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UA 388/91 - Haiti: legal concern / fear of ill-treatment: Patrick Frantz Beauchard, Saurel Gomez

, N° d'index: AMR 36/024/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 36/24/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 388/91 Legal Concern/fear of ill-treatment 12 November 1991
HAITI: Patrick Frantz BEAUCHARD
Saurel GOMEZ
Amnesty International is concerned at the arrest, allegedly without a warrant, of
Patrick Frantz Beauchard and his brother-in-law Saurel Gomez.
According to the information received by Amnesty International, Patrick Beauchard
and Saurel Gomez were arrested at about 11 am on Saturday 2 November 1991 in Hinche,
in Haiti's Central Department, and are being detained at the military barracks there.
Patrick Beauchard, a former sergeant in the Presidential Guard Forces Armées
d'Haïti(FAd'H), Haitian Armed Forces, had supported the coup d'état led by General
Prosper Avril in September 1988. After the coup, however, he and a group of soldiers
continued to make demands for radical changes both in the armed forces and in government
administration, and were arrested a month later on the grounds that they were preparing
a further coup. They were released without charges in December 1988 but were dismissed
from the army. Patrick Beauchard and some of the soldiers arrested subsequently formed
the Organisation Populaire 17 Septembre (OP-17), of which he became a leader. In
December 1989 Patrick Beauchard was arrested a second time and was accused of plotting
against the security of the State. Another OP-17 leader, Marino Etienne, together
with political opponent Evans Paul and trade unionist Jean-Auguste Meyzieux, had
been arrested one month earlier on the same charges. Upon arrest, the four men were
severely ill-treated and required treatment abroad. The four were released as a result
of an amnesty in February 1990.
No reasons for the arrest of Patrick Beauchard and Saurel Gomez have reportedly been
given by the military, and sources in Haiti have expressed their concern that they
may have been detained solely on account of the OP-17's support of President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
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. Many of the victims included
supporters of President Aristide and members and leaders of grassroots organizations.
The arrests of Patrick Frantz Beauchard and Saurel Gomez take place amid a wave of
arrests and other human rights violations against those perceived by the military
to be supporters of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Poor districts in
Port-au-Prince and grassroots organizations in the countryside have particularly
been targeted. On 16 October Aldajuste Pierre, a member of the Mouvement Paysan de
Papaye, (MPP) Papaye Peasant Movement, was arrested and severely ill-treated by
soldiers in Hinche, following the destruction of the MPP office, also in Hinche,
on 1 October (see UA 380/91, AMR 36/23/91, 8 November 1991).
Page 2 of UA 388/91
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/telephone calls/airmail letters:
- asking for the reasons for the arrests, and for clarification of the legal
situations, of Patrick Frantz Beauchard and Saurel Gomez;
- asking that they be charged with a recognizable criminal offence or otherwise
be released;
- seeking guarantees that their physical integrity will be respected while they are
in military custody.
APPEALS TO
1) Prime Minister:
Maître Jean-Jacques HONORAT Monsieur le Premier Ministre
Premier Ministre, Dear Prime Minister
Ministre des Affaires Etrangères
Présidence de la République de Haïti
Palais National
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Premier Ministre Honorat, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Faxes: + 509 22 1147
2) Minister of Interior and Defence:
M. le Colonel Gracia JEAN Monsieur le Ministre
Ministre de l'Intérieur Dear Minister
et de la Défense Nationale
Palais des Ministères
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Ministre de l'Interieur Jean, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephone: + 509 22 9198 or 22 1090
Telexes: 20515 Dptindn
3) Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces:
Monsieur le Général Raoul CEDRAS Monsieur le Général
Commandant-en-Chef des Forces Dear General
Armées d'Haïti
Grand Quartier Général des Forces Armées d'Haïti
Rue Geffrard
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Comandant-en-Chef des Forces Armees Cedras, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephone: + 509 22 3935
Telexes: 20391 GQFADH
Faxes: + 509 23 9007 or + 509 23 9407
4) Minister of Justice:
Monsieur Antoine LECONTE Monsieur le Ministre
Ministre de la Justice Dear Minister
Cité de l'Exposition
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Telegrams: Ministre de la Justice Leconte, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephone: + 509 45 0474 or 45-1626
Telexes: 20166 Justice
COPIES TO:
Chamber of Deputies:
Monsieur le Président
Chambre des Députés
Assemblée National
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
President of the Senate:
Maître Eudrice RAYMOND
Président du Sénat
Assemblée Nationale
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Haiti en Marche
(newspaper)
173 N.W. 94 St.
Miami
FL 33150, USA
and to diplomatic representatives of Haiti in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat or your
section if sending appeals after 24 December 1991.

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