Here’s a video passed along from the IJDH. This video is part of a series called “A Soapbox in Haiti,” which presents the voices of Haitian citizens on topics significant to the country’s post-earthquake recovery. This particular video gives us human rights lawyer Mario Joseph talking about the justice system in Haiti:
Issued by Between the Lines Books. Originally posted at the Sacramento Bee
TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2012 — Justin Podur issues a powerful challenge and wake-up call to the international NGO and development community
TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2012 – Haiti is again living under a dictatorship, says author Justin Podur. Podur, author of Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation, explains that Haitians have no effective say over their economic and political affairs; their right to assemble and organize politically is sharply limited; and human rights violations are routine and go unpunished.
Podur says, “Last week conclusive evidence came out that the cholera outbreak that killed 7,500 people in Haiti came from the UN, with an accompanying note that there is no one to blame for it. In a way, this is true: the international regime that rules Haiti today diffuses responsibility so that thousands of people can die and there is no one to blame. Democracy and sovereignty could save lives in Haiti.”
by Aly Weisman. Originally posted at the Business Insider
The charity’s collapse comes after years of accusations of mishandled funds, which amounted to a reported $16 million following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Amnesty International Urgent Action release, UA: 279/12 Index: AMR 36/009/2012 Haiti Date: 4 October 2012
Three lawyers in Haiti are reporting an increase of threats and intimidation against them in recent months. They believe they may be targeted for their activism and criticisms against the Haitian government.
On 28 September, the Chief Prosecutor of Port-au-Prince, Jean Renel Sénatus, was interviewed at local radio station, where he discussed his dismissal by the Ministry of Justice because he refused to implement a ministerial order to arrest 36 political opponents. It is not clear on which grounds these arrests had been ordered. The Ministry of Justice denied having given such orders.
Among the 36 political opponents were the names of lawyers Mario Joseph, Newton St-Juste and André Michel. Mario Joseph is a prominent human rights lawyer who is involved in sensitive judicial cases such as proceedings against former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, complaints against the UN for their alleged involvement in spreading the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and cases of forced evictions of people made homeless after the earthquake. As head of the International Lawyers Office (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux), he addressed the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights last July, requesting to visit Haiti to investigate human rights violations. Newton St-Juste and André Michel, also lawyers, recently filed criminal grievances against the wife and the son of the President of the Republic of Haiti for corruption and embezzlement of public funds.
Press release, September 11, 2012
Housing activist Reyneld Sanon is beginning a speaking tour to key cities in the United States. The tour will raise awareness about Under Tents, the international campaign for housing rights in Haiti. The campaign is a joint initiative of Haitian grassroots groups and more than 30 international organizations that are demanding a solution for Haiti’s homeless.
Sanon will visit New Orleans (Sept 14 -15), Houston (Sept 16 -17), Washington D.C. (Sept 18-20), New York City (Sept 21-24) and Miami (Sept 25-26).
The January 2010 earthquake killed an estimated 300,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless. In its wake, survivors spontaneously created more than a thousand temporary encampments throughout Port-au-Prince. There has been no long-term planning for a solution to the country’s housing crisis, and the Government of Haiti has no comprehensive plan to relocate the majority of people into safe, permanent homes. Indeed, fewer than 6,000 houses have been constructed since the earthquake. Nearly 400,000 Haitians are still living in displacement camps, where they face high rates of gender-based and other violence, forced evictions, lack of clean water and toilets, and cholera.
Haiti Grassroots Watch has produced an 11-minute video on the gold exploration activities taking place in the north of Haiti by Canadian and U.S. companies.