Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Internally Displaced Haitians Faced with Forced Expulsions and Looming Hurricanes will Beat Pots and Pans to Protest Horrific Conditions in Camps

For Immediate Release: September 2, 2010
Contacts: Attorney Mario Joseph 3701-9879

Internally Displaced Haitians Faced with Forced Expulsions and Looming Hurricanes will Beat Pots and Pans to Protest Horrific Conditions in Camps

At 12:00 noon (1pm EST), Friday 3 September 2010, fifteen camps threatened with forced expulsion all over Port-au-Prince will again simultaneously beat pots and pans, or “bat teneb,” to demand a moratorium on expulsions and an immediate solution to their inadequate shelter while hurricanes loom.

After a successful visit to Camp Barbncourt II last Friday, prominent human rights attorney, Mario Joseph, invites the national and international press to meet at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux at 11:00am (12pm EST) to visit the displaced residents of Camp Immaculée, now in Michico, Cité Soleil.

“Forced expulsions of the internally displaced violate Haitian and international law,” says Mario Joseph, “This is just the beginning of a problem we’ll be facing for years to come, unless the government and international community immediately put a moratorium on forced expulsions, verify land ownership titles, and nationalize by decree all empty and idle lands in the hands of purported landowners.”

“Two weeks ago, half way through the hurricane season, the IHRC promised to build 400 000 to 500 000 cyclone-proof shelters in the next three months. None of these have been built yet and the hurricanes are now upon us. As I said to the inter-American human rights commission on the 23 of March, it is late, even very late to start building hurricane shelters, now I say it’s too late to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe.”

The fifteen camps are calling for international solidarity according to their press release: “Tomorrow we will raise our hands in the air and call out loudly, sound the trumpet to wake up the authorities, unblock the cotton deafening their ears. We will make a concert of noise in the camps, strike and beat and sound the trumpet loudly to ask the Préval / Bellerive government to respect our constitutional right to housing, food, health, school, work, water, electricity.”

“We refuse to participate in your election while under tarps, while being evicted from tents, without respect for our basic rights. We’re asking for houses. This is no gift, it is our right under article 22 of the March 29, 1987 Constitution, which guarantees the Haitian state provide decent lodgings to all its citizens.”

Earlier this summer, the internally displaced residing in the public park Place Immaculée were subject to weeks of nightly attacks and harassment by private groups coercing them to leave. After exhausting every official means of gaining protection (PNH, MINUSTAH, IOM), residents were forced out only to continue being threatened in their new site in Michico.

Organized by: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) Camp Barbancourt II on route de l’aéroport, Camp Immaculé in Cité Soleil, Camp Toussaint Louverture in Carreduex, Camp Duval 33 in Croix des Bouquets, Camp Movi in Delmas 60, Camp Alexis Emmanuel on the rout to the Airport, Camp Mesiane in the Village Solidarité, Camp Litan Breton in Fontamara 27, Saint Priere Eddy Francois in Carrefour, Camp Canaan on the rout to Cité Militaire, Camp Village Lagras in Carrefour, Camps Romelus Julio Don Bosco in To, Camp Notredame Mont Carmel in rue frère Simon, OVS in Carrefour and Solidarity with all other camps faced with forced expulsion.

Meet Friday 3 September 2010, 11am at the BAI 3, 2nd Impasse Lavaud, B. P. 19048. Or go to directly to Immaculée déplacé now in camp Michico, Cité Soleil.

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