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Crisis: Amnesty International calls for the prosecution of people suspected of crimes and human rights violations in Haiti

  • March 20, 2024
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P-to-P, March 20, 2024 [AlterPresse] — The human rights organization Amnesty International calls on the international community to prosecute people suspected of crimes under international law and human rights violations in Haiti, in a note sent to the online agency AlterPresse.

Amnesty International calls on the international community “to carefully monitor and document possible crimes under international law and human rights violations committed in the country, in order to ensure respect for international law and, where appropriate, prosecute those suspected of responsibility criminal.”

It strongly condemns the violence, which has been orchestrated in recent weeks by armed gangs, who took control of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other areas of the country to force the resignation of the Prime Minister of facto Ariel Henry.

The recent escalation of violence has forced more than 35,000 people to move, since the start of 2024, in the metropolitan area of ​​the capital, Port-au-Prince, she deplores.

Dozens of deaths, kidnappings and sexual violence against women and girls have also been reported.

Amnesty International highlights “the importance of addressing the crisis from a human rights perspective, with a non-racist and gender-sensitive approach, relying on the leaders of Haitian society to find possible solutions and prevent actions that could further harm the population.

While expressing concern over the reported atrocities, the international human rights body urges the international community to approach the situation in the country from a human rights perspective.

“This crisis is the result of decades of political instability, extreme poverty, natural disasters, the weakening of state institutions and a lack of real commitment from the international community, which have left the population vulnerable to violence” .

Far from addressing the root causes of the crisis and leading to lasting stability, military solutions and external interventions have left a lasting legacy of human rights violations and impunity, criticizes Ana Piquer Romo, director for the Americas to Amnesty International.

“The scenes of violence that this crisis has left us with are horrible. Criminal gangs, who sow terror, must know that the seriousness of their actions entails their responsibility and that they can be prosecuted for crimes under international law and serious violations of human rights. The suffering of so many people cannot go unpunished.”

Between Monday March 18 and Wednesday March 20, 2024, more than a dozen dead bodies were discovered in the commune of Pétionville (municipality east of Port-au-Prince)shaken by a wave of armed gang violence.

This intensification of acts of crime has been observed in the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince, since the attacks by armed gangs perpetrated on Thursday, February 29, 2024, to force Ariel Henry to resign. [emb rc apr 20/03/2024 11:45]

Photo: International Organization for Migration (IOM) website