February 6, 2007
Update: Some sad news- political prisoner Wantales Lormejuste died Saturday on the way from the prison to the hospital in St. Marc. Mr. Lormejuste’s family reported that he had not appeared ill. One cause of his death was injustice: Mr. Lormejuste had spent 593 days in prison on the La Scierie case, even through the appeals prosecutor concluded last June that there was not enough evidence to go to trial. The appeals court has refused to decide his case, sixteen months after he filed his appeal, or even to rule on his request for pre-trial release. Two other defendants in the La Scierie case, Ronald Dauphin and former Parliamentarian Amanus Mayette, are ill.
The British Medical Journal The Lancet has finally confirmed the findings of the study it published August 31, 2006, Human Rights and Other Criminal Violations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: A Random Survey of Households. The survey documented what grassroots groups and independent human rights organizations had been saying for over two years: that Haiti’s Interim Government and its paramilitary allies had been waging a war on Haiti’s pro-democracy movement. The survey was immediately attacked- not for its findings, but for the prior volunteer and journalistic activities of one of the authors (see Lancet Study Controversy). The Lancet and by Wayne State University investigated, and both concluded that they have”confidence in Kolbe and Hutson’s findings as published” (see “Last Word on The Lancet Controversy”). The journal did find that one of the authors, Athena Kolbe, should have disclosed that she had previously written on Haiti under the name Lyn Duff. The Lancet noted that the attack on the study’s author succeeded in that it “obscured the message of Kolbe and Hutson’s research and detracted from the real issue-the welfare of civilians in Haiti-to whom attention should now turn.”
This Week’s Action: The International Day in Solidarity with the People of Haiti now has over 53 events in 18 countries on five continents. This is the biggest Haiti solidarity activity I have seen in the dozen years I have worked on justice in Haiti. Join one of the events- they are a great opportunity to stand up to tell the Haitian people you care, and to show those who threaten the Haitian peoples human rights that you are watching. Most events are on Wednesday February 7, but some are later in the week, so check the full schedule at check the full schedule here, or contact Dave Welsh at 510-847-8657, or firstname.lastname@example.org.