti.
arrest of the Deeb family apparently was the result of an investigation
conducted by the FBI in Miami to determine the whereabouts of Joel Deeb,
John's son. The arrest of the Deeb family is a clear-cut case of a
return to the worst practices of the Duvalier dictatorship. Blind
reprisal against entire families, old people and children included, when
someone is alleged to be an active opponent.
2. The Commission
transmitted the pertinent parts of the denunciation to the Government of
Haiti in a communication dated January 31, 1983. It requested that the
government provide the corresponding information.
3. In a note dated
February 28, 1983, the Government of Haiti acknowledged receipt of the
January 31 communication, and said that the Foreign Ministry had begun
to make inquiries with the authorities of the Haitian Government for the
purpose of compiling information on the matter, which would be provided
to the Commission as soon as the Department of Foreign Affairs obtained
4. Since the
Commission did not receive the information offered, on May 31, 1983, a
new communication was addressed to the Government of Haiti, repeating
the request for information on the case and advising it of the possible
application of Article 39 of the Commission's regulations; to date no
answer has been received.
1. That in its
note of February 28, 1983, the Government of Haiti merely promises to
send the information requested by the Commission, but makes no specific
reference to the situation of Mr. John Deeb and his family.
2. That the time
period stipulated in Article 31 of the Commission's Regulations has
elapsed without the Government of Haiti's replying to the request for
information made repeatedly by the IACHR in connection with the
situation of Mr. John Deeb and his family; this suggests that there are
no domestic remedies to be exhausted (Article 46 of the American
3. That Article 39
of the commission's Regulations reads as follows:
facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been
transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall be
presumed to be true if, during the maximum period set by the Commission
under the provisions of Article 31 paragraph 5, the government has not
provided the pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not
lead to a different conclusion.
4. That Article 1
of the American Convention on Human Rights reads as follows:
1. Obligation to Respect Rights
The States Parties to this Convention undertake to respect the
rights and freedoms recognized herein and to ensure to all persons
subject to their jurisdiction the free and full exercise of those rights
and freedoms, without any discrimination for reasons of race, color,
sex, language, status, birth, or any other social condition.
For the purposes of this Convention, "person" means
every human being.
5. That the
Republic of Haiti is a State Party to the American Convention on Human
in view of the background account and the considerations made and
because the Commission has no other information to enable it to conclude
otherwise, based on Article 39 of its Regulations.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. To presume the
truth of the facts denounced in the communication of January 19, 1983,
concerning the situation of Mr. John Deeb and his family, who were
arrested on January 18, 1983, there being no knowledge thus far of their
having been released or placed at the disposition of the competent
authorities for a fair trial.
2. To declare that
such acts constitute a serious violation of the following rights
embodied in the American Convention on Human Rights: the Right to
Personal Freedom (Article 7); the Right to Humane Treatment (Article 5);
the Right to a Fair Trial (Article 8).
3. To recommend to
the Government of Haiti: a) that it order the immediate release of Mr.
John Deeb and his family; b) that it order a complete and impartial
investigation to determine who is responsible for the acts denounced;
(c) that those responsible for the acts denounced be punished in
accordance with Haitian law; (d) that within a period of ninety days,
the Commission be informed of the measures taken to carry out these
4. To forward this
resolution to the Government of Haiti.
5. To include this
resolution in the Annual Report to the General Assembly of the
Organization of American States, pursuant to Article 59 (g) of the
Regulations of the Commission, should the Government of Haiti fail to
comply with the recommendations made herein or to formulate observations
thereon within the period indicated above.