Today is a very sad anniversary: two years ago, on August 12, 2007, human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine was kidnapped in Haiti. There has been no sign of Lovinsky since a few days after his disappearance, and there has never been an effective investigation into his disappearance. Although two suspects were arrested last year for possession of his cell phone, the arrests have not led to any further arrests or information about Lovinsky. Lovinsky was a close friend and collaborator with BAI and IJDH, and also an inspiration: week after week he organized demonstrations and brought people together to fight for the rights of Haiti�s poor majority, with his potent combination of in-depth analysis, persistence and non-violence.
Thanks to everyone who sent us letters asking UN Special Haiti Envoy Bill Clinton to speak up on behalf of Ronald Dauphin. The response was very light, perhaps because it is summer. But we need many more letters if we are going to show President Clinton that people care about Mr. Dauphin and other political prisoners in Haiti. So please take a moment to write a letter or email. We�ll collect letters through the end of this week, and mail them out on Monday. Click here for more information and a sample letter.
On Sunday, Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health and IJDH Board Member, was named UN Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti (Bill Clinton�s #2). We do not know the details of Paul�s role, but I am confident that he will read the copy of your letters to President Clinton that we will send him.
This week we are insisting on justice for Lovinsky (if Lovinsky were here, he would say to write for Ronald Dauphin first). There are demonstrations for Lovinsky planned today, Wednesday, at the Brazilian consulates in Los Angeles, by Global Women�s Strike) and in San Francisco, by the Haiti Action Committee), please attend those if you can (and sorry for the late notice). If you cannot attend the protests, please follow Haiti solidarity activist Seth Donnelly�s alert to call the U.S. State Department Haiti Desk:
This upcoming August 12th marks the 2nd year anniversary of the disappearance of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, one of Haiti’s bravest and most outspoken human rights leaders. He was kidnapped by unknown assailants two years ago after meeting with a US human rights delegation. The current Haitian government, led by President Preval, and the UN occupation forces in Haiti have not carried out a professional investigation to locate him. There is still some hope that Lovinsky may be alive. After all, there were people who “disappeared” in Latin America for considerable periods of time and were later recovered alive, due to solidarity efforts.
Please take 5 minutes of your time and contact Stephanie Robinson, a US State Department official on the “Haiti Desk”. She can be reached at ph: 202-647-4755 or at email@example.com. The message to her is simple:
“We are deeply concerned about the political disappearance of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine in Port-au-Prince on August 12th, 2007. We urge the Obama Administration and the State Department to support a professional and thorough investigation by all relevant authorities in Haiti, including the UN occupation forces (MINUSTAH). While it is true that Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is a Haitian citizen, he was “disappeared” for speaking out against the coup that removed President Aristide on February 29th, 2004– a coup that was made possible by the misguided foreign policy of the Bush Administration. Therefore, it is important for the current Obama Administration to stand up for human rights in Haiti, just as it professes to do in Iran and elsewhere.”
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 Alerts (1-
2 per month), send an email to HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.