Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Human rights activists under fire in Haiti

HIP – Port au Prince, Haiti – Amnesty International released it’s third human rights alert this month on behalf of community-based human rights advocates in Haiti. It comes five months after the abduction of psychologist and human rights leader Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine last August 12.

Wilson Mesilien, the interim coordinator of Mr. Pierre-Antoine’s group the September 30th Foundation, was recently forced into hiding. Mr. Mesilien and his family left their home for an undisclosed location on December 19 after receiving numerous threats according to Amnesty International.

Amnesty’s most recent alert focused on threats of violence made against Franztco Joseph and his family close to the neighborhood of Martissant in Haiti’s capital. Franztco is the president of the Grand Ravine Community Council for Human Rights. Yveson Piton, a supporter of the group and a local school teacher, was also cited as a target of intensifying threats. Bruner Estern, the former coordinator of the Grand Ravin based human rights group, was brutally slain on September 21, 2006. His killers have not been brought to justice which has caused a greater sense of uncertainty and fear in the community according to human rights leaders.

Confidence in Haiti’s climate of security was also shaken three months ago when Guyler C. Delva, a prominent Haitian journalist, was forced to flee to Miami. Although Delva has since returned to Haiti amidst beefed-up security, those responsible for threats against him still remain at large.

The Haiti Information Project (HIP) is a non-profit alternative news service providing coverage and analysis of breaking developments in Haiti. Winner of the CENSORED 2008 REAL NEWS AWARD for Outstanding Investigative Journalism

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