Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Will impunity for violent Haitian mayor continue?

Last month, three plaintiffs sued former Haitian mayor Jean Morose Viliena for human rights violations in Haiti, including an attack on a radio station that caused one of them, Nissage Martyr, to have a leg amputated. Viliena was appointed mayor of Les Irois by ex-president Michel Martelly despite an open case against him in Haitian courts. Now that a case has been opened against Viliena in U.S. courts, and an investigation is underway for the mysterious death of Martyr after the suit was filed, many are looking to see whether the new Haitian president will continue this pattern of impunity. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti’s Violent Politics Are Taken to Court. In Boston Frances Robles, The New York Times April 1, 2017 A mysterious death, a decade-old murder and a human rights lawsuit in federal […]

Plaignant Nissage MARTYR est mort après qu’il a déposé plainte aux États-Unis contre Jean Morose VILIENA, ancien maire des Irois, pour Assassinat, Torture et Incendie

BUREAU DES AVOCATS INTERNATIONAUX 3, 2ème rue Lavaud B.P. 19048 Port-au-Prince, Haïti Tel : +5092943-2106/ 07 Email: avokahaiti@aol.com POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE Contact : Mario JOSEPH, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, mario@ijdh.org +509-3701-9879 (français, kreyòl) Nicole PHILLIPS, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, nicole@ijdh.org +509-4645-2888, (anglais, français, kreyòl) Plaignant Nissage MARTYR est mort après qu’il a déposé plainte aux États-Unis contre Jean Morose VILIENA, ancien maire des Irois, pour Assassinat, Torture et Incendie Port-au-Prince, le 31 mars 2017 – Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) regret d’annoncer que notre client Nissage MARTYR est décédé subitement dans la soirée du vendredi 24 mars 2017. Sa mort intervient un jour après que lui et deux autres clients ont annoncé le dépôt d’une plainte au tribunal fédéral à Boston contre Jean Morose VILIENA, l’ex maire des Irois en Grande-Anse, qui habite à présent aux […]

Will victims of former Haitian mayor find justice?

The former mayor of Les Irois in Haiti led murderous mobs against political dissidents.  Seven years after he fled to Malden to avoid charges against him there, three plaintiffs were able to sue the ex-mayor, Viliena, under the Torture Victim Protection Act. The day after the suit was made public, one of the plaintiffs died suddenly, so his death is now under investigation as well. IJDH’s Nicole Phillips and Center for Justice and Accountability’s Scott Gilmore comment on this case that they are leading against Viliena. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Accused in Haiti, Malden man is latest to face lawsuit here Nestor Ramos, The Boston Globe March 31, 2017 As the mayor of a remote Haitian coastal town, Jean-Morose Viliena was above the law, according to those who say they suffered his wrath. He incited mobs […]

The Center for Justice and Accountability Releases Statement on Death of Client Nissage Martyr

On Friday, March 24, 2017, Nissan Martyr died suddenly in Les Irois, Haiti. Martyr was one of three plaintiffs in a lawsuit against their former Mayor, who is alleged to have perpetrated a range of human rights abuses during his term in office. The Center for Justice and Accountability represents the plaintiffs and filed the lawsuit in a Massachusetts federal court. Martyr’s cause of death is unknown, and CJA urges the Haitian government to launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances of his death. CJA’s statement expresses condolences to Martyr’s friends and family and provides background information on the case. The statement is shown below in its entirety. Click HERE for the original statement. BREAKING: STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF CJA CLIENT NISSAGE MARTYR The Center for Justice and Accountability March 27, 2017 On the evening of Friday, March 24, 2017, our client Nissage Martyr died […]

MA Resident Sued After Escaping Haiti’s Justice System for Years

Three plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit against the former Mayor of Les Irois, Haiti in an attempt to bring justice against the man accused of murdering political opponents, burning 36 houses and using terror and violence during his term in office. Jean-Morose Viliena was elected Mayor in 2006, but fled to Massachusetts three years later after criminal investigators began looking into his behaviors. Since then, he has failed to show up to criminal trials and manipulated the already-weak justice system in Haiti, escaping prosecution for his crimes. This lawsuit was a step in the right direction to bring justice against him. However, on Friday, one of the three plaintiffs died in a sudden and unexpected manner, raising questions about the plaintiffs’ safety and Viliena’s lasting influence in Haiti. The Center for Justice and Accountability and IJDH are leading the efforts against Viliena, and they urge Haitian officials […]

Former Haitian Mayor Hiding in Massachusetts Sued for Human Rights Violations

Jean Morose Viliena fled Haiti when he was indicted on murder, battery and property destruction charges by Haitian courts in 2009. Since then, he has apparently been working as a licensed school bus driver and an Uber driver in Massachusetts, despite his history of silencing political dissidents in the town he oversaw. Instead of being prosecuted for his crimes, the Martelly government appointed Viliena mayor of Les Irois in 2012. Now that there is a case against Viliena in the U.S., this will be a test for Haiti’s new government to see whether it will allow human rights abusers to continue getting away with their crimes. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Boston bus driver and former mayor in Haiti sued for human rights abuses in U.S. court Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 23, 2017 A […]

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