Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

IJDH/BAI Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders

IJDH and BAI made a submission (informal translation to French here, along with Attachment 1 and Attachment 2) to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in response to her call for input to a report on killings of human rights defenders. The submission highlights in particular an assassination attempt and death threat directed at BAI attorney Job Gene in connection with his work as a human rights defender. It further explains that Haiti’s human rights defenders are facing immense risks in the current environment in Haiti: there have been a number of documented killings and attacks directed at human rights defenders, the government has been violently suppressing peaceful protests, and has been implicated by local human rights organizations in violence directed against civilians. BAI’s managing attorney, Mario Joseph, has been repeatedly cautioned regarding his safety given his work on behalf of Haiti’s most vulnerable and outspoken criticism of the current administration. The recent assassination of constitutional scholar and Port-au-Prince Bar Association president Monferrier Dorval, just hours after he gave an interview where he opposed rushed elections and called for change, further highlights immense risks faced by Haiti’s human rights defenders and civil society activists. Those risks are also often shared by their families.

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