Statement on Current Human Rights Situation in Haiti
October 1, 2020

Global Justice ClinicHaiti

The Global Justice Clinic, the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, and ten human rights organizations signed on to a statement that condemns the Trump Administration’s pressure on Haitian actors to acquiesce to an unconstitutional electoral process, while ignoring escalating violence and human rights violations that undermine the possibility of free elections in Haiti. The statement, shared on social media and with members of the press in Haiti, amplifies concerns expressed by Haitian civil society in reaction to comments made by the U.S. State Department in mid-September.  A senior official encouraged Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse to unilaterally appoint a provisional electoral council (CEP) to organize elections without input from the civil society, and went on to warn Haitian civil society that those who do not go along with the process will “start to have consequences.” In turn, President Moïse appointed a new CEP by decree and tasked them with organizing a constitutional referendum.  The president had previously stated that the purpose of constitutional reform would be to strengthen the power of the presidency.  The Haitian Bar Federation, constitutional law scholars, and civil society groups condemned this move as unconstitutional. In contrast, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince called it an “important step.”

The statement urges the U.S. government to recognize the legitimate concerns that Haiti’s human rights and civil society organizations have articulated, and put an end to statements that undermine these concerns. Further, the statement calls on the U.S. to denounce human rights violations allegedly being committed by those with links to the president, and to call for accountability.

Read the statement in English.

Read the statement in Kreyòl.


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