Haiti: Open letter prompts new Prime Minister to take up human rights challenge

The abject failure to sustainably rehouse tens of thousands of people who lost everything in the devastating 2010 earthquake must be a top priority for the new Prime Minister of Haiti, Evans Paul, said Amnesty International in an open letter sent to the politician today.

More than 79,000 people are still living in makeshift camps in deplorable conditions, meanwhile violent forced evictions continue. 

The open-letter also calls on the Prime Minister, who assumed office on 16 January, to address a worrying increase in the brutal repression of peaceful demonstrations, including injuries and even death meted out at the hands of the police. 

“Haiti is at a cross-roads and new Prime Minister Evans Paul has an opportunity to lead the country on towards a better realization of human rights. The task is not an easy one, we have seen a worrying increase in repression and violence from different security forces, however there are concrete moves the Prime Minister can make to set Haiti on the right track,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director Amnesty International.

“The Prime Minister, as a priority must implement full investigations into the cases of all forced evictions and ensure that no more evictions take place under his watch. He must also make sure that no-one is arbitrarily detained for their political activism, nor persecuted for lobbying for human rights change. The time has come for a fresh start.”

Spokespeople are available in English, Spanish or French in London.

Possible talking points:

– Amnesty International’s research into the failure to re-house earthquake victims

– Our hopes for the open letter and the future of Haiti

– The crack-down on freedom of assembly in Haiti

– The lack of independence in the judicial system

Copies of the letter can be found here:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR36/004/2015/en  (English)

http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/info/AMR36/004/2015/fr  (French)