EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 36/17/93
UA 151/93 Fear of "disappearance" 13 May 1993
HAITI: Joseph Winy BRUTUS, Treasurer of the Parti National
Démocratique et Progressite d'Haiti, PNDPH, Haitian National
Democratic and Progressive Party
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Joseph Winy Brutus, the Treasurer
of the Parti National Démocratique et Progressite d'Haiti, PNDPH, who is reported
to have "disappeared" on 5 May 1993.
Joseph Winy Brutus, aged about 35 or 36, was on his way to visit a friend on the
afternoon of 5 May but never arrived for his appointment. He was last seen in the
Delmas 33 area of Port-au-Prince. According to reports, he had recently been
receiving threats apparently because of his political party activism and the fact
that he had made denouncements abroad of the human rights situation in Haiti. He
was told that people had his photograph and were looking for him. The PNDPH forms
part of the Front National pour le Changement et la Démocratie, FNCD, National Front
for Change and Democracy, a political coalition which supported the deposed President
Aristide and is now pressing for his return.
Other members of the FNCD have "disappeared" or been the victims of apparent
extrajudicial execution, for example, Camille César and Camille Bazile who were killed
in October 1991 (see UA 336/91, AMR 36/20/91 of October 1991) and Morange Déjean,
the driver of a FNCD senator, who has been "disappeared" since July 1992 (see UA
220/92, AMR 36/35/92 of July 1992).
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
large numbers 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.
Recent weeks have seen a marked upsurge in human rights violations in Haiti,
particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Sources in Haiti suggest that the rise
in violations, many of them directed at supporters of ousted President Aristide,
may reflect the military's unease at the negotiations led by United
Nations/Organization of American States (OAS) mediator Dante Caputo, to end the
country's continuing political crisis. The negotiations, in which the United States
is heavily involved, hinge on such issues as the return to office of President Aristide,
the selection of a Prime Minister broadly acceptable to all, and whether an amnesty