Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti: One Step Forward, Help Make it Two

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Jun 6, 2006

Update: Thanks to your letters, we have a small step in the right direction to report this week. Our April 25 alert askedMe. Rapha�l JEAN BAPTISTE, the Commissaire du Gouvernement (Prosecutor) at the Appeals Court of Port-au-Prince to move quickly on the appeal of political prisoner Annette Auguste, �So Ann� and others held in the same case. Ms. Auguste and several others have been held in squalid prison conditions for over 2 years, even though no evidence of any criminal activity has been presented against them (see Analysis of Judicial Order in Case of December 5, 2003 Incidents).

Text Box: So Ann in Custody Haiti Information Project, 2004Our request was granted, although it took 6 weeks.� Tomorrow the Appeals Court will start hearing the appeal.

There is still no news on Prime Minister Neptune and the other defendants in the La Scierie case. Their appeal concluded two weeks ago. The Court�s failure to at least rule on their request for provisional release is troubling.

In political news, Prime Minister-designate Jacques-Edouard Alexis is scheduled to present his Ministers and his General Declaration of Policies to Parliament for ratification today (Tuesday). According to news reports, Ren� Magloire, a former Minister of Justice and member of Haiti�s Truth Commission in 1995, will be proposed as Prime Minister.

This Week�s Action: Write again to Commissaire du Gouvernement JEAN BAPTISTE. Thank him for ensuring that the appeal was scheduled and urge him to insist that justice finally be done for Annette Auguste and her fellow defendants. Sample letters are below, in English and French (thanks to Jean-Francois Corbett), feel free to customize it. Time is short, so please send them to us by fax: (206) 350-7986 (a U.S. number) or email: avokahaiti@aol.com, and we will ensure that they are delivered promptly.
Me. Rapha�l JEAN BAPTISTE, Avocat
Commissaire du Gouvernement
Pr�s la Cour d�Appel de Port-au-Prince

Dear Commissaire Jean-Baptiste,
I am writing to thank you for ensuring that Annette Auguste and other political prisoners being held in the case of the December 5, 2003 incidents have the chance to plead their case before the Court of Appeals of Port-au-Prince. I am also writing to urge you to ensure that this hearing is more than a mere formality, by doing two things.
First, I ask that you urge the Appeals Court to grant all of the defendants provisional release (main lev�e) pending dismissal or trial. Most of them have spent more than two years in prison, with very little evidence against them. This is a great injustice, and a violation of their procedural rights.
Second, I ask that you carefully review the file, and urge the Appeals Court to dismiss the cases against each defendant unless the file contains compelling evidence of criminal responsibility. As you know, your colleague Commissaire Fredd�Herck has already determined that there is no evidence of any criminal activity against one of the defendants, Annette Auguste. The ordonnance at issue in this appeal contains very little if any evidence against the remaining defendants.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request, and for your efforts to ensure that justice is done in this case.

Sincerely,

Me. Rapha�l JEAN BAPTISTE, Avocat
Commissaire du Gouvernement
Pr�s la Cour d�Appel de Port-au-Prince
Cher Commissaire Jean-Baptiste,
Je vous �cris pour vous remercier d�avoir fait en sorte qu�Annette Auguste et les autres personnes d�tenues suite aux incidents du 5 d�cembre 2003 puissent plaider leur d�fense � la Cour d�Appel de Port-au-Prince. Je voudrais aussi par la pr�sente vous demander de faire en sorte que ces s�ances constituent plus qu�une simple formalit�. Ma requ�te � votre endroit a donc deux volets�:
En premier lieu, de demander que la Cour d�Appel accorde la main lev�e � tous les d�tenus en attendant la tenue de leur proc�s ou l�annulation des accusations. La plupart d�entre eux ont d�j� pass� plus de deux ans en prison, alors qu�il n�y a que tr�s peu ou pas de preuves contre eux. Ceci constitue une grande injustice ainsi qu�une violation de leurs droits proc�duraux.
En second lieu, de r��tudier le dossier, et de demander � la Cour d�Appel d�annuler les accusations contre les d�tenus, � moins que le dossier ne contienne des preuves cr�dibles de leur responsabilit� criminelle. Comme vous le savez, votre coll�gue le Commissaire Fredd�Herck a d�j� d�termin� qu�il n�y a point de preuve impliquant Annette Auguste, une des personnes d�tenues, dans quelque activit� criminelle que ce soit. L�ordonnance en consid�ration dans le pr�sent appel contient de m�me peu ou pas de preuves contre les autres d�tenus.
Je vous remercie � l�avance d�avoir consid�r� cette requ�te, et pour vos efforts afin que justice soit faite dans ce dossier.
Veuillez agr�er, Monsieur le Commissaire, l�expression de mes sentiments les plus distingu�s.

For more information about the Half-Hour for Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, or human rights in Haiti, see www.ijdh.org. To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts once per week, send an email to HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.

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Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
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Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
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