Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti Investigates Prison Shootings (New York Times)

New York Times

An independent commission of inquiry into the Jan. 19 killings of a dozen or more inmates at a prison in Les Cayes, Haiti, was formally established by presidential decree this week, officials said Tuesday.

The commission was proposed in May after The New York Times published an investigation into the shooting deaths of detainees in connection with an escape attempt at the prison.

The Times’s investigation indicated that the Haitian police fatally shot unarmed inmates after storming the prison at the end of an uprising.

The panel’s six commissioners include three foreign experts, led by Gen. Salvatore Carrara of Italy, and three Haitians, among them the country’s ombudsman, Florence Elie. Ms. Elie is well known for overseeing the pretrial work in an important human rights case involving a peasant massacre in Raboteau in 1994.

The commissioners and three technical experts were deployed by Justice Rapid Response, a group of criminal justice and related professionals, at the request of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

Justice Rapid Response most recently assisted a commission of inquiry into a massacre in Guinea last fall.

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