[News] Rep. Waters Condemns Arrest of Haitian Prime Minister

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Tue Jun 29 14:30:39 EDT 2004

For Immediate Release                       Contact:

Keith Davis

June 28, 2004

(323) 757-8900




     Washington, D.C. -- On Capitol Hill today, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

denounced the arrest of Yvon Neptune, the wrongfully-replaced Prime Minister

of Haiti, and demanded the arrest and prosecution of the thugs and killers

who have taken over Haitian cities.  Yvon Neptune was detained yesterday by

Haitian police in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.

     "Yvon Neptune is still the legitimate Prime Minister of Haiti, and

his arrest is part of a politically-motivated campaign to arrest and

intimidate members of Lavalas, President Aristide's political party," said

Congresswoman Waters.  "The people who were responsible for President

Aristide's ouster are now determined to destroy the political movement he


     Yvon Neptune was the prime minister of Haiti under President

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the democratically-elected president of Haiti, who

was ousted in a coup d'etat and forced into exile on February 29, 2004.  The

following month, Prime Minister Neptune learned that his name was on a list

of Lavalas party officials whom thugs are targeting for murder.  He went

into hiding on March 10, 2004, after his illegitimate successor, Gerard

Latortue, took office.  Prime Minister Neptune is now the highest-ranking

member of the Lavalas party to be detained since President Aristide's


     "The arrest of Anne Auguste is another example of the efforts of the

illegitimate interim government of Haiti to persecute Lavalas supporters,"

said Congresswoman Waters.  "Anne Auguste is a well-known community activist

who is responsible for feeding many impoverished people and who possesses a

long history of working to improve the lives of ordinary Haitians.  She

should never have been arrested."  Anne Auguste (So Anne) was arrested on

May 10, 2004, by U.S. soldiers, acting as part of the Multinational Interim

Force (MIF), when a warrant for her arrest was reportedly issued by Haitian


     "While Gerard Latortue's government continues to arrest and

intimidate Lavalas party members, it refuses to arrest Guy Philippe, Jean

Tatoune and other thugs and killers who took over Haitian cities, freed

criminals from jails and terrorized local residents throughout the month of

February," said the Congresswoman.  "Gerard Latortue's government has also

made a mockery of justice by pretending to arrest former death squad leader

Louis-Jodel Chamblain.  Worst of all, Gerard Latortue's government is

turning a blind eye while these thugs and killers continue to commit gross

violations of human rights against the people of Haiti."

     Guy Philippe is a known drug dealer who returned from exile in order

to overthrow President Aristide's government.  Since his return, Philippe

occupied Gonaives, spearheaded burnings and killings and threatened to kill

President Aristide.  Louis-Jodel Chamblain and Jean Tatoune are both former

death squad leaders who were convicted in abstentia for the killing of

thousands of Haitians in the 1994 Raboteau massacre.

     "There have been hundreds of killings in Haiti of Lavalas supporters

since the coup d'etat," said Congresswoman Waters.  "Members of Lavalas have

been found shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs.

are reports of Lavalas members being placed in a container and drowned at

sea.  Delegations from Amnesty International, the National Lawyers Guild and

Let Haiti Live have documented the repression and killing of Lavalas party

members.  Many of President Aristide's supporters are now in hiding in

Haiti.  Others have tried to flee Haiti as refugees and have been forcibly

repatriated to the island, where they continue to fear for their lives."

     Last week, Amnesty International reported that a number of

journalists in areas of Haiti held by the thugs have been arrested and

beaten after reporting human rights abuses by the thugs, while pro-Aristide

media such as Radio and Tele Timoun have been closed.

     "I demand that the interim government immediately release Yvon

Neptune and Anne Auguste and end the persecution of the Lavalas party and

its supporters," concluded Congresswoman Waters.  "The interim government

must turn its attention to the arrest and prosecution of the real criminals,

thugs and killers who are responsible for so much destruction and

devastation in Haiti."

Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership

"Men anpil chaj pa lou"  is Kreyol for - "Many hands make light a heavy load."

See, The Haitian Leadership Networks'  7 "men anpil chaj pa

lou" campaigns to help restore Haiti's independence, the will of the mass
electorate and the rule of law. See,
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/haitianlawyers.html ; 

and Haitiaction.net

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