The saddest news is the passing of one of our heroes, Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, on May 29. We have a special section on our website, with photos, tributes and articles about Fr. Gerry, who inspired us and so many others to fight for justice for Haitians in Haiti and the U.S. The most outrageous news is the shooting by MINUSTAH troops at Fr. Gerry�s June 17 funeral in Haiti, which killed a bystander.
There has still been no progress on TPS, despite more people joining the call for it, including more Senators, Representatives, and newspaper editorial boards. There�s a de facto halt on non-criminal deportations, but no official change of status for the 30,000 Haitians in the U.S. with final deportation orders.
This Week�s Alert: yesterday former President Bill Clinton returned from North Korea with journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, who had spent five months imprisoned in a guest house on� charges that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton had called �baseless.� Let�s encourage President Clinton, now the UN Special Envoy for Haiti, to make the same effort to help free Haitian political prisoner Ronald Dauphin, who has been held illegally for nine times longer, without a trial.
Mr. Dauphin, a Lavalas grassroots activist, was arrested by paramilitary thugs two days after Haiti�s February 2004 coup d��tat. He has spent over four years in jail without a trial. His case has not even had a judge assigned to it, or had a single hearing, since April 2007. Mr. Dauphin is sick and even the prison doctor says he needs outside treatment, but that has been refused. On June 10, Rep. Maxine Waters wrote two excellent letters, one to Haiti�s Prime Minister, Michele Pierre-Louis, the other to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, joining 51 organizations and two City Councils that wrote to President Pr�val in December, and hundreds who signed the on-line petition last year calling for justice for Ronald Dauphin. For details on Mr. Dauphin�s legal status, click here.
Please write to President Clinton, asking him to make the same effort for Ronald Dauphin as he did for Euna Lee and Laura Ling. A model letter is below, feel free to adapt it to your personal knowledge and interests. Send the letter to us, and we�ll put it in our package for President Clinton. The most effective letters will be personalized, and signed (you can mail hard copies or email scans), second-best is an email. Our postal address is PO Box 745, Joseph, Oregon, 97846, email is HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.
The Honorable William J. Clinton
55 West 125th Street
New York, N.Y. 10027
Re: Haitian Political Prisoner Ronald Dauphin
Dear President Clinton:
I am writing to congratulate you on your successful efforts to obtain freedom for journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, and to request that you make similar efforts for Haitian political prisoner Ronald Dauphin, who has been imprisoned nine times longer in worse conditions without a trial, and is suffering from illness that cannot be treated in the prisons.
Mr. Dauphin, a grassroots activist with the Fanmi Lavalas party and a former security official, was arrested by paramilitary thugs on March 1, 2004, the day after Haiti�s February 2004 coup d��tat. Mr. Dauphin was formally charged in 2005, but on April 13, 2007, the Appeals Court ordered the Trial Court to correct the �grave procedural errors,� �violations of the right to defense,� and �deplorable thoughtlessness� of the charging document. Since then the case has been stuck in legal limbo and has not advanced a single step- it does not even have a Trial Court judge assigned to it.
Mr. Dauphin�s health is failing. A human rights delegation from California saw Mr. Dauphin during a visit to the National Penitentiary on April 16. The delegation included a nurse and an emergency medical technician, who examined Mr. Dauphin and concluded that he suffered from multiple serious and perhaps life-threatening health problems. Mr. Dauphin even lost consciousness during the examination. The Penitentiary doctor has concluded that Mr. Dauphin requires treatment outside the hospital, but that has not been provided.
As UN Special Envoy to Haiti, you have a unique opportunity to bring Mr. Dauphin�s injustice to the attention of Haitian authorities and UN personnel working on justice and prison issues. Please do not let Mr. Dauphin�s illegal indefinite detention turn into a death sentence. Urge your contacts in the Haitian government and the UN to ensure that Ronald Dauphin is immediately transported to a hospital for full treatment of his illness, and that the case against him be either brought to a speedy trial or dismissed.
For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) or human rights in Haiti, see our website, www.HaitiJustice.org. To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Al erts (about 2 per month), send an email to HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.