Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

BAI, IJDH Hail Appeals Court Decision on Duvalier

On February 20, 2014, a three-judge panel decided to reinstate political violence charges against Jean Claude Duvalier, because under international law, the 10-year statute of limitations doesn’t apply to crimes against humanity. Haitian court reinstates political charges against Jean-Claude Duvalier UPI February 21, 2014 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 21 (UPI) — Two human rights groups hailed a Haitian appeals court panel’s decision to reinstate criminal charges against former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. “The court’s ruling … applying crimes against humanity against Duvalier is a significant step towards combating impunity in Haiti’s justice system,” said Mario Joseph, director of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux. While the Haitian Constitution grants the court the power to use international law to protect victims of human rights violations, “this is the first time that a court has invoked international law to protect the poor,” Joseph said. […]

Group Blames Haiti Cholera on U.N. Troops (United Press International)

UPI November 8, 2011 PORT-AU-PRINCE  — The cholera epidemic in Haiti is the fault of U.N. peacekeepers who allegedly allowed raw sewage to leach into the nation’s largest river, a group says. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti has filed a complaint with the United Nations alleging reckless actions on the part of peacekeepers from Nepal are behind the fast-moving epidemic that has infected 5 percent of the population and caused 6,000 deaths, ABC News reported Tuesday. “The sickness, death and ongoing harm from cholera suffered by Haiti’s citizens are a product of the U.N.’s multiple failures,” states the complaint filed by the group, which represents more than 5,000 cholera victims and their families. “These failures constitute negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, and deliberate indifference for the lives of Haitians.” “Once cholera is introduced, it is extremely difficult to […]

U.S. urged to allow Haitians in faster

UPI Leaders of Florida’s Haitian community want President Barack Obama to speed up the timetable for immigrants from the island. The idea is to allow Haitians approved to move to the United States to come earlier so they can get jobs and help foot the bill for Haiti’s recovery from January’s earthquake, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post said Sunday. There are currently about 55,000 Haitians who have family in the United States and have been approved by U.S. officials for emigration; however the quotas on immigration mean it could take 11 years for some of them to get off the quake-ravaged island. “These are people who will be coming here eventually anyway because they have Department of Homeland Security permission, but that is only if they survive what is going on in Haiti,” said Steve Forester, an attorney for the […]

Haiti voters see election as ‘fraudulent’

UPI November 29, 2010 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitians “can recognize a fraudulent election when they see one” and will “not respect their new government,” a rights campaigner says. Nicole Phillips, a lawyer for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and law professor at the University of San Francisco, says fraud and irregularities Sunday will further undermine the credibility of the presidential election, Haiti Libre reported Monday. “Haitians are frustrated because they can recognize a fraudulent election when they see one, and they think that the international community will give their blessing to this election,” Phillips said. “I think you’ll have a Haitian people who do not respect their new government.” Voting locations were trashed and set on fire Sunday, international elections monitors had to withdraw in the middle of the voting and some precincts closed due to outbreaks […]

Earthquake highlights Haitian inequality

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 28 (UPI) — The Haitian earthquake has refocused attention on the extreme gap between the poor and wealthy usually ignored by the world, residents say. “The rich people sometimes need to step over us to get inside,” said Judith Pierre, 28, a maid living with two daughters for two weeks in a tent front of Magdoos, a tony Lebanese restaurant where patrons unwind in a garden and draw flavored tobacco from hookahs. Patrons’ chauffeurs wait in their sport utility vehicles next to Pierre’s tent on the sidewalk near the entrance, The New York Times reported Sunday. Haiti has a history of inequality: small pockets of wealth amidst supreme poverty — especially so in the Petionville district of Port-au-Prince, a hillside stronghold of Haiti’s prosperous. But with the influx of non-governmental organizations, new attention is being focused on […]

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