AHP News - October 20, 2004
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AHP News - October 20, 2004

English translation (Unofficial)

President Aristide accuses interim Prime Minister Latortue of unleashing a new wave of violence and repression in Haiti that is camouflaged through his search for a scapegoat
Pretoria, October 20, 2004 (AHP) Haiti's President-in-Exile, Jean-Bertrand Aristide accused interim Prime Minister Gérard Latortue of having unleashed a new torrent of repression in Haiti, and of searching for a scapegoat at the same time on whom to pin the violence that is rocking the country.

Mr. Aristide, who left Haiti suddenly on February 29 following pressure exerted upon him by some of the world's great international powers, described interim Prime Minister Gérard Latortue as a killer.

On Sunday, Mr. Latortue accused Mr. Aristide of stirring up disturbances in Haiti from South Africa.

Mr. Latortue attacked South African President Thabo Mbeki at the same time, accusing him of allowing Mr. Aristide to finance the violence in Haiti and of failing to respect international law.

" No respectable president would accept into his country someone who organizes violence in another country", Mr. Latortue had added.

The South African government rejected "with contempt" the attacks on the integrity of President Mbeki and the insinuation that his country is being used as a base by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide for destabilizing Haiti.

In a communiqué published this Wednesday and picked up by several wire services including AFP, President Aristide said that "Latortue is attempting to cover-up his own criminal acts through lies".

Mr. Aristide asserted that Gérard Latortue acknowledged that he was a killer when he declared on October 1st after his government suppressed a demonstration, "We opened fire on demonstrators; some of them have been killed, others injured, and still others fled".

Mr. Aristide called on Mr. Latortue to stop the lies and the killing, insisting that genuine dialogue is the only solution to the Haitian crisis.

More than 30 people have been killed since September 30th through the violence that is shaking the capital.

Compelled to leave Haiti on February 29th, Mr. Aristide arrived in South Africa on May 31st, accompanied by his wife and his two daughters, after brief stays in the Central African Republic and Jamaica.

Upon his arrival he was welcomed by the South African president in person at the Johannesburg airport.

The South African government has stated that it agreed to host President Aristide and his family until the situation in Haiti is normalized.

For the time being, Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been offered an academic position as a research fellow at the University of South Africa in Pretoria.

AHP October 20, 2004 3:15 PM

Lawyers for Father Jean-Juste accuse the interim government of trampling the rights of their client and of looking for an excuse to keep him in prison

Port-au-Prince, October 20, 2004 (AHP)- Reynold Georges, the leader of the Alliance for the Liberation and the Advancement of Haiti (ALLAH party) reaffirmed Wednesday that the rights of Father Gérard Jean-Juste have been trampled, even if his case is now before an investigating judge.

Attorney Reynold Georges pointed out that under the law a detainee must be brought before the appropriate judge within a maximum of 48 hours, while in this case, Father Jean-Juste has been imprisoned for eight days.

Mr. Georges signaled his intention to serve notice within the next few days on provisional President Boniface Alexandre, interim Prime Minister Gérard Latortue and all other persons involved in the illegal arrest and detention of Father Gérard Jean-Juste.

"We will teach them a lesson", snapped the leader of ALLAH, adding that these men will wind up in prison one of these days.

Mr. Georges stated that the accusations made against the priest are without any foundation. Father Jean-Juste is accused of furnishing weapons to those who are perpetrating the violence in Haiti.

But, his lawyers point out, not a single weapon was found when the arrest was made.

Mr. Reynold Georges once again denounced "the arrest of Senator Yvon Feuillé and all the other Haitians who are being persecuted for their political beliefs".

Attorney Mario Joseph also denounced the arrest and prolonged detention of Father Gérard Jean-Juste.

According to Mr. Joseph, the judicial system has never been so dependent upon the Executive Branch as it is under the current interim government.

He deplored that the lawyers had tremendous difficulties simply getting a justice of the peace to go to make a finding that Father Gérard Jean-Juste is indeed in a situation of prolonged detention.

Mario Joseph said that the authorities have filed no charges whatsoever against the priest. It is only now that he is in detention that they are searching for some grounds to justify his arrest, just as they have done with other Haitians who have been illegally arrested, such as the well-known singer Ti Paille and attorney Reynold Pierre.

He also detailed the contradictions that have appeared between the statements of the Minister of Justice, Bernard Gousse and the spokesperson for the Haitian National Police, Jessy Cameau Coicou.

One of them said he had proof that Father Jean-Juste was involved in the latest violence. The other said instead that the police did not intend to arrest him and that it was just a matter of going to him to enable the police to ask him questions regarding his knowledge about the recent violence.

AHP October 20, 2004 3:35 PM

The interim government is urged to work as a team to resolve the problem of insecurity: the executive secretary of the Group of 184 accuses Mr. Aristide of profiting from the inability of the government to resolve the social problems

Port-au-Prince, October 20, 2004 (AHP)- The Council of the Wise issued recommendations Wednesday to the interim government with a view to bringing to an end the climate of violence that has shaken the Haitian capital for more than two weeks.

The Council's spokesperson, Christian Rousseau, considered that the problem of insecurity can not be resolved simply by increasing the numbers of police officers and procuring new weapons for the police.

"The interim authorities should set up an intelligence service that would enable them to strike the intellectual authors behind the violence", said Mr. Rouseau, who rejected the argument that poverty is the source of violence.

However he indicated that the interim government should envisage social programs to benefit the disadvantaged populations and change its political rhetoric if it truly wishes to resolve the problem of insecurity.

The spokesperson for the Council of the Wise also pressed the interim government to understand the need to work as a team with respect to the fight against insecurity.

The government must not continue to give the impression that the handling of the country's problems such as insecurity is the sacred turf of the interim prime minister and justice minister.

For his part, Turneb Delpé, leader of the PNDPH (National Democratic Progressive Party of Haiti), urged the interim government to adopt the appropriate measures to put an end to the climate of violence that is being fueled, he said, by supporters of President-in-Exile Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

According to Turneb Delpé, the situation currently prevailing in Port-au-Prince shows that the PNDPH's position was correct. The party has always advocated the establishment of an interim security force to prevent the violence.

He said he deplores that the interim government has taken no action to counteract the action 0of supporters of President Aristide.

"The interim government should step down from power if it is unable to resolve the problems facing the country", said Turneb Delpé.

The executive secretary of the Group of 184, Antony Barbier, for his part accused President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of having profited from what he termed the inability of the interim government to satisfy the demands of the population by stirring up trouble in the country.

Mr. Barbier expressed hope that social programs will be implemented in the underprivileged communities designed to reduce the social tensions that are agitating these districts.

Another official of the former opposition, Luc Mésadieu, asked the interim government to utilize a great deal more firmness against those who are terrorizing the capital.

Like his colleagues, he also said that those who are disturbing the peace in Port-au-Prince are closely tied to President Aristide.

Mésadieu indicated that the Aristide supporters should know that Mr. Aristide will not be able to return to Haiti and that they should collaborate, he said, with the interim government to facilitate the success of the transition.

AHP October 20, 2004 11:00 AM

The PNH reaffirms its determination to establish a climate of peace across the country

Port-au-Prince, October 20, 2004 (AHP)- The Haitian National Police (PNH) reiterated its determination Wednesday to establish a climate of peace in Haiti.

According to a police spokesperson, Bruce Myrthil, all appropriate steps have taken with a view to taking into custody all those who are stirring up trouble in Haiti.

He announced that 33 presumed bandits have been arrested through various police operations conducted in Port-au-Prince

Bruce Jean Myrthil also disclosed that the office of the police Inspector General is currently questioning several police officers accused of acting as informers to the armed bandits who are terrorizing the capital.

The police declared that it is counting on the collaboration of the public if it is to succeed in its mission of restoring order and peace across the country.

Clashes pitting the police against armed groups have taken place these past few weeks, particularly in the populist districts.

Several police officers have been killed, notably in Port-au-Prince under circumstances that remain confused. However the interim authorities are accusing supporters of President Aristide of responsibility for these killings.

Several members of the population including supporters of Fanmi Lavalas have been killed in recent days, notably on September 30th during a demonstration that was broken up by the police on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the military coup d'état of September 1991 against President Aristide.

The September 30th demonstrators were accused at the time of committing acts of violence.

AHP October 20, 2004 11:30 AM


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