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UA 353/91 - Haiti: medical concern: Evans Paul

, Index number: AMR 36/018/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 36/18/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 353/91 Medical Concern 22 October 1991
Amnesty International is concerned for the health and safety of Evans Paul,
38, the elected Mayor of Port-au-Prince.
Evans Paul was arrested by approximately 20 soldiers on 7 October at
the Maïs Gâté airport, in Port-au-Prince, where he had gone to meet diplomats
from the Organization of American States (OAS). He had been scheduled to then
leave Haïti for Venezuela for talks with ousted President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide. He was severely beaten with fists, sticks, military helmets and gun
muzzles upon arrest and in military custody. He was released several hours
later and has since then been in hiding. According to reports received by Amnesty
International Evans Paul had, on that occasion, received a personal assurance
of safety from General Raoul Cédras, Army Chief of Staff, and had been
accompanied to the airport by guards provided by General Cédras.
As a result of the beatings, Evans Paul is reported to be suffering from
fractured ribs and a back injury that has impaired his walking. He also sustained
an eye injury which has damaged his vision, and a severe burn caused by a hot
gun muzzle. However, due to the risk for his safety, he has not been able to
have the necessary tests and obtain proper medical treatment in Haiti.
On 15 October a private individual went to Haiti in order to arrange
for Evans Paul to leave for the United States for medical treatment. However,
Evans Paul did not leave Haiti, as it was felt that the Haitian authorities
were not providing enough guarantees for his safety during the journey to the
airport. The newspaper "Le Nouvelliste" reported on its issue of 16-17 October
that "from a source close to the Prime Minister's Office [...] the Mayor of
Port-au-Prince, M. Evans Paul, is leaving the country today at noon in an
ambulance plane in order to be treated abroad. [...] the Mayor of Port-au-Prince
was greeted at the Maïs-Gâté airport before his departure by the Prime Minister
Jn-J. Honorat" (De source proche du cabinet du Premier Ministre Jean-Jacques
Honorat, on apprend que le maire de Port-au-Prince, M. Evans Paul, laisse le
pays ce midi à bord d'un avion-ambulance pour aller se faire soigner à
l'étranger. Signalons que le maire de Port-au-Prince a été salué à l'aéroport
Maïs Gâté par le Premier Ministre Jn-J. Honorat). It is not clear why this
report was published in the Haitian press, as Evans Paul remains in Haiti.
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety and medical situation
of Evans Paul, and is urging the Haitian authorities to assure his physical
safety so that he can leave the country in order to obtain medical care, in
conditions of full security to his person.
Evans Paul, a leader of the Konfederasyon Inite Democratik (KID),
Confederation of Democratic Unity, which supported President Aristide in the
December 1990 elections, has been a prominent opposition figure in previous
regimes. He was imprisoned and ill-treated in 1980 under the dictatorship of
Jean-Claude Duvalier and again arrested and severely ill-treated in November
1989 during the government of General Prosper Avril. The injuries he sustained
on the second occasion required treatment abroad.
Page 2 of UA 353/91
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 arrests
without warrant. Many of the victims included supporters of President
Aristide. (See UA 342/91, AI Index: AMR 36/14/91 of 16 October for further
background information.)
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/airmail letters and telephone
- urging that the appropriate security measures are taken so that Evans
Paul can leave the country for medical treatment in conditions of total security
for his physical integrity.
1) Son Excellence Monsieur le Président
President Joseph Nerette
Président Provisoire de la République d'Haïti
Palais National, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: President Narete, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telex: 20068 PALAIS or 20551 SPECEXEC
Faxes: + 509 23 2121
2) 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
Fax: + 509 34 1980
3) Monsieur le Général Monsieur le Général
Commandant-en-Chef des Forces Armées d'Haïti
Grand Quartier Général des Forces Armées d'Haïti
Rue Geffrard
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Commandant des Forces Armees, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Tel: + 509 22 3935
Telex: 20391 gqfadh
Fax: + 509 23 9007
Maître Duly BRUTUS
Président de la Chambre des Députés
Assemblée Nationale
Maître Eudrice RAYMOND
Président du Sénat
Assemblée Nationale
Haïti en Marche
173 N.W. 94 St.
Fl 33150, 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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