Law Clinics Condemn U.S. Government Support for Haiti’s Regime as Country Faces Human Rights and Humanitarian Catastrophe

To mark the second anniversary of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the Global Justice Clinic and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School submitted a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols calling on the U.S. government to cease to support the de facto Ariel Henry administration. Progress on human rights and security and a return to constitutional order will only be possible if Haitian people have the opportunity to change their government.

In the wake of Moïse’s murder and at the urging of the United States, Dr. Henry assumed leadership as de facto prime minister. The past two years, Dr. Henry has presided over a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe. He has consolidated power in what remains of Haiti’s institutions, and has proposed to amend the Constitution in an unlawful manner. Further, there is evidence that ties Dr. Henry to the assassination of President Moïse. Despite the monumental failure of Dr. Henry’s government, the United States continues to support this illegitimate and unpopular regime.

The letter declares that any transitional government must be evaluated against Haiti’s Constitution and established human rights principles. Proposals such as Dr. Henry’s that violate the spirit of the Constitution and further state capture cannot be a path to democracy.

This post was originally published as a press release on July 10, 2023 by the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law, and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School.