Reverting to despotism: human rights in Haiti

This is the tenth report on human rights in Haiti issued by Americas Watch and the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees (NCHR) since 1983. Joining them for the first time in the issuance of this report is the ICJ. This report is based on six fact-finding missions to Haiti.

Four years after a popular uprising brought down the 29-year dictatorship of the Duvalier dynasty, Haiti is once more prisoner of a brutal despot willing to use violence and terror to preserve his rule.

This report contains:

I. Introduction
II. The State of siege

  1. The Taiwan Trip and its Aftermath
  2. The Legal Components
  3. Targets (The Ecumenical Center for Human Rights, the Home of Serge Gilles, other victims and provincial attacks
  4. Government Statements
  5. Reactions

III. Political violence and intimidation of  opposition groups before the state of siege

  1. The Violence of November (Jean-Auguste Mesyeux, Evans Paul and Marineau Etienne, the Search for Patrick Beauchard, attacks on the Papaye Peasant Movement and other Victims of the Crackdown)
  2. Earlier Attacks on Popular Organizations (the Labadie Youth Movement, Tet Kole, Komilfo, the National Popular Assembly and other Repression of Political and Popular Organizations)
  3. Attacks on Individual Critics

IV. Other killings, “insecurity”, and other military abuses under Prosper Avril

  1. Army Killings (Port-au-Prince, provincial cities and rural areas)
  2. Other Abuses of Military Authority (Port-au-Prince, Provincial Cities and Rural Areas)
  3. Military Involvement in Common Crime
  4. Killings by Unidentified Armed Gangs
  5. Other Violence by Armed Gangs

V. Attacks on the press

  1. The January 1990 Crackdown
  2. The Prelude to the Crackdown (the Murder of Jean Wilfrid Destin and other Threats and Harassment)
  3. The April 1989 Coup Attempt
  4. Other Attacks on Radio Stations and Journalists

VI. Prisons

  1. The National Penitentiary (Special Problems of Women at the National Penitentiary, Minors in the National Penitentiary and Slight Improvements)
  2. Prisoners at the Investigations and Anti-Gang Service
  3. Detention of Returned Boat People
  4. The Jail at Gonaives
  5. The Jail at Port-de-Paix
  6. The Jail at St. Marc

VII. Government inaction on human rights concerns

  1. The Murder of Yves Volel
  2. Office for the Protection of the Citizen
  3. Other Decrees
  4. Action Against Soldiers Charged with “Insecurity”

VIII. U.S. human rights policy in Haiti

IX. The role of international and regional organizations

  1. The U.N. Commission on Human Rights
  2. The Caribbean Community

Haiti-reverting to despotism-fact-finding report-1990-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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