In December, footage was released of UN peacekeepers shooting at unarmed civilians who were protesting the Martelly government. Although the UN claimed the two peacekeepers were under investigation, it seems no progress has been made. Now, accused kidnappers affiliated with President Martelly have been acquitted by an accelerated procedure and the UN remains silent. The article below questions the UN’s lack of participation in these cases.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.
On Haiti, UN Does If-Asked on Release of Martelly Cronies, Withholds Report
Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press
April 22, 2015
UNITED NATIONS, April 22 — When cronies of Michel Martelly in Haiti were quickly released on serious charges, the UN in Haiti said nothing. So on April 21 at the UN noon briefing (transcript here) Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it:
Inner City Press: Since the UN has a mission in Haiti… there was a report that close affiliates of current president, holdover President [Michel] Martelly were charged with various crimes. And then recently, on Friday, two of those accused were very swiftly released and cleared. One’s name is Woodly Ethéart. The other is Renel Nelfort. Many have raised questions about the rule of law aspect of releasing friends of the President after very serious charges, including kidnapping, money-laundering, etc. So I’m wondering, MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti), does it have any response to this?
Spokesman Dujarric: Sure. They’ve taken note of the accelerated procedure by which the two defendants that you mentioned were acquitted of very serious charges, including kidnapping for ransom, drug trafficking, money-laundering and organized crime, just to name a few. We further note yesterday’s filing for an appeal with Haiti’s Supreme Court by the Minister of Justice and Public Security against the fact that the lower court took the decision of releasing the two defendants. The decision’s been appealed. And the UN stands by the Haitian judicial authorities to swiftly and effectively use the powers and functions conferred upon them under Haitian law to exercise judicial oversight in this matter and ensure the delivery of justice.
Click HERE for the full text.