Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Shame on the UN for creating the deadly cholera epidemic that’s killed 7,500 in Haiti

By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent December 2, 2012 World View: Nepalese blue-beret troops brought the disease to the stricken country after the 2010 quake, but report implies the islanders are to blame Suffering: A woman with cholera arrives at a Port-au-Prince clinic last month Haitians suffer more than most people in the world from poverty, disease, dictatorship, occupation and earthquakes. But for the past century, they have at least been free from cholera. Not any more, thanks to the UN. The disease was carried to the island in 2010 by UN troops from Nepal, where cholera is endemic; and it first appeared near their camps. In the past two years, it has ravaged Haiti, killing 7,500 people and making 600,000 very ill. People are still dying in large numbers and it will probably be impossible to eradicate it from the […]

UN to investigate shootings at prison after Haiti quake

By Guy Adams, The Independent The United Nations has launched an investigation into what it calls “major human-rights violations” at an overcrowded jail in Haiti, after claims that police shot dozens of prisoners during the chaotic days after the country’s earthquake in January. Between 12 and 19 inmates were killed, and roughly 40 wounded, when armed officers stormed the jail in Les Cayes, Haiti’s third-largest city, a week after the disaster, to try to quell a riot. Most of the victims either had their hands raised or were lying on the floor to surrender, several witnesses said. The incident went largely unreported, in the upheaval that followed the 12 January quake, which killed between 230,000 and 300,000 Haitians, mostly in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. But the UN decided to open an inquiry on 12 May amid growing suggestions that […]

Haiti turns against leader who stayed on too long

By Guy Adams, The Independent May 12, 2010 Police were keeping watch over the Haitian capital yesterday as an uneasy calm descended on streets still littered with debris following protests by opposition groups calling for the resignation of the country’s President, René Préval. Teargas was fired outside the ruined national palace in central Port-au-Prince on Monday to disperse a crowd of up to 2,000 protesters angered by what they believe are Mr Préval’s attempts to hold on to power beyond his legal term. The President, who was much criticised in the aftermath of January’s earthquake – which killed between 230,000 and 300,000 Haitians and left 1.5 million more homeless – had earlier persuaded parliament to give him an extra three months in office to help co-ordinate ongoing relief efforts. Opposition groups, including supporters of Haiti’s exiled former leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, […]

Singer arrested by US forces in Haiti freed after two years

By Andrew Buncombe, The Independent A popular Haitian folk singer and political activist has been released from jail more than two years after she was seized by US Marines and incarcerated without charge. Annette Auguste, better known as So Anne (Sister Anne), was released after her lawyer persuaded a judge in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that there was no evidence to hold her. Yesterday, freed after 826 days in a Haitian jail, she spoke of her incarceration, telling Democracy Now radio in the US: “The conditions in prison were very bad for everyone. Everybody was suffering.” She added: “They had no evidence to condemn me – that is why I’m free.” So Anne, 65, was one of several high-profile supporters of the former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide rounded up and imprisoned with the barest of evidence after he was forced from power […]

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