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UA 18/93 - Haiti: ill-treatment / legal concern: Jean Emile, Direct Jean- Baptiste

, Index number: AMR 36/003/1993

Two recent incidents of severe ill-treatment by members of the armed forces in Artibonite department have been reported to AI. Jean Emile was reportedly arrested on 22 January 1993, following an argument with the local rural police chief. He was allegedly taken to the police chief's home and severely beaten. He was taken then to the prison of Marchand Dessalines and later to St Marc Prison, without having been brought before a justice of the peace. AI is concerned about his physical condition after the beatings. Direct Jean-Baptiste was reportedly detained on 20 January 1993 when he refused to hand over his driving licence to soldiers; he was reportedly severely ill-treated. On 15 January he reportedly had had to pay 50 dollars to soldiers for the return of his confiscated licence.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 36/03/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 18/93 Ill-treatment/Legal Concern 26 January 1993
HAITI: Jean EMILE
Direct JEAN-BAPTISTE, aged 30
Amnesty International is concerned at two recent separate incidents of severe
ill-treatment reportedly carried out by members of the armed forces in the Marchand
Dessalines locality of the Artibonite department.
Jean Emile was reportedly arrested on 22 January 1993 in the village of Pont Joux,
3rd Section of Marchand Dessalines, following an argument with the local chef de
section (rural police chief). He was taken to the home of the chef de section where
he was severely beaten. Leaflets with the name of former President Aristide, ousted
in a violent coup in September 1991, were reportedly planted on Jean Emile. He was
subsequently accused of being a supporter of President Aristide and of Lavalas, the
political movement which supported the deposed President. He was taken to the prison
of Marchand Dessalines, reportedly in a bad physical condition as a result of the
beatings. On 23 January he was bound hand and foot, with his hands behind his back
and taken by members of the armed forces to the St Marc prison, without having been
brought before a Justice of the Peace in Marchand Dessalines, as required by law.
Amnesty International is concerned about his state of health and that he may suffer
further ill-treatment at St Marc.
Direct Jean-Baptiste was reportedly detained on 20 January 1993 in the town of
L'Estère, near Marchand Dessalines when he refused to hand over his driving licence,
after being stopped by a member of the armed forces. He was taken to the military
barracks where he was beaten severely. His testicles were crushed by several soldiers
using their hands. He was given blows to his stomach with a club and when he tried
to stop the blows to the stomach he was slapped about the face with extreme violence.
On one occasion he was slapped on the eyes, which are now severely blood-shot.
His face is also swollen as a result of the beatings he received. He was released
the same day.
Prior to this, on 15 January 1993, Direct Jean-Baptiste was stopped by a member of
the armed forces in L'Estère and his driving licence was confiscated. He travels
every day between Dessalines and L'Estère. On 19 January he went to the local barracks
in L'Estère and asked for the return of his licence. The army demanded the sum of
90 Haitian dollars. He refused to pay so much and it was agreed he would pay 50
dollars. It is reported that the military barracks at l'Estère are noted for extorting
money from drivers using the pretext of supposed traffic offenses. It was for this
reason that he reportedly refused to hand over his driving licence a second time
when stopped the following day.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Troops violently overthrew the democratically elected government of President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who took office in Haiti on 7 February 1991, in a coup on
the night of 29 to 30 September 1991. Since then Amnesty International has learned
of widespread human rights violations committed by the security forces, including
a large number of extrajudicial executions, torture and ill-treatment and mass arrests
without warrant. Several of those detained by the authorities remain "disappeared".
These abuses have been carried out by uniformed security force agents or, on some
occasions, by men in civilian clothes ostensibly linked to them.
Victims have included those supporting or suspected of being supporters of President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide. An Amnesty International delegation which
Page 2 of UA 18/93
visited Haiti in March 1992 also found extensive evidence of widespread arbitrary
abuse by the security forces against the civilian population, including extortion
by members of the armed forces or civilians working with their connivance. The
delegation learned of many cases where members of the security forces and those working
with them would force people to give them sums of money to prevent them being detained;
of if detained, to prevent or reduce the severity of beatings or to secure their
release. (See Haiti: Human Rights Held to Ransom, AI Index: AMR 36/41/92 of August
1992)
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in French, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the reported detention and subsequent ill-treatment of Jean
Emile and Direct Jean-Baptiste;
- asking for an investigation into the reported ill-treatment in military custody
of both men and that those found responsible be brought to justice;
- asking that Jean Emile be treated humanely in custody;
- asking also that he be given access to adequate medical treatment in custody as
well as access to legal representation and to his family;
- asking also that unless charged with a criminally recognizable offence that he
be released.
APPEALS TO
1) Prime Minister:
Marc BAZIN Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Minister /
Premier Ministre Dear Prime Minister
Palais National, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telegrams: Premier Ministre BAZIN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Faxes: + 509 34 1980, + 509 23 2121
2) Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces:
Monsieur le Général Raoul CEDRAS Salutation: Monsieur Commandant-en-Chef /
Commandant-en-Chef des Forces Dear Commander-in-Chief
Armées d'Haïti
Grand Quartier Général des Forces Armées d'Haïti
Rue Geffrard, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Commandant-en-Chef des Armées d'Haiti Cedras, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephone: + 509 22 3935
Telexes: 20391 gqfadh
Faxes: + 509 23 9007, + 509 23 9407
3) Minister of Justice:
Maître Moïse SENATUS Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre /
Ministre de la Justice Dear Minister
Ministère de la Justice
Cité de l'Exposition, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Ministre de la Justice Senatus, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephone: + 509 45-0474, + 509 45-1626
Telexes: 20166 Justice
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1) Commander of the Artibonite Military
Base:
Monsieur le Commandant du Département
Militaire de l'Artibonite
Rue Lamartinière
Gonaïves, Département de l'Artibonite,
Haïti
2) Prison Director - St Marc Prison:
Monsieur le Directeur
Prison St Marc
St Marc, Département de l'Artibonite,
Haïti
3) Haïti en Marche (News weekly)
173 N.W. 94 St
Miami, FL 33150, USA
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 9 March 1993.

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