The American Friends Service Committee programs* working in Haiti or on issues related to Haiti and Haitian migrants and refugees are deeply concerned about the increasing violence, including rapes, killings, kidnappings, robberies, arbitrary detentions, and abuses of human rights and the rule of law that are occurring daily in Haiti. The recurrent cycles of violence in Haiti need the urgent attention of all parties to the conflict within the country, and persistent and non-partisan help from the international community. Ways must be found both to bring political differences into peaceful, lawful channels, as well as to improve general security and rule of law.
Tragic incidents such as the recent kidnapping, torture, and murder of journalist and poet Jacques Roche, the large numbers of rapes and abuses of women, and the many killings of Haitians must stop. We urge all parties to seek non-violent solutions and to engage in dialogue to bring about reconciliation and a positive future for Haiti.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, clearly states that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest [or] detention” and that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” Reports from international human rights organizations suggest that many people, including Father Gerard Jean-Juste may have been arrested and detained arbitrarily and remain in detention without formal charges. We urge the Haitian authorities to respect and apply the rule of law in all such cases. If indeed there is no legal basis for his continued detention, we respectfully request that Father Jean-Juste be released.
Founded in 1917, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization comprised of people of various faiths who are committed to issues of peace and social justice around the world. AFSC’s programs include projects engaged in the defense of human rights and peaceful and just resolutions of conflict in the United States and around the world. Additionally, AFSC has a longstanding, integrated community development program in Haiti, and a long history of services and advocacy on behalf of Haitian migrants and refugees.
Latin American and Caribbean Regional Program – International Programs; Human Migration & Mobility Program; American Friends Immigrant Services Program (AFIS- South Florida)
Jeanette Smith Program DirectorAmerican Friends Immigrant Services
American Friends Service Committee
10700 Caribbean Blvd
Miami, Florida 33189 305-252-6441