Nº 1/93





         For over three months, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly asked the de facto government of Haiti to consent to a visit to that country to investigate on site the numerous complaints received pertaining to human rights violations attributed to repression by the armed forces, the police, and auxiliary civilian groups operating on their orders.  The IACHR advised the Government of its intention to conduct two visits:  an exploratory one to be carried out from December 13 to 15, 1992, and an on-site visit to be conducted from January 11 to 15, 1993.  The de facto government still has not given such consent.  On the contrary, on December 8, the IACHR received a message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Haiti advising that the dates on which such visits were to take place would be reported in the following days.  But it was not until one month later that the de facto authorities replied that "the visit by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights did not seem necessary to the Haitian government".


         The complaints lodged by the victims themselves and accounts from reliable sources indicate that numerous people have been executed summarily, illegally detained, abused, and tortured by members of the Armed Forces and the police.  In most cases, the victims have been supporters of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.  Other victims have simply been suspected of supporting him.  Demonstrations and meetings have been violently suppressed, and journalists have not been allowed to report the facts.  Many of the victims of these violations are leaders or members of people's or human-rights organizations, students, journalists, merchants, peasants, and members of the Catholic church.


         In rural areas, repression and violence have escalated with  the reinstatement of "section chiefs," who act with the acquiescence of the military and absolute impunity.  Both in the capital and in the provinces, the population is subjected to the corrupt practices of the de facto authorities.  And soldiers extort money from civilians as protection against detention and abuse, or simply for improvement of the conditions under which they are held in detention centers, or sometimes even for their release.


         The climate of fear and uncertainty in the country has led a large part of the population, especially those who support the return of President Aristide, to migrate to the country's interior seeking refuge, forced to abandon their homes and stay in hiding.  This situation has also compelled a large number of Haitians to flee the country in precarious boats to request asylum in the United States.


         The practice of "preventive repression" used against the civilian population and the deterioration of the political situation have given rise to continual violations of individual rights, such as the right to life, the right to humane treatment, the right to personal liberty, freedom of thought and expression, the right of assembly, and freedom of association, all of which are protected by the American Convention on Human Rights, to which the Republic of Haiti is a state party.


         The Commission should point out that the American Convention on Human Rights remains in effect regardless of the political situation prevailing in a state party.  Consequently, the Commission stresses that those who exercise power in a state, even in a de facto manner, are obligated to observe the individual rights recognized by the American Convention on Human Rights.


         The ad hoc Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs adopted, on December 13, 1992, the Resolution "Reinstatement of Democracy in Haiti" (MRE/RES.4/92), in which it decided to "instruct the President of the Ad Hoc Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary General of the OAS to cooperate in the efforts of the Chairman of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in light of the serious and continuing human rights violations in Haiti and the refusal of the current de facto authorities to allow the Commission to conduct an on-site visit as soon as possible."


         The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights remains steadfastly determined to travel to Haiti to investigate on site the grave violations reported.  In view of the de facto  government's refusal to cooperate with it, the Commission renews its appeal to all nongovernmental human rights organizations, particularly those operating in Haiti, to the victims and their relatives, and in general to all those whose individual rights have been violated in any way because of the political crisis, to forward their complaints to the IACHR.


         The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issues an appeal to the de facto government, and especially to the Armed Forces, to cease their systematic human rights violations, of which the Haitian people are the victim.




Washington, D.C., January 8, 1993






Nº 4/93





         The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is deeply disturbed by the systematic human rights violations that continue to victimize the Haitian public.  It strenuously condemns, in particular, the events that took place in front of the Port-au-Prince cathedral on February 25, 1993.


         The Commission was informed of the unlawful arrests and abuse inflicted upon those who participated in the mass celebrated on February 25, in memory of the victims lost with the sinking of the ferry Neptune.  According to reports, as he walking out of the cathedral Monsignor Willy Romélus, Bishop of Jeremie, was beaten and his surplice torn by armed men.  Among those arrested were Edride Jean and Julienne Charles, members of the grassroots ecclesiastical communities (TKL), and Pharnes Jan, who was beaten and then taken away to the National Penitentiary.  According to the information it has received, Mr. Pharnes had been so severely beaten that he was in urgent need of medical attention.  Mrs. Arlette Josué, a journalist from Signal FM and the Voice of America, was also detained, along with a seminarian, as she was leaving the cathedral.  She was mistreated during her interrogation at the Anti-Gang Investigation Service.


         The Commission has also learned of the repression by the military in Jeremie in early March.  According to reliable sources, a number of young people were arrested and beaten by the military; only a handful were released.  Mr. Patrick Bourdeau was so badly beaten while in custody that he was unable to walk.  The detainees are still in prison, in violation of the 48-hour limit that the Haitian Constitution stipulates in cases of preventive detention.


         The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asks the de facto authorities to immediately release the individuals who are being unlawfully held and to respect their physical integrity.  It once again calls upon the Armed Forces, pursuant to the American Convention on Human Rights, to stop the systematic human rights violations being committed against the Haitian people and to respect the individual freedoms upheld in that international agreement, of which Haiti is a State Party.


         The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is still determined to go to Haiti for an on-site investigation of the grave violations denounced.



Washington, D.C., March 5, 1993


                                                           ANNEX III






         Because of the grave internal situation in Haiti and in response to the complaints and requests it has received asking for emergency measures to safeguard the fate, safety and integrity of the increasing number of Haitian boat people, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is calling upon the governments of the hemisphere, pursuant to the obligations established in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention on Human Rights, as appropriate, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the principles and rules of international humanitarian law, to take the emergency measures necessary to prevent the dangers and suffering experienced by those Haitians who, although forced to flee their country because of their repression and persecution by agents of the de facto authorities, have been or are being repatriated.


         On May 24, 1992, because of the great increase in the number of Haitians trying to reach the United States by sea, then United  States President George Bush issued an executive order authorizing the United States Coast Guard to intercept the Haitian emigrants on the high seas and return them directly to Haiti.  According to figures supplied by the United States Government, as of late January 1993, 30,340 people had been returned to Haiti.  On numerous occasions, nongovernmental human rights groups have informed the Commission that under international law and United States domestic law as well, it is unlawful to return refugees and expose them to the danger of reprisals without giving them an opportunity to prove the merits of their petition of asylum.


         As pointed out in the reports of the Commission and of other human rights organizations, since the coup d'etat in September 1991, the preventive repression has been continual.  This repression is calculated not to punish for an act being committed or already committed, but to prevent possible public demonstrations or protest movements.  The people in the poor neighborhoods and rural areas, who together represent the vast majority of the Haitian population, live not only in dire poverty but also in constant fear of being detained, tortured or murdered.   Compounding this is extortion:  many of these people have to pay the security forces in order not to be persecuted and mistreated, to make their imprisonment less painful, or simply to obtain their release after being arbitrarily arrested.  This is doubly cruel for the poor people of Haiti:  while their rights to life, humane treatment and personal liberty are being violated, they are also being forced to turn over or sell everything they own, leaving them completely destitute.


         The Commission believes that apart from the urgent measures that the governments of the hemisphere must take to deal with the emergency situation created by the Haitian boat people, the presence of a joint UN/OAS Civilian Mission in Haiti must be used to advantage; its investigatory and informative functions should include careful monitoring of the facts involved in the problem of the Haitian boat people.


         The IACHR again confirms its willingness to cooperate closely with the Special Envoy of the Secretaries General of the OAS and the UN, with the Civilian Mission that has been and is being deployed in Haitian territory and with all the other international organizations and agencies in order to find a solution to the political crisis, reestablish legitimate democratic government and full respect for human rights in Haiti.




Washington D.C., March 11, 1993




                                                          ANNEX IV



Protocol between President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

and the parliamentary negotiating commission to find a definitive

solution to the Haitian crisis



                                                            Article I


         The signatory parties to this protocol recognize and acknowledge the principle of the urgent necessity for a concerted and negotiated solution to the political and institutional crisis which Haitian society has been experiencing since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile on 30 September 1991, and that this solution, in order to be viable and lasting, must be sought within the context of respect for the Haitian Constitution and for national sovereignty and must lead to:


         National concord;


         The establishment and consolidation of democratic institutions;


         The implementation of measures to guarantee civil liberties, halt repression and prevent any attempts at revenge or settling of accounts.


                                                            Article II


         With all these aims in view the signatory parties undertake to:


         1.        Encourage, consolidate and respect the principle of the separation of powers in accordance with the Constitution and, within that context, to work to set in place mechanisms for harmonization and collaboration so as to facilitate the establishment of the institutions provided for in the basic Charter;


         2.        Guarantee civil liberties and facilitate the free functioning of political parties and civic organizations in respect for the Constitution and the laws governing said organizations.


                                                           Article III


         The Parties recognize the necessity for the Haitian Parliament, which is the co-depository of national sovereignty, to:


         1.        Reinstate Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the exercise of his function as the constitutionally-elected President of the Republic of Haiti and undertake to assist the Government of national consensus to bring about the conditions for the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti;


         2.        Draw up and pass laws to set in place the institutions provided for in the Constitution, inter alia:


         (a)       The Act concerning territorial groups;


         (b)       The Act concerning separation of the police and the armed forces;


         (c)       The Act concerning operation of the Citizens' Protection Bureau;


         3.        To facilitate by laws and regulations, implementation of a policy of social peace and economic revival.


                                                           Article IV


         The parties recognize the necessity for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to:


         1.        Respect the decisions taken and acts ratified by the Haitian Parliament.  In the event of disagreement between the executive and the legislature, it shall be possible for either party to refer to the Conciliation Commission, in accordance with article 111-5 of the Constitution;


         2.        Agree that, during his absence, the Prime Minister shall take over management of the affairs of State, in accordance with article 148 of the Constitution.


                                                           Article V


         The parties recognize the need to:


         1.        Proclaim a general amnesty, save for common criminals:


         2.        Refrain from any ambiguous statement which could be interpreted as an incitement to violence;


         3.        Accept the new consensus Prime Minister chosen by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in consultation with the President of the Senate and President of the Chamber of Deputies;


         4.        Request the lifting of the embargo and the sanctions provided for in chapter I, paragraph 4, of resolution MRE-2/91 of the Organization of American States, immediately after confirmation of the Prime Minister and installation of the Government of national consensus;


         5.        Recognize their obligation to undertake all necessary measures with a view to putting national institutions in a context that will enable them to take all decisions within their competence, in complete freedom, without having to suffer violent intervention, threats of violence from any force whatever;


         6.        Recommend to Parliament that it should, as a matter of urgency, approve the request of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to OAS to send the civilian OEA-DEMOC mission to Haiti;


         7.        Request the Organization of American States and the international community to provide the Government of national consensus with substantial assistance as a matter of urgency so as to revitalize the Haitian economy, promote social well-being, professionalize the armed forces and the police and strengthen the democratic institutions.


         8.        Reject and condemn any intervention by foreign armed forces in the settlement of Haitian affairs.


         DONE in good faith, in triplicate at Washington D.C., on 23 February 1992.


         This protocol of agreement shall enter into force immediately after ratification by the National Assembly at the convocation of its President.




(Signed)             Jean Bertrand-ARISTIDE

                  President of the Republic of Haiti



(Signed)                 Déjean BELIZAIRE

                  President of the Senate and of the

                  Parliamentary Negotiating Commission



(Signed)                 Alexandre MEDARD

                  President of the Chamber of Deputies

                         and Vice-President of the

                   Parliamentary Negotiating Commission



                                                           ANNEX V



Protocol of agreement between President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

and Prime Minister- Designate René Théodore under the auspices

of the Organization of American States (OAS)


         In order to establish a climate of confidence, restore the democratic order, stimulate the national economy, consolidate the institutions and facilitate the return to power of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide:


1.      The undersigned parties recognize, in setting in motion the restoration of the constitutional order in Haiti, the importance of resolutions MRE/RES.1/91 and MRE/RES.2/91 of the Ad Hoc Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of member countries of the Organization of American States and resolution CP/RES.567 (870/91) of the Permanent Council of the Organization.


2.      They recognize, in setting in motion the restoration of the constitutional order in Haiti, the importance of the "protocol between President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the parliamentary negotiating commission to find a definitive solution to the Haitian crisis".


3.      The recognize also that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide enjoys fully and completely his constitutional prerogatives as Head of State.


4.      The parties pledge to take all necessary measures to guarantee public liberties and to halt all repression and reprisals.  To that end, they recognize the necessity for the deployment, as quickly as possible, of the civilian OEA-DEMOC mission and of representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  They urge international organizations, in particular the United Nations, the organizations for the defense of human rights and the international press to spare no effort in their contributions to that endeavor.


5.      The parties recognize the need to form a Government of national unity, whose programme will be drawn up -with the political parties represented in Parliament and which support this Government- by the Prime Minister together with the President.


6.      In order not only to respect the vote of 16 December 1990 and the mandate relating thereto but also to guarantee the Prime Minister's responsibility for forming the government team, the parties agree that the President and the Primer Minister shall proceed, in agreement, to choose the persons to fill the ministerial posts.


7.      The parties recognize the need, once he has been confirmed, for the Prime Minister to work to create the conditions for the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.  In the meanwhile, the Prime Minister undertakes to meet the President of the Republic, as far as possible every two weeks, to evaluate the functioning of the Government and the conditions of return.  For this meeting, they shall request a report from the Secretary General of the Organization of American States to enable them to evaluate the assistance of that institution with regard to the progress of the return process.  One month after ratification, the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General shall meet to determine the modalities of the return of the President of the Republic.


8.      The President undertakes to provide the Prime Minister with all necessary collaboration and political support for the accomplishment of his task in accordance with the provision of the Constitution.


9.      The parties recognize the need to request the lifting of the embargo and other sanctions contained in chapter I, paragraph 4, of resolution MRE/RES.2/91 of the Ad Hoc Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of member countries of the Organization of American States at the official request of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, once the Prime Minister has been confirmed and the Government installed.


10.    The parties undertake to give particular attention to the military with a view to professionalizing it and establishing better conditions, materially and as regards morale, that should enable it to participate in the democratic process and carry out its constitutional task.


11.    The parties recognize the need to approach member countries of the Organization of American States and the United Nations, international organizations and the international community in general, in order to obtain emergency assistance for the reconstruction of Haiti's economy and the technical and financial means required to strengthen its institutions.


         Done in good faith in triplicate at Washington D.C. on February 25, 1992.


                         (Signed)                    Jean-Bertrand Aristide

                                                    President of the Republic of Haiti


                         (Signed)                        René Theodore

                                                       Prime Minister-Designate


         Signed under the auspices of the Organization of American States


                         (Signed)                       João Baena Soares

                                                            Secretary General





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