Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Five Years Later, UN Continues Dodging Cholera Accountability

In light of the fifth anniversary of cholera in Haiti, and our #FaceJustice campaign at UN headquarters in New York, Port-au-Prince and Geneva, a reporter probed the UN on its cholera response. The following exchange ensued. Click HERE for the full article. With Haiti Cholera Victims At UN’s Gate, ICP Asks of Accountability Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press October 14, 2015 … Inner City Press: I want to ask about Haiti and Central African Republic. On Haiti, I’m compelled to ask you. I’m sure you saw the people with the portraits of victims outside. I understand it’s taking place outside Geneva and Port-au-Prince. And I wanted to ask you, the number they’re using is 9,000 people killed, 745,000 people sickened by cholera they say the UN brought negligently to their country and there’s been no accountability. And I wanted to know, […]

Will the UN address impunity for sexual abuse?

The United Nations recently came under scrutiny for suspending an employee who blew the whistle on sexual abuse by French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. According to the UN, the employee was fired for leaking an internal report on the situation to the French government. A judge ecently ruled, however, that the suspension was illegal and should be lifted immediately. Today, human rights advocates are discussing the issue of UN impunity for sexual abuse at a special conference. This article discusses their comments, as well as attempts to get UN spokespeople to comment on the situation. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. On CAR Rapes, Graca Machel Says DPKO Worse, Boss Ladsous & Scribes Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press May 13, 2015 UNITED NATIONS, May 13, updated — French soldiers in the […]

UN Accountability Questioned After Criminals Escape Justice

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 […]

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. […]

On Cholera, UN Has “Nothing Further to Say,” Hypocrisy Call from Haiti

By Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press July 8, 2013 After UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon belatedly responded late Friday to the May 30 letter from 19 members of the US Congress urging him to take responsibility for the UN introducing cholera into Haiti, Inner City Press put the letter online and wrote about it Saturday and Sunday. (Now, here’s Ban’s letter to the Congress members, as a single PDF, here.) At Monday’s noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky to respond to those who see a major contradiction between the claim to care so much for Haiti while denying all legal claims of having introduced cholera. I don’t have anything further on that topic today,” Nesirky replied. Video here, from Minute 23:30. But Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, lead counsel for the 5000 victims and families who filed claims against the […]

On Haiti Cholera, Threat to Sue in 60 Days As UN Has Not Reformed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press May 8, 2013 UNITED NATIONS, May 8 — For killing 8,000 people in Haiti by UN Peacekeeping’s introduction of cholera, according to the lawyers who filed claims and are now prepared to sue, the UN’s response has been a short letter in December 2011 and a dismissal of claims in February 2013.   In a letter just filed with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s lawyer Patricia O’Brien, the claimants’ lawyers give the UN sixty day before filing suit. (Inner City Press put the letter online, here, just after the 2 pm embargo.)   Inner City Press asked them if they intend to sue in the European Court of Human Rights, where a recent decision lays the groundwork for such a case. Ira Kurzban said one case in the United States, and another in an undisclosed venue in […]

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