In an increasingly tense political climate, MINUSTAH troops and Haitian National Police must be sure to respect Haitians’ rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. In several demonstrations over the past few years, protestors have been killed or injured by police forces. MINUSTAH has announced an investigation into excessive use of force during a December 13 demonstration where peacekeepers shot at the crowd and one man was found dead.
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Haiti: allegations of excessive use of force during demonstrations must be thoroughly investigated
December 15, 2014
The Haitian National Police and the UN peacekeeping force must avoid unnecessary and excessive use of force when patrolling and dispersing demonstrations and thoroughly investigate all allegations of human rights violations during protests, Amnesty International said today after incidents were reported in the demonstrations which took place in Haiti on 12 and 13 December.
According to media reports, two people were injured by firearms during a demonstration in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince on 12 December while another person was allegedly shot and killed the following day in another protest. Although the circumstances of the incidents are yet to be clarified, reports indicate that in both cases the police might have used live ammunitions against the demonstrators.
Haitian media also released a video showing a UN peacekeeper shooting several times at demonstrators after some of them had thrown rocks at the UN troops. The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) promptly issued a statement acknowledging the allegations of excessive use of force and informing that an investigation had been immediately opened “to establish the facts”.
“The political climate in Haiti is getting tenser and tenser. It is imperative that the Haitian National Police and the MINUSTAH are able to cope with the situation in a way that ensure protection of human rights. People must be allowed to exercise their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, without fear of being shot at”, said Chiara Liguori, Caribbean researcher at Amnesty International.
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Le texte francais IÇI.