Document - Haiti: Displaced families face forced eviction in Haiti

URGENT ACTION

UA: 69/13 Index: AMR 36/006/2013 Haiti Date: 22 March 2013

URGENT ACTION

DISPLACED FAMILIES FACE FORCED EVICTION in haiti

Hundreds of families who were left homeless after the January 2010 earthquake face imminent forced eviction from their makeshift camp in the Port-au-Prince municipality of Carrefour. Amnesty International is concerned that if evicted they will once again be left homeless.

Approximately 650 families living in Gaston Magwon displacement camp in the Port-au-Prince municipality of Carrefour are currently under the threat of forced eviction. Already, on 15 February, 150 families were forcibly evicted from the camp by police officers and a group of men carrying machetes and knives who were accompanied by a local justice of the peace. The armed men began destroying the families’ shelters, while some people were still inside, and attacked individuals that attempted to stop them. The police also shot their firearms into the air to intimidate the families. One infant was reported to have suffered injuries when armed men and police damaged a shelter with the child still inside. The men reportedly threatened to burn down the entire camp and to kill the children of families who did not move.

The camp’s residents have said they were not shown an eviction order, nor had they been given prior notice or offered adequate alternative accommodation. Some of the 150 families who were evicted have left the camp while others have relocated to another area inside the camp. Residents have since received a verbal eviction threat from people linked to the alleged landowners and threats of an arson attack and further violence have reportedly been made by unknown individuals from the road which passes the camp. As well as being faced with being made homeless, the residents are extremely afraid of potential violence or arson attack aimed at forcing them into leaving the camp.

Please write immediately in French or your own language:

Calling on the authorities to ensure that residents at Gaston Magwon camp are not evicted without due process, adequate notice, consultation and that all those affected have access to adequate alternative accommodation;

Calling for an investigation into allegations of threatening behaviour by Carrefour police against Gaston Magwon camp residents as well as into other the threats and violence perpetrated against them;

Urging them to seek durable solutions to the housing needs of the Gaston Magwon camp residents and the hundreds of thousands of others still living in dire conditions in makeshifts camps.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 MAY 2013 TO:

President

Michel Joseph Martelly

Palais National

Rue Magny, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Fax: + 1 202-745-7215 (via Haiti embassy in the USA)

Email: communications@presidentmartelly.ht

Salutation: Monsieur le Président/

Dear President

General Director of the Haitian Police

Godson Orélus

Directeur Général de la PNH

Police Nationale d’Haiti

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Email: godore68@hotmail.com

Salutation: Monsieur le directeur/Dear Director

And copies to:

Mayor of Carrefour

Yvon Jérôme

Mairie de Carrefour

Carrefour, Haïti

Email: mairiedecarrefour@hotmail.com

Salutation: Monsieur le maire / Dear Mayor�

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

DISPLACED FAMILIES FACE FORCED EVICTION in haiti

ADditional Information

The third anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti was 12 January 2013. This earthquake left more than 200,000 people dead and some 2.3 million homeless, who had no alternative but to make their own shelters wherever they could. Three years on and nearly 350,000 people are estimated to still be living in makeshift camps, 20% of whom are under threat of forced eviction.

According to a census of the camp's organization committee, prior to the forced eviction of 15 February there were 871 families living in Camp Gaston Magwon. Residents of the camp, which is located on private land, have received threats of eviction since 2011. 20 families were forcibly evicted from the camp on 15 November 2012.

The relocation of some of the families to other parts of the camp has meant that shelters are now closer together and present a greater fire hazard. This is of particular concern given the current threats of arson. Such arson attacks are a commonly used tactic to evict people from displacement camps in Haiti.

The residents of Gaston Magwon camp live in basic shelters; they have no access to potable water and are subject to poor sanitation. However, any relocation process must respect their rights to adequate housing and they must not be subjected to forced evictions.

Name: residents of Camp Gaston Magwon

Gender m/f: both

UA: 69/13 Index: AMR 36/006/2013 Issue Date: 22 March 2013

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