• الحملات

Haiti: Fear for safety: Pierre Espérance

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 36/001/1999

Human rights defender Pierre Espérance was attacked by gunmen on 8 March 1999, and Amnesty International believes his life is in danger.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 36/01/99
UA 45/99 Fear for Safety 10 March 1999
HAITIPierre Espérance, human rights defender
Human rights defender Pierre Espérance was attacked by gunmen on 8 March 1999,
and Amnesty International believes his life is in danger.
As Pierre Espérance, director of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights
(NCHR) in Port-au-Prince, was travelling by car with a colleague, a white Toyota
sedan pulled in front of him and stopped. A man stepped out and began firing
at them with a machine gun. When Pierre Espérance tried to escape, the Toyota
gave chase and the occupants began shooting again, wounding Pierre Espérance,
who is now in hospital recovering. His companion was not harmed.
No one has yet taken responsibility for the attack, but the NCHR’s Director
in New York is quoted as saying that “Indications are that this was a
cold-blooded, premeditated attempt to murder a well-known human rights
advocate”.
Amnesty International fears that Pierre Espérance and other Haitian human rights
defenders may be at risk of further attacks.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Pierre Espérance joined the NCHR in 1991, a few weeks after the military coup
which overthrew democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since
then he has been helping victims of human rights violations, often risking
his own life to document abuses. In 1995,he became the director of NCHR's Haiti
office and was recently elected treasurer of the Plate-forme des Organisations
Haïtiennes des Droits de l'Homme, Platform of Haitian Human Rights Groups.
Haiti has been in political crisis, with tensions between the various political
groups running high, since June 1997, when the prime minister resigned. Since
then there have been several killings, some possibly politically motivated.
Several police officers have been killed. The police have been frequently
accused of serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions
and torture.
On 11 January 1999 President René Préval said he would uphold a 1995 electoral
law under which most legislative and municipal officials’ terms of office ended
that day. Legislators objected to the decision, which effectively dissolved
parliament and allowed Préval to rule by decree. On 1 March Senator Jean Yvon
Toussaint, a member of the main opposition group, the Organisation du peuple
en lutte, Organization of People in Struggle, was shot dead at close range
outside his home. In the past week leaflets threatening human rights groups,
notably the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Groups, have been circulating
in Port-au-Prince.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in French or your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that Pierre Espérance, Director of the National
Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR), was attacked by gunmen;
- requesting that steps be taken to protect him and other human rights defenders;
- requesting that an independent and impartial investigation be carried out
into the attack and that those responsible be brought to justice.
2
APPEALS TO:
President of the Republic
S.E. Monsieur René PRÉVAL
Président de la République de Haiti
Présidence de la République de Haiti
Palais National
Champ de Mars
Port-au-Prince
Telegrams: President Préval, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Fax: + 509 23-2530
Salutation: Monsieur le Président de la République
Chief of Police
Monsieur Pierre Denizé
Directeur général de la Police nationale d’Haïti
Grand quartier général
12 rue Oscar
Port-au-Prince
Haïti
Telegrams: Directeur général PNH, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Fax: + 509 45-73 74
Salutation: Monsieur le Directeur général
Inspector General of Police (in charge of investigating police abuses)
Monsieur Luc Eucher Joseph
Inspecteur général de la Police nationale d’Haïti
rue Oscar Prolongée
Pacot
Port-au-Prince
Haïti
Telegrams: Inspecteur général PNH, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Tel/Fax:+ 509 45-9256
Salutation: Monsieur l’Inspecteur général
COPIES TO:
Non-governmental organization
National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR)
275 Seventh Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10001
USA
Fax: + 1 212 337 0028
Human Rights Organization
Plate-forme des Organisations Haïtiennes des Droits de l'Homme
Casier Postal 19181
Port-au-Prince
Haïti
and to diplomatic representatives of Haiti accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 21 April 1999.

اختر لغة لاستعراض التقرير