Haiti: Pro-democracy activists deported from the Dominican Republic
July 25, 2005
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Haiti: Pro-democracy activists deported from the Dominican Republic

Paul Raymond, a prominent Haitian grassroots leader and tireless defender of Haiti's poor, was arrested late Thursday (7/21/05) afternoon by Dominican authorities at his home in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Mario Exilhomme, a Haitian refugee who was visiting Mr. Raymond, was also arrested.

Mr. Raymond had been living in exile since the violent coup d'etat of February 29, 2004. He is a founding member and coordinator of Haiti's base community church, Ti Kominote Legliz (TKL). Ti Kominote Legliz has been in the forefront of establishing base community churches throughout Haiti since the 1980s. Mr. Raymond is a well-known proponent of liberation theology and an activist in the popular movement calling for the return of President Aristide and constitutional democracy.

Contrary to all norms of due process, Mr. Raymond and Mr. Exilhomme were quickly deported to Haiti, where they were jailed Friday morning (7/22/05). Haiti's coup regime has submitted a list of about 30 Haitian exiles, most of them Lavalas political activists, to Dominican authorities. Clearly, time is of the essence if we are to stop this unjust persecution of Haitian refugees.

Like political prisoners Father Gerard Jean-Juste and Annette Auguste (So Anne), Paul Raymond has long been a target of the coup regime. It is estimated that over 1,000 Haitian political prisoners are now being detained without legal justification. Most were arrested without a warrant. Many have been imprisoned for over a year without charges, court appearances or any evidence against them. Some are being held despite orders from a judge to release them. Beatings, torture and killings of prisoners have been widely reported.

We have grave concern for the safety of Mr. Raymond, Mr. Exilhomme and all other political prisoners in Haiti. Please contact officials of the United States, the United Nations, and the de facto Haitian government. The U.S. is the Haitian government's principal international patron, and has sufficient leverage to stop the persecution immediately. The UN mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, supports the police and justice system, and has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in Haiti.

Defend the rights of Haitian refugees. Demand the immediate release of Mr. Raymond and Mr. Exilhomme.


1. James B. Foley, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti phone: 011-509-222-0200, 222-0354, 222-0269, 222-0327 fax: 011-509-223-9038

2. Juan Gabriel Valdes, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Haiti phone: 011-509-244-9650 or 9660 fax 011-509 244 3512.

3. Me. Henri Dorléans, Haiti's de facto "Minister of Justice" fax 011-509 244 3512.

For more information, contact Haiti Action Committee at(510)483-7481, haitiaction@yahoo.com or www.haitiaction.net

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