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Haiti: Possible summary execution by police

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 36/003/1999

Amnesty International is extremely concerned at the apparent summary execution by police of two civilians, Carl Edwin Etienne and Marc Antoine Posy. This is not an isolated incident: shootings in disputed circumstances and excessive use of force by officers of the Police Nationale d'Haïti (HNP), Haitian National Police, are frequently reported.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 36/03/99
UA 79/99 Possible summary execution by police
19 April 1999
HAITICarl Edwin Etienne, aged 22
Marc Antoine Posy, aged 32
Amnesty International is extremely concerned at the apparent summary execution
by police of two civilians. This is not an isolated incident: shootings in
disputed circumstances and excessive use of force by officers of the Police
Nationale d’Haïti (HNP), Haitian National Police, are frequently reported.
The bodies of Marc Antoine Posy and Carl Edwin Etienne were found on 9 April
1999, lying face down by the road in Fontamara, a district of the capital,
Port-au-Prince. They had been shot in the neck, and appeared to have been hit
in the face with rifle butts before they were shot. They were found at the
scene of an earlier shoot-out between police and a criminal gang, in which
an agent of the Compagnie d’Intervention et de Maintien de l’Ordre (CIMO),
Rapid Intervention Force, a special force within the HNP, was killed. CIMO
units were in the area to investigate the incident when Marc Antoine Posy and
Carl Edwin Etienne were shot.
On 15 April 1999, an HNP spokesman denied that CIMO members were involved in
the killing of the two civilians, and blamed the criminal gang. However,
witnesses’ testimonies reportedly contradict the police statement and indicate
that the victims may have been killed by CIMO agents, in retaliation for the
death of their colleague. Witnesses reported hearing a vehicle pull up and
men shouting orders to lie down, followed by four or five gunshots. A relative
of one of the youths claimed to have heard him pleading for his life, protesting
that he was not a thief and offering to show his identity papers.
An HNP spokesman indicated recently that an investigation had been opened to
establish whether CIMO members had been involved in these killings.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The HNP was set up in July 1995. Amnesty International has received several
reports of CIMO officers using excessive force, sometimes causing serious
injuries. On some occasions they have used firearms to disperse demonstrators
in circumstances which did not appear to warrant such force.
During 1998 the police authorities opened official investigations into most
reported fatal shootings, but not into reported cases of torture or
ill-treatment. In July the HNP declared that 28 of its officers had been
suspended that year for human rights violations. However, only a few were
detained and charged or brought to trial. Mission Civile Internationale en
Haïti OEA/ONU (MICIVIH), International Civilian Mission in Haiti reported that
in 1998, 31 fatal police shootings in self-defence or other circumstances were
reported and there were 11 cases of allegedly excessive use of force by police
officials.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
French or your own language:
- expressing concern at the recent killings of Marc Antoine Posy and Carl Edwin
Etienne, and noting witnesses’ testimonies that they may have been shot by
CIMO agents;
- welcoming the investigation into the death of the two civilians and urging
the government to ensure that it is thorough and impartial, that the results
are made public and that those found responsible are brought to justice;
2
- urging the Haitian authorities to ensure that provisions for the use of
firearms by all police officers adhere to international standards for the use
of such weapons;
- asking the government to enhance, as a matter of urgency, the capacity of
the HNP to carry out serious investigations into violent crimes, including
shootings;
- urging the government to amend the police disciplinary code to include specific
sanctions against excessive use of force, extrajudicial executions, enforced
"disappearance" and torture, in keeping with relevant international standards.
APPEALS TO:
S.E. Monsieur René Préval
Président de la République d’Haïti
Présidence de la République d’Haïti
Palais National
Champ de Mars
Port-au-Prince
HAÏTI
Fax: (509) 223 7323
Salutation: Monsieur le Président de la République
Monsieur Jacques Edouard Alexis
Premier Ministre et Ministre de l'Intérieure et de la Défense Nationale
Villa d’Accueil
Delmas 60
Musseau
Port-au-Prince
HAITI
Fax: (509) 245 1624
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Ministre
Monsieur Camille Leblanc
Ministre de la Justice et de la Sécurité Publique
Ministère de la Justice
19 Avenue Charles Sumner
Port-au-Prince
HAITI
Fax: (509) 245 0474
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre
Monsieur Robert Manuel
Secrétaire d’Etat à la Sécurité Publique
Ministère de la Justice
18 Avenue Charles Sumner
Port-au-Prince
HAITI
Fax: (509) 245 0474
Telex: 20166 Justice
Salutation: Monsieur le Secrétaire d’Etat
Monsieur Fritz Longchamps
Ministre des Affaires Etrangères
Blvd Harry Truman
Cité de l'Exposition
Port-au-Prince
HAITI
3
Fax: (509) 223 5261
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre
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
HAITI
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 31 May 1999.

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