[News] Haiti - message from political prisoner Fr Jean Juste

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Wed Aug 3 11:40:15 EDT 2005


FROM:
FATHER JEAN-JUSTE
AHP
HALF HOUR FOR HAITI

*********
*********

MESSAGE FROM FR. JEAN-JUSTE
8.2.05

Dear Friends:

Thank everybody across the world for all your support.  I am still in prison.

Please keep pushing for democracy and human rights in Haiti - they are 
feeling it.

I went to court today before Judge Peres-Paul.

There are reports on the radio that several political prisoners are going 
to be released
soon.  If they do that it will be because of international 
pressure.  Please remember all
the people in prison - there are so many young people here who have never 
seen a
judge.

Please keep up the pressure - democracy will return to Haiti!

God bless,
GJJ

FROM:    Brianhaiti at aol.com
DATE:    Tue, 2 Aug 2005 19:48:19 EDT


August 2, 2005

HALF-HOUR FOR HAITI: SIGN THE INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION OF SUPPORT FOR THE 
HAITIAN PEOPLE

Thanks to everyone who wrote on behalf of Fr. Jean-Juste the last two weeks.

He is still in prison, but the letters and phone calls from activists, 
bishops, professors, lawyers, doctors, students and many others are a 
strong foundation that we will build on until Fr. Jean-Juste is freed.

Another case that many people have responded to is former Prime Minister 
Yvon Neptune.

He is still in prison, but upon the advice of his medical advisors he 
terminated his hunger strike, and is recovering.

We have received conflicting information about his legal status, and will 
send an update when we know for sure.

This week's action is to sign the International Declaration of Support for 
the Haitian People, issued by the Haiti Action Committee and other 
concerned activists.

The Declaration is a good opportunity to reflect on the larger issues 
underlying the political prisoners and innocent civilians killed by 
peacekeepers- these individual violations are part of a larger effort to 
undermine Haitian sovereignty.  That effort also included the illegal 
removal of Haiti's government, the silencing of critics, and now, an effort 
hold elections under sufficient repression to ensure that the majority of 
the population will not or cannot effectively participate.

This week's action is also easy: to sign the petition, or to obtain a 
French or Portuguese translation, simply send an email to 
haitideclaration at yahoo.com.

'INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION OF SUPPORT FOR THE HAITIAN PEOPLE'

We are Haitians living in exile, international human rights groups, Haiti 
advocacy groups, elected officials and individuals from the international 
community, who wish to declare our solidarity with the people of Haiti and 
to demand that Haiti's sovereignty be respected.

 >From February 29, 2004 to this day, we have witnessed, documented and 
reported on:
    * the forced removal of the democratically elected president of Haiti, 
Jean Bertrand Aristide, by the United States, French and Canadian governments;
    * the dismantling of the constitutional government, which included the 
illegal removal of approximately 7,000 government officials;
    * the creation of a subsequently lawless environment in which there is 
clearly a total disregard for the constitution and judicial system;
    * and systematic human rights violations and crimes against thousands 
of members of the LAVALAS Party and citizens from the poorest areas, which 
have traditionally supported the popular democratic movement of Haiti.

Between the state sponsored violence against the poorest citizens, the 
exclusion of the LAVALAS Party which represents the majority of the 
citizenry, and the need to register 4.5 million people to vote, we feel 
that moving forward with imposed elections is absolutely not a just, 
credible plan or in the best interests of the Haitian people or the 
sovereignty of the country.

Based on the conditions described below, we condemn any attempt by the 
international community, the de facto government of Haiti, or the elite 
Haitian business community to coerce the Haitian people into holding 
elections, which are currently scheduled for October and November of this year.

In the past fifteen months, we have gathered and received documentation of:

    * Summary executions and disappearances of thousands of people who are 
either members of the LAVALAS Party and/or citizens from the poorest areas, 
which have traditionally supported the popular movement
    * The living in hiding of thousands of people who are either members of 
the Lavalas Party and/or citizens from the poorest areas, which have 
traditionally supported the popular movement.
    * Mass illegal arrests of hundreds of people, who are members of the 
Lavalas Party, citizens from the poorest areas which have traditionally 
supported the popular movement and street children who have been imprisoned 
for weeks and months without charge or due process
    * Persecution of Lavalas party leadership, including several high 
ranking members of the Lavalas Party or well known activists such as  Prime 
Minister Neptune, Interior Minister Privert, Annette Auguste and Father 
Jean Juste.
    * Politically motivated rapes of over 100 women, girls, and boys who 
are either family members of the Lavalas Party and/or children from the 
poorest areas, which have traditionally supported the popular movement.
    * State sponsored terror of hundreds of people in the poorest 
neighborhoods, most recently Cite Soleil and Bel Air in which citizens 
including children have been attacked and murdered by HNP and MINUSTAH. 
Eye-witness testimonies received claim that similar operations in the 
months after the coup d'etat were carried-out by US Marines and the HNP. In 
the current attacks, unidentified English-speaking, white men in black ski 
masks have been identified by many local citizens.
    * Violations of right to free speech and assembly by state sponsored 
terror, in which the HNP has been given free reign to kill several unarmed, 
peaceful demonstrators, including young men, as they were exercising their 
democratic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
    * The torture of thousands of people, especially members of the Lavalas 
Party, young men and boys from the poorest neighborhoods of Cite Soleil, 
Bel Air, La Saline, etc who have been and continue to be systematically 
profiled, terrorized and often tortured.
    * Persecution and violence against journalists from several countries 
who were trying to report on demonstrations for the return of President 
Aristide. Several have been murdered and threatened with arrest and/or murder.

In the past fifteen months, human rights organizations have recorded 
countless allegations and credible documentation of these crimes against 
members of the Lavalas Party and citizens from the poorest areas, being 
carried out to varying degrees by the Haitian National Police, the former 
military, many of whom patrol the streets while being given authority to 
act as law enforcement officials, United States Marines and MINUSTAH.
Some sources of the many credible reports include:

    * Harvard University, Keeping the Peace in Haiti?: An Assessment of the 
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, 
www.law.harvard.edu/programs/hrp/CAP/current/americas/haiti.html
    * University of Miami School of Law, Haiti Human Rights Investigation 
www.law.miami.edu/news/368.html
    * Haiti Information Project, Crushing President Aristide's Party 
Through Violence, 
<http://www.teledyol.net/HIP/about.html>http://www.teledyol.net/HIP/about.html
    * Loyola University New Orleans Law School, Haiti Human Rights Report , 
<http://www.ijdh.org/pdf/QuigleyReport.pdf>http://www.ijdh.org/pdf/QuigleyReport.pdf 

    * Amnesty International, Haiti: health concern/legal concern, Yvon 
Neptune ;- Haiti: National Police must be held accountable for killing of 
civilians;  Haiti: Fear for safety/excessive use of force; Haiti: Fear for 
safety/unlawful killing ; Amnesty International calls on the transitional 
government to set up an independent commission of inquiry into summary 
executions attributed to members of the Haitian National Police. 
www.amnesty.org

Our coalition feels strongly that under these oppressive, genocidal 
conditions, resembling a dictatorship not a democracy, it is impossible to 
move toward elections. We insist that rather than the United States 
Congress and the United Nations initiate the sending of more arms and 
troops to Haiti against the peoples will and good judgment, that these 
inhumane, unconstitutional conditions are brought to a halt.

As an international coalition we support and insist that:

    * The gross human rights abuses stop immediately, including the daily 
attacks orchestrated by the HNP, MINUSTAH and the unidentified militia in 
the neighborhoods of Cite Soleil and Bel Air, the illegal arrests, rapes, 
tortures and persecution of the poor. Impartial, international human rights 
observers must be sent to Haiti immediately.
    * The governments of the United States, Canada and France, remove 
themselves from the political affairs of Haiti, respect Haiti's sovereignty 
and resist any further attempts to try to colonize the country or to use 
Haiti as part of the globalization movement.
    * All current and former political prisoners including Prime Minister 
Neptune, Interior Minister Privert, Annette Auguste and Father Jean-Juste, 
receive protection and are released immediately.
    * The reinstatement of the constitutional government including the 
return of President Aristide.

As an international coalition representing hundreds of thousands of people 
from around the world, we expect that our concerns for the sovereignty of 
Haiti and the well being of the Haitian people will be taken very seriously.

This is a situation of extreme political and economic oppression, violating 
all national and international laws of decency and human rights doctrines, 
not unlike a genocidal state.

We will continue to monitor and record the illegal activities and human 
rights abuses in Haiti, and report them to various heads of state, as well 
as the Haitian and international press.

We will also continue to confront and expose the imperialist policies of 
the United States, Canadian and French governments that have and continue 
to threaten the very lives of the vast majority of the Haitian people.

Signed,

For more information about the Haiti Action Committee, see 
www.haitiaction.net.  For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti 
Program, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti or human rights 
in Haiti, see www.ijdh.org.

The Freedom Archives
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San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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