[News] Haiti: thousands demonstrate for constitutional order

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Wed Apr 27 11:31:37 EDT 2005

AHP News April 26, 2005

English translation (Unofficial)

Tens of thousands of people demonstrate in Port-au-Prince to demand the 
release of political prisoners and the return to constitutional order

Port-au-Prince, April 26, 2005 (AHP)- Several tens of thousands of people 
demonstrated this Tuesday in the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand the 
return to constitutional order, the end of political persecutions, the 
release of political prisoners including former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune 
who has been doing a hunger strike for ten days.

After leaving the populist district of Bel-air, the demonstrators, among 
whom many came from Cité Soleil and other areas of the country, marched in 
several districts of the capital, including Delmas, Nazon, Pouplard Avenue 
and Lalue, chanting words hostile to interim authorities whom they accuse 
of encouraging crimes and abuses of all kinds and of doing nothing to ease 
the population’s misery.

Several students and small merchants participated to this demonstration 
which was welcomed by numerous sympathizers from up in their houses.

Spokesperson of Lavalas activists of Cité Soleil, John Joël Joseph, 
denounced the violent acts perpetrated against residents of this populist 
district since the operations launched in this area by UN soldiers and PNH 
agents. It is not through violence that we will be able to make peace reign 
in the largest shantytown of Port-au-Prince, but it is through the 
organization of social works for its residents, John Joël Joseph declared. 
He called the MINUSTHA to never forget the objective of its mission.

Demonstrators denounced, without naming them, those who are trying, they 
said, to minimize the scale of Lavalas demonstrations. We will not erase 
reality by shutting our eyes nor by exuding lies, did they declare.

For his part, spokesperson of the activists of Bel-Air, Sanba Boukman, gave 
a positive report of this day. The population proved once again that it 
will not accept the violation of its rights no matter what the price to pay is.

A new demonstration is announced for this Wednesday April 27th to support 
the one planned for the same day by the Group of Defense of Political 
Prisoners’ Rights (GDP), in order to demand the release of political prisoners.

Before the beginning of the demonstration, a mass was celebrated by Father 
Gérard Jean Juste in the memory of all victims of summary executions and 
others registered in the country.

There was also a period of testimonies where victims’ parents denounced the 
violent acts that are daily perpetrated against residents of poor 
districts. They called to the end of such practices.

The demonstration took place without incidents under high protection from 
MINUSTAH soldiers and fixed patrols of the National Police. Demonstrators 
chanted slogans calling police agents to remember that they come from poor 
districts too, as well as their families.

AHP April 26, 2005 3:25 PM

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