Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The U.N. Investigating Prisoner Shootings During Haiti Earthquake

Justin T. Stewart,  Hip Hop Wired
May 24, 2010

While there was enough chaos being caused as a result of Mother Nature on the country of Haiti with last year’s earthquake, there was even more suffering going on for the inmates confined to prisons.

Being confirmed by a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission Saturday, there will be a full-out investigation on the shooting of dozens of prisoners during a jail riot that occurred around the time of the earthquake.

“As far as we’re concerned there was a major human rights violation in that prison,” U.N. spokesman David Wimhurst told The Associated Press after the newspaper’s story was released.

According to reports, The New York Times had initially posted a story speaking on the riot and allegations that police were behind murders in the town of Les Cayes, along with the claim that Haitian officials were doing their best to keep the even under wraps.

Reportedly taking place on Jan. 19, a week after the quake that had already taken the lives of close to 300,000 people, 12 to 19 prisoners were murdered and 40 were wounded by gunshots.

In regards to what sparked the riot, prisoners tried to escape after becoming shaky by the aftershocks.   In response, Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers surrounded the facility to prevent the escape with the authorities rushing the building and opening fire, at some point.

An internal inquiry was opened by the U.N. close to May 12, with Wimhurst reasoning the delay to the earthquake and the toll that was taken on the organization, including a collapsed headquarters.

There have been no statements released by police or prison officials since the announcement.

http://hiphopwired.com/2010/05/24/the-u-n-investigating-prisoner-shootings-during-haiti-earthquake/

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