Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Police Accused of Grande Ravine Massacre Released

Association Haitienne de Presse March 10, 2006 1:40 PM

Liberation of 7 of the higher executives and police officers accused of involvement in the Grand’ravine massacre: prisoners of opinion are rotting in prison

Port-au-Prince, March 10, 2006 (AHP)- A former higher executive of the National Police of Haiti, Carlo Lochard, was temporarily released Thursday by judicial authorities.

Carlo Lochard was released by Magistrate Jean P�rez Paul, while he waits for the definitive sentence. Carlo Lochard, Renan Etienne, two higher executives from the PNH and a dozen other agents of the police institution had been arrested following the investigation report from the general inspector mentioning their participation in the massacre perpetrated on August 20, 2005 in Grand-ravine (south of the capital), where over a dozen people were murdered.

The police and the army called ” Ti Manch�t ” (small machetes), had been accused at the time.

Heavy shootings were heard Thursday night in the district of Carrefour-Feuilles, where Captain Lochard lives, after his release was announced.

Five other police officers were released on the same day. In parallel, hundreds of people are still imprisoned in several prisons of the country, some of them have been there for two years without any charge against them. Most of them are citizens who were arrested for their political convictions or because they worked under Aristide�s government.

It is the case of artist and activist Annette Auguste, of former Minister of Interior Jocelerme Privert and of former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. The latter was incarcerated following accusations laid against him by two organizations known to be hostile to his government, RAMICOSM and the NCHR/Haiti which is now RNDDH. These two groups accused Neptune of involvement in a presumed massacre in a town of Saint-Marc known as La Scierie.

The NCHR and the RAMICOSM condemned the former prime minister or the plain fact that he was in Saint-Marc two days before the so-called massacre, on February 9, 2004, to follow-up on the attacks, plunders and fires perpetrated by armed gangs against the city�s police station in the context of the GNB anti-Aristide campaign.

According to the main leader of NCHR/Haiti, Pierre Esp�rance, the so-called massacre allegedly made 50 victims. However, when he was asked about the reason why those bodies were nowhere to be found, Mr. Esp�rance answered that they had all been eaten by dogs.

All requests of release made by lawyers for the prisoners without charges have been ignored. For many observers, this is in opposition with the quick decisions taken for former leader of paramilitary gang FRAPH Louis Jodel Chamblin and for the case of people accused of involvement in a real massacre in Grand-ravine.

AHP March 10, 2006 11:50 AM

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