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Further information on UA 338/91 (AMR 36/12/91, 11 October and follow-up AMR 36/13/91, 16 October) - Haiti: legal concern: Manno Charlemagne

, Index number: AMR 36/017/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 36/17/91
Distr: UA/SC
Further information on UA 338/91 (AMR 36/12/91, 11 October and follow-up AMR
36/13/91 (16 October) - Legal Concern
22 October 1991
HAITI Manno CHARLEMAGNE
Amnesty International is concerned at the reported rearrest without a warrant
on Friday 18 October 1991 of Manno Charlemagne, a well-known singer in Haiti.
Manno Charlemagne had previously been arrested on 11 October without a warrant
and accused of being a "criminal"; of "possession of arms without the necessary
permit"; and of "incitement to violence". He was subsequently released by
order of the Tribunal Civil (Civil Court) of Pap, Port-au-Prince, after they
declared his arrest illegal.
According to eyewitness testimony, Manno Charlemagne upon his release,
was just coming out from the Pénitentier National (National Penitentiary) when
a group of soldiers dressed in civilian clothes approached him. They said
they had an order for his arrest, but when challenged to produce the written
warrant, they refused to do so and threatened him with their weapons. Manno
Charlemagne was then forced into a waiting vehicle and taken to an unknown
destination. He is believed to be held in the National Penitentiary, but there
is no confirmation of his whereabouts. However, relatives later reported that
the food they took to the Penitentier National for Manno Charlemagne was accepted
by prison personnel. Amnesty International is concerned at the illegal arrest
of Manno Charlemagne and is concerned for his safety.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Troops overthrew the democratically elected government of President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who took office in Haiti on 7 February 1991, in a coup
d'Etat on Monday 30 September. Since then Amnesty International has learned
of widespread human rights violations committed by the security forces,
including a large number of extrajudicial executions, beatings and mass arrests
without warrant. According to information received by Amnesty International,
members of the armed forces have deliberately shot large numbers of civilians
in different sectors of Port-au-Prince, resulting in hundreds of dead and
wounded. Many of the victims included supporters of President Aristide who
were demonstrating against the coup d'Etat.
Reports of extrajudicial executions include the killing on Monday 30 September
of Radio Caraïbe Director, Jacques Caraïbe after a group of soldiers arrived
at his home, severely beat him in the presence of his family, and took him
away to an unknown destination. His dead body was later found. (see Haiti:
Human Rights Violations in the Aftermath of the Coup d'Etat, October 1991,
AI Index: AMR 36/09/91). Amnesty International also learned of the arrest of
Senatus and Fritzner Nosther, both supporters of President Aristide, who were
arrested and taken to the Thiotte military barracks in Jacmel, south-east
department. There were reports that both men were being tortured (See UA
342/91, AI Index: AMR 36/14/91 of 16 October 1991).
Joseph Nerette, a supreme court judge, was sworn in as Haiti's provisional
president on 9 October 1991. Jean-Jacques Honorat, the former President of
the Centre Haitien des Droits et Libertés (CHADEL), The Haitian Center for
Human Rights, was ratified by the Chamber of Deputies as Prime Minister of
Haiti on 14 October 1991.
page 2 of FU 338/91
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters and
telephone calls:
- expressing concern at the arrest without warrant of Manno Charlemagne;
- asking that his whereabouts be confirmed and that if detained his physical
integrity be guaranteed;
- asking that if detained, he be brought before the appropriate judicial
authorities, and charged with a recognizably criminal offence or released.
APPEALS TO
Son Excellence Monsieur le Président
Président Joseph Nerette
Président de la République d'Haïti
Palais National
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: President Nerette, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telexes: 20068 PALAIS , or 20551 SPECEXEC
Faxes: + 509 23 2121
Maître Jean-Jacques Honorat Monsieur le Premier Ministre
Premier Ministre et
Ministre des Affaires Etrangères
Présidence de la République d'Haïti
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Premier Ministre, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Faxes: + 509 34 1980
Monsieur le Général Raoul Cedras Monsieur le Général
Commandant-en-Chef des Forces Forces
Armées d'Haïti
Grand Quartier Général desForces Armées d'Haïti
Rue Geffrard
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telephone: + 509 22 3935
Telexes: 20391 GQFADH
Faxes: + 509 23 9007
Monsieur le Commandant Monsieur le Commandant
Pénitentier National
Rue de Centre
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Commandant Penitentier National, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephone: + 509 22 1739 or 22 1730
COPIES TO:
Monsieur le Président de la Chambre des Députés
Assemblée Nationale
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Maître Eudrice RAYMOND
Président du Sénat
Assemblée Nationale
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Haïti Progrès
1398 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
USA
and to diplomatic representatives of Haiti in your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 3 December 1991.

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