[News] Haiti update: ongoing attacks against Fanmi Lavalas

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Wed Oct 6 11:17:25 EDT 2004





AHP News - October 5, 2004 - English translation (Unofficial)


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New violence in Port-au-Prince: five presumed Fanmi Lavalas supporters are 
killed in Cité Soleil; a man named Déliane Laguerre  accused of being a 
police spy is killed in Bel-Air
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Port-au-Prince, October 5, 2004 (AHP)- There has been renewed violence over 
the past 24 hours in Cité Soleil and in the populist district of  Bel-Air.

At least five people considered to be supporters of Fanmi Lavalas were 
killed Monday in the Soleil 9 area of Cité Soleil by armed individuals said 
to have come from the Boston neighborhood. The victims are accused of 
having demonstrated support for the physical return of President Aristide.

When the attackers arrived, said several residents of Cité Soleil, they 
spared no one; women and children and a man named John Joseph were said to 
be among the victims.

As late as Tuesday morning, the corpses of the victims were still lying in 
the street in pools of blood, said the residents.

In the Bel-Air district this Tuesday, a man named Déliane Laguerre, accused 
of being a spy for the police, was killed by a group of individuals.

Déliane Laguerre had reportedly described himself as a former member of the 
Haitian armed forces, and said he was currently stationed in Morne à Cabris.

Area residents said he was killed several hours after having been detained 
by these individuals, without any intervention by the police.

On Monday, a young student was injured when police officers reportedly 
fired upon homes in Bel-Air during a police operation, and last Friday two 
Bel-Air residents, including a 15 year-old boy, Wendy Manigat, were killed 
during a police operation.

At least four police officers were killed on September 30, reportedly by 
armed bandits, in the La Saline district of the capital. Police 
spokesperson Jessie Cameau Coicou said that two of the these officers were 
beheaded.

Small shopkeepers in the downtown Port-au-Prince commercial district spoke 
out against the tense situation and the violence that are developing in the 
capital.

Activities have been paralyzed for two days in the populist districts of 
Bel-Air and St Martin where schools and public markets have not been able 
to function.

The small-scale merchants are complaining that the police are carrying out 
repeated searches of the area, increasing tensions where they are trying to 
do business.

They called for an end to the violence from all quarters in order to make 
it possible for life to return to something resembling a normal existence.

Lavalas activists have for their part accused certain sectors of the former 
opposition to Aristide of banding together to exterminate the grassroots 
masses. They also denounced what they termed the complicit silence of 
MINUSTHA and some quarters of the international community who are doing 
nothing, the activists say, to stop the spiral of violence and lies to 
which they are being subjected.



AHP October 5, 2004  12:40 PM



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Lawyers for the Lavalas members of Parliament who were arrested at the 
studios of Radio Caraïbe say their clients are the victims of a vast 
political plot
------------------------------------------------------------------------



Port-au-Prince, October 5, 2004 (AHP)-  Reynold Georges, one of the 
attorneys representing the Fanmi Lavalas members of Parliament who were 
arrested Saturday at the studios of  Radio Caraïbes, said Tuesday that 
their clients are the victims of a vast political plot put together 
by  people from circles craving power and vengeance.

Senators Yvon Feuillé, Louis Gérald Gilles and former Deputy Rudy Hérivaux 
were all arrested inside the station at rue Chavannes immediately following 
the broadcast of a political program in which they had taken part.

During a news conference,  Reynold Georges accused the group of 184, which 
is part of the interim government, of being the driving force behind the 
political persecution that has been launched against activists and 
high-level leaders of  Fanmi Lavalas.

He stated that his clients were abducted by the interim government which is 
in a panic over the dimensions of the demonstrations by Fanmi Lavalas.

Mr. Georges also asked the provisional government to shed light on a series 
of cases such as the discovery of the beheaded bodies of police officers 
discovered in some parts of Port-au-Prince.

He also criticized the statements of interim President Boniface Alexandre, 
who claimed that the arrest of the Lavalas members of Parliament, even 
though they were carried out without a warrant, are somehow legal, despite 
the fact that the acts they are alleged to have committed were carried out 
by third parties some 48 hours before the Parliamentarians were arrested.

Mr. Mario Joseph, another attorney for the Lavalas members of Parliament, 
also said that these arrests were part of a contrived political scheme 
which has nothing to do with the pursuit of justice.

According to Mr. Joseph, the case the interim government is bringing 
utilizing against his clients in a self-serving manner is entirely lacking 
in any logical consistency.



AHP October 5, 2004  3:45 PM



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Prince Pierre Sonson and attorney Gérard Gourgue denounce the arrests of 
the three Fanmi Lavalas Parliamentarians
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Port-au-Prince, October 5, 2004 (AHP)- One of the leaders of MODEREH, the 
former Lavalas member of Parliament Prince Pierre Sonson, on Tuesday 
denounced the method utilized by the police in arresting the Fanmi Lavalas 
cadres on Saturday, including currently serving members of the Haitian 
Parliament.

According to Prince Pierre Sonson, the thesis put forward by the interim 
government to justify the arrests of his former colleagues is without 
foundation.

He flatly rejected the idea that the arrests were legal because this was a 
case of "flagrante delicto" (the discovery of a crime at the moment it was 
being committed) because, he said, these Fanmi Lavalas leaders are accused 
of being the intellectual authors of the violence committed over the past 
few days in Port-au-Prince.

Prince Pierre Sonson also stated that the government has no authority to 
arrest members of Parliament who are currently serving in that body, 
because as Parliamentarians they are entitled to immunity from such an 
arrest.

He also found fault with the brutality employed by the authorities given 
that they could just as well have utilized normal channels if they wished 
to question the Fanmi Lavalas cadres. The former Senator said he hopes that 
the government will get its act together as quickly as possible.

Attorney Gérard Gourgues, who has been involved in human rights issues at 
various points in his professional career, also discussed the illegal 
nature of the arrest of the Fanmi Lavalas leaders accused by the government 
of having been caught in the act of committing a crime.

"A situation of flagrante delicto applies exclusively to an act that has 
just been committed or is in the process of being committed", Mr. Gourgue 
pointed out, explaining that it was beyond understanding how members of 
Parliament who had been continuously inside a radio station taking part in 
a broadcast since 8 o'clock in the morning could possibly be considered to 
be an example of suspects being caught in the act of committing crimes of 
violence.

Gérard Gourgue, who is a professor of criminal law, found the interim 
government's explanation of the rationale behind the arrest of the three 
men patently absurd.

Interim President Boniface Alexandre had for his part stated that he 
approves of the decision by the government to imprison the Fanmi Lavalas 
members of Parliament.

  While declaring that he does not wish to interfere on judicial matters, 
President Boniface Alexandre sought to make the point that the arrest of 
these three senior officials of the Fanmi Lavalas political organization 
was carried out in a legal and constitutional manner.

"Everything that the interim government does is legal", he said.
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