Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN Continues to Enjoy Impunity for Cholera in Haiti

This article mostly covers UN impunity in the case of cholera victims in Haiti. It also mentions other instances of UN impunity, such as UN troops shooting at unarmed protesters in December 2014. On January 9, 2015, a US judge dismissed cholera victims’ case against the UN, ruling that the UN has absolute immunity.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

On Eve of Haiti Earthquake Anniversary, US Court Dismisses UN Cholera Suit

Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press
January 9, 2015

UNITED NATIONS, January 9 — On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, US District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York has given the dubious gift of dismissing a lawsuit against the UN for bringing cholera to the country, which has killed over 8,700 Haitians.

Judge Oetken’s ruling, here, cites another UN impunity case, Brzak v. United Nations, concerning sexual harassment by the head of the UN’s refugee agency, concluding that “the United Nations, MINUSTAH, Ban Ki-moon, and Edmond Mulet are absolutely immune from suit in this Court.” So much for accountability. So much for the rule of law.

The plaintiffs’ counsel vow to appeal. Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti said, “We won’t stop fighting until the UN cholera stops killing Haitians.”

The UN didn’t even go to court to make the argument: the US did. On January 8, the US State Department’s Special Coordinator Tom Adams said, “as you know, there’s a legal case been brought against the United Nations.  We’re not a party to that case.  We have asserted the immunity of the United Nations in that suit.  We didn’t do this out of a lack of sympathy for the victims, but it’s just part of our treaty obligations.”


Click HERE for the full text.

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