Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Press Release: International Tribunal on Haiti

For Immediate Release
  • Third Session of International Tribunal to be held on March 11 at Florida International University in Miami, Florida
  • US, French, Canadian, Haitian and UN officials and officers indicted
  • Report of Commission of Inquiry, headed by Ramsey Clark, to be presented
  • Verdicts to be forwarded to the International Criminal Court

The third session of the International Tribunal on Haiti will be held on March 11, 2006 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Florida International University in Miami.

Witnesses at the Tribunal will include recently released political prisoner Father Gérard Jean-Juste, who will testify about his ordeal in Haiti’s jails; Duclos Benissoit, former head of the taxi drivers union; Agnes Mentor, a former Presidential security officer who witnessed hooded Haitian policemen massacre over a dozen people on Oct. 26, 2004; and Dr. Evan Lyon, a colleague of Dr. Paul Farmer in Partners in Health.

Members of a blue-ribbon Commission of Inquiry will also testify. Led by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the Commission traveled to Haiti last October and gathered evidence of and testimony about new massacres and other crimes against humanity. Commission members Tom Griffin, John Parker and Dave Welsh will present videotaped testimony from victims and witnesses of massacres in Haiti.

The Tribunal’s third session will take place at the Margaret E. Anliker Auditorium (GC140) at the Graham Center at FIU’s University Park Campus. Free bus transportation to the Tribunal will leave from Veye Yo, 28 NE 54th Street in Miami at 4:30 p.m. on March 11.

The Tribunal’s two previous sessions were held on September 23, 2005 in Washington D.C., and on November 19, 2005 in Boston. During those sessions, prosecutors presented a detailed background of the February 29, 2004 coup against exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and preliminary indictments. The actions of the U.S. and Canadian governments to destabilize the Aristide government prior to February 29, 2004 were examined. Witnesses provided eye-witness testimony about the on-going massacres of innocent civilians in Haiti being carried out by masked policemen with the acquiescence, and increasingly participation, of the U.N. occupation force. Five of the 23 people indicted were convicted by 15-member juries. Tribunal prosecutors will be announcing new indictments at the third session.

The Tribunal will forward evidence supporting the convictions for those found guilty of ordering, executing or tolerating massacres and crimes against humanity to the new International Criminal Court in The Hague.

This session of the Tribunal is being organized by a coalition of Haiti solidarity organizations, supported by the Miami community groups Veye Yo and Haiti Solidarity, as well as the Latin America Solidarity Coalition, the New England Human Rights Organization for Haiti, the International Action Center and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. It is being hosted by the Bolivarian Youth at FIU.

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