Emergency Vigil to Spare the Life
of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune
May 18, 2005
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Emergency Vigil to Spare the Life
of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune

Monday, 23 May, 2005
12 noon -6 p.m.
Oakland Federal Building
1301 Clay Street, Oakland

Now in critical condition, Yvon Neptune edges ever-closer to death after refusing food during the past month. His eyes remain closed. He no longer communicates with those at his bedside. (Neptune's first hunger strike ended abruptly in March when he collapsed, was rushed to the hospital, and revived.) In response to the call of close friends and family, as well as President Aristide, the Haiti Action Committee believes we must do everything in our power to bring attention to the injustice of Yvon Neptune's imprisonment, (along with more than a thousand political prisoners). We call on the United Nations to secure Neptune's immediate, unconditional release.

Please take a few minutes to respond to the action alert below.

Then join us next Monday afternoon at the Federal Building.

  • FREE Sò ANN.
  • BRING Democratically-Elected President ARISTIDE BACK.


May 17, 2005

Political prisoner Yvon Neptune, Haiti's last constitutionally-elected Prime Minister, lies on the verge of death. Neptune has now initiated two hunger strikes, demanding he either be charged or released from prison. The de facto Haitian coup government has jailed him for nearly a year in clear violation of Haiti's constitution; Neptune has yet to be formally charged, appear before a judge, or have a trial.

In an effort to clear his name, Neptune turned himself in to authorities in June 2004 after hearing slanderous allegations against him over the radio. The National Coalition for Haitian Rights-Haiti (NCHR-H) -- a widely discredited, USAID funded anti-Aristide group - accused Neptune of involvement in the so-called "massacre of La Scierie" in February 2004. Independent journalists, as well as U.N. human rights official Louis Joinet have dismissed accounts that the massacre ever took place.

Neptune again surrendered himself to authorities after being removed from the National Penitentiary at gunpoint in February, again insisting his case be adjudicated.

Neptune has vowed to continue his hunger strike until he is either charged or released. The illegal "interim" regime of Gerard Latortue could easily meet this demand, but refuses. They should concede they have no real case against Neptune and release him from prison.

Though recent news reports indicate the Latortue government may fly Neptune out of the country, Neptune has long insisted he has no desire to leave Haiti. He wants to either face an honest legal process or be released.

Marguerite Laurent of the Haitian Lawyers' Leadership Network, who recently visited Neptune in March 2005, and who spoke with his family over the weekend, stated, "Mr. Neptune's family stresses that Yvon Neptune would never go into exile; that he has repeatedly maintained this position: That he is an innocent man, wrongfully accused of a massacre that the UN, the international press and reputable human rights organizations say did not happen [...] he will not leave prison unless a judge has signed his liberation order and acknowledged his innocence of all crimes."

Please contact Kofi Annan via the UN Human Rights Representative in Haiti Mahamane Cisse-Guoro. Tell them to direct the coup government to release Neptune unconditionally.

Mahamane Cisse-Guoro , UN Human Rights Office in Haiti UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) mcissegouro@undp.org cisse-gouro@un.org PHONE: 011.509.244.9650.9660 FAX: 011.509.244.9366/67

Hon. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General United Nations Headquarters First Avenue at 46th Street New York, NY 10017 212-963-5012 inquiries@un.org Fax No. (212) 963-4879

For more information: www.haitiaction.net and www.ijdh.org

Sample letter follows:

Mr. Annan and Mr. Cisse-Gouro,

Prime Minister Yvon Neptune languishes in Haiti's prison system having never been formally charged, never appearing before a judge, nor having the benefit of a trial - along with more than a thousand fellow political prisoners. The sensational allegations made against Mr. Neptune have been roundly dismissed by journalists and human right s monitors, (including U.N. official Louis Joinet ). Mr. Neptune initiated a hunger strike in order to pressure the interim government into either charging him or releasing him. He now lies on the verge of death because the de facto Haitian coup government continues to jail him in clear violation of Haiti's constitution.

Thierry Fagart, chief of the Haiti U.N. mission's human rights division, recently told journalists, "Since the beginning of the procedure until today, the fundamental rights, according to national and international standards, have not been respected in the case of Mr. Neptune[and Mr. Privert.]"

The United Nations is charged with protecting the lives of Haitian people. Please spare the life of Prime Minister Neptune. SECURE THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE YVON NEPTUNE BY HAITI'S COUP GOVERNMENT.