Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Amnesty International Demands Protection for Plaintiffs in U.S. Federal Lawsuit

The recent lawsuit against former Haitian mayor Jean Morose Viliena originally included three plaintiffs, who sought justice in the U.S. court system for human rights abuses perpetrated during Viliena’s term in office. However, just one day after filing the lawsuit, plaintiff Nissan Martyr became suddenly ill and died. While authorities have authorized an autopsy, there has been no investigation into the cause of death. His family and lawyers continue to demand a full investigation. The remaining plaintiffs’ lives are at risk. They report death threats and fear they will be killed before getting the opportunity to testify against Viliena. Haitian authorities must immediately provide protection for the plaintiffs and their families and initiate an investigation into Martyr’s death. Part of the report is shown below. Click HERE for the original Urgent Action report. URGENT ACTION – Haiti: Human Rights Defenders’ Lives at Risk Amnesty International […]

Haitian Seeking Justice Against Criminal Ex-Mayor Dies Suddenly

One of the three plaintiffs in the case against a former Haitian mayor who engaged in political repression and murder has died suddenly in Haiti. The plaintiff, Nissage Martyr, had had a leg amputated after Viliena (the former Mayor)’s gang beat at and shot at him for his involvement in a community radio station. Martyr received repeated threats from Viliena’s associates but, unable to find justice in the Haitian legal system, he and the other plaintiffs were able to begin the legal process in Massachusetts where Viliena was hiding. Now, Martyr’s lawyers are calling for an investigation into his sudden death. Plaintiff in Boston Lawsuit Against Former Haitian Mayor Dies Reuters, The New York Times March 25, 2017 (Reuters) – One of three Haitian men who recently sued the former mayor of their village accusing him in Boston federal court of […]

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 […]

Lapolis Ayiti Bezwen Fè Plis Pou Pwoteje Dwa Fanm

Pòt pawòl lapolis ayiti fèk fè yon deklarasyon ki plis sanble l’ap ede kadejakè ke l’ap ede viktim kadejakè yo: Li di ke li ta konseye jèn fanm evite al nan chanm gason. Deklarasyon konsa fè travay pou dwa fanm pi difisil paske li pa montre kadejakè yo ke fanm yo gen sipò. Aktyèlman, kèk ane de sa, leta ayisyen te lage yon bann kadejakè KOFAVIV te ede yo met nan prizon. Kadejakè yo voye bandi ki telman menase leader KOFAVIV yo, Malya Villard ak Eramithe Delva, Malya ak Eramithe te oblije kite Ayiti vin viv Etazini. Li lè pou lapolis ak leta fin fè eksiz pou kadejakè, pou viktim yo manyen jwenn jistis ak respè. Yon pati atik la anba. Klike ISI pou li tout teks la. Kondane Viktim Kadejak se yon Pratik ki Dwe Fini Etant Dupain, Woy Magazine […]

Human rights lawyers to denounce and investigate death threaths against Pierre Esperance

POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE Contact: Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, mario@ijdh.org +509-3701-9878 (français, kreyol) Nicole Phillips, Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, nicole@ijdh.org +001-510-715-2855 (anglais, français) Des avocats de Droits Humains exhortent le Gouvernement haïtien à dénoncer et à enquêter sur les menaces de mort proférées à l’encontre de Monsieur Pierre ESPERANCE, défenseur des droits humains en Haïti (PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haïti, le 3 janvier 2017) – Le Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) et l’Institute pour la Justice et la Démocratie  en Haïti (IJDH ) exhortent le Gouvernement Haïtien à prendre très au serieux les menaces de mort proférées à l’encontre Monsieur Pierre ESPERANCE, éminent défenseur des Droits Humains et directeur exécutif du Réseau National de Défense des Droits humains (RNDDH). Selon Maitre Mario JOSEPH du Bureau des Avocats Internationaux,  « le Gouvernement a l’obligation de veiller à ce que […]

Freedom House Report on Haiti Released

Freedom House recently published their 2015 report on Freedom in the World. Below is the overview of the section on Haiti. Haiti’s ratings decreased this year (down 1 point on a 7-point scale) because of the government’s failure to hold elections on time, harassment of human rights defenders and political opponents, and violence against media critical of the current administration. Click HERE for the full report. Freedom in the World 2015 Freedom House August 2015 OVERVIEW:  Legislative and municipal elections due in 2011 and 2013 were delayed for another year in 2014, causing Haiti to descend toward political crisis. As Haitians took to the streets in protest, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe resigned in December at the recommendation of a presidential commission. The double homicide of human rights defender Daniel Dorsainvil and his wife in February and the fruitless police investigation deepened […]

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