Good News first:� Pat yourself on the back for writing President Clinton last month about political prisoner Ronald Dauphin. Last week the Haitian government finally served the April 2007 appeals court decision in his case, after 29 months of delay. Service of the appeals court decision allows Mr. Dauphin�s lawyer, Mario Joseph, to get in to court and fight for his release. This step also means the complete dismissal of all charges against former political prisoner and Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, after 5 � years of struggle.
More good news on the debt cancellation front: the U.S. Government has agreed to cancel Haiti�s bi-lateral debt with the U.S., $12.6 million. Thanks to everyone who has pitched in on that fight!
This month�s action: Vote online (by October 5) to honor Haiti solidarity activist Pierre Labossiere of the Bay Area Haiti Action Committee with Global Exchange�s 2009 Human Rights Hero Award. One of the great things about my job is the opportunity to work with so many committed activists in Haiti and the U.S.� Pierre stands out even in this inspiring group as one of my Human Rights Heroes. I know of no one in the U.S. who works harder for the rights of Haiti�s poor than Pierre. He tirelessly organizes support for Haiti in the U.S. social justice community, he raises money for vulnerable Haitian activists, and he inspires and guides scores of other activists (including us at IJDH) with his wisdom and his insistence on the long term struggle. In Haiti, the mention of Pierre�s name brings smiles to democracy activists who know how many lives he has saved, and trust he will always be there when they need him.
For more about Pierre, click here. The person who is always there for everyone else needs a little of our help right now. The Human Rights Hero award would provide Pierre with a platform for doing even more of his great work. It would also demonstrate the importance of Haiti solidarity work, and attract even more people to the Haiti cause.
Voting takes 2-3 minutes. 1) Click this link: http://peace.myhumanrightsheroes.org/; �2) sign in with your name and email address; 3) when you get the confirmation, go to the site, click and look and cast your vote for Pierre under the “Peace” category and 4) tell everyone in your network to vote.
VOTING ENDS MONDAY OCTOBER 5, SO VOTE TODAY!
Brian Concannon Jr.
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti