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Profile: Haitian National Police

Haitian National Police was a participant or observer in the following events:

The International Crisis Group {ICG) releases a report claiming that the Haitian National Police is responsible for human rights abuses. The report calls on the UN mission in Haiti to provide security to civilians in the countryside, for the interim government to engage in dialogue with Haitian citizens, and for the interim government to focus on relieving economic marginalization. [International Crisis Group, 2/8/2005]

Entity Tags: International Crisis Group, Haitian National Police

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Witnesses say that Aristide supporter Abdias Jean is dragged from his house at lunch time and shot in the head by Haitian National Police. Witnesses state that ten days earlier a 17-year-old girl was executed in the same neighborhood. Witnesses in Port-Au-Prince say that summary execution is becoming a routine tactic of the police to try and intimidate Aristide supporters in Haiti. A human rights lawyer in Haiti, Judy Dacruz, says the human rights situation is “critical right now” and claims that the authorities are taking part in a “complicity of silence.” Police spokesperson Gessy Coicou denies that there have been executions taking place and encourages Abdias Jean’s family to “file a complaint.” [Newsday, 2/14/2005]

Entity Tags: Abdias Jean, Haitian National Police, Gessy Coicou

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

The US State Department releases a report on human rights in Haiti one year after the ouster of Jean Bertrand Aristide. The report concludes that human rights violations have remained high under the interim government but that the interim government is not responsible for the abuses. [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]
bullet The report condemns members of the former military (FAd’H), members of the paramilitary Revolutionary Army for the Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), and the Haitian National Police (HNP) for using “deadly-force.” [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]
bullet The report also provides numerous examples of the HNP arresting Lavalas supporters without warrant and detaining them for extended periods of time without charge. The report condemns these actions as being in direct violation of the Haitian Constitution which states that a detainee cannot spend longer than 48 hours without hearing a charge before a judge. Of the people detained without charge, the report lists So Anne (Lavalas activist, folk singer, imprisoned May 2004, still imprisoned as of February 28, 2005), Father Gerard Jean-Juste (a well-known Catholic bishop, pro-Aristide activist, imprisoned October 13 and released November 29), and various members of the Lavalas Party in the Senate and Municipal government. The highest profile prisoner mentioned in the report is former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who as of February 28, 2005, has yet to hear a charge against him. [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]
bullet The report documents various killings of Aristide/Lavalas supporters that have taken place over the past year. The report assigns blame for some of the killings to the HNP. For others, the report concludes that the perpertrators of the killings could not be determined. [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Gerard Latortue, Haitian National Police, US Department of State

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Aristide supporters rally to call for the return of their democratically elected president. The march is interrupted and dispersed by the UN an hour after it begins. Carlos Chagas Braga, a spokesperson of the UN in Haiti, says that the march did not receive authorization from the Haiti National Police and the UN Peacekeepers. [Associated Press, 2/26/2005]

Entity Tags: United Nations, Carlos Chagas Braga, Haitian National Police

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Four days after the bloody one year anniversary of Aristide’s ouster, protesters march peacefully on the Haitian capital calling for the return of Aristide and the release of political prisoners. Protestors march under the protection of the UN peacekeepers, who were simply observers on February 28, 2004. Haitian police officers are prevented from entering the march’s perimeter by UN forces. A spokesperson for the march, Samba Boukman, says: “We don’t want the Haitian Police. They are killing us. We want to deal with UN troops.” [Reuters, 3/4/2005; Reuters, 3/5/2005]

Entity Tags: Haitian National Police, Samba Boukman

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Haiti’s Justice Minister Bernard Gousse says that the UN removal of Haiti’s National Police from the March 4 demonstration (see March 4, 2005) was a violation of the UN mandate. Even though demonstrators thanked the UN troops for protecting them, Gousse states that “there is no way MINUSTAH (UN presence in Haiti) can ask national police to leave an area within Haitian territory.” Gousse also claims that the Haitian National Police were “told in an aggressive way” that they were not to be present at the demonstration. [Business Day, 3/7/2005]

Entity Tags: MINUSTAH, Bernard Gousse, Haitian National Police

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup


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