By Caribbean News Global contributor
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Fourteen Haitian human rights and civil organizations have joined to denounce president Jovenel Moïse and the representatives of countries and organizations that they accuse of complicity with him to impose anti-democratic, repressive, and unconstitutional power on the Haitian people.
The organizations took the unusual step of naming the countries and organizations, known as ‘the core group’. They pointed a firm finger at the special representative of the United Nations, the special representative of the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, the ambassadors of the European Union, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Germany, the United States of America and France.
In a joint statement on December 3, the organizations said they considered it necessary to voice their position regarding “the holding of elections in the country in the context of political crisis and growing crime”.
“Elections”, they declared, “must be organized in a climate of security and respect for public freedoms of expression, association, assembly and movement”. But, they affirmed that these conditions have not existed for more than two years as “armed gangs have been proliferating everywhere”. “Public gatherings and peaceful protest movements are systematically repressed by the police who, each time, use tear gas, rubber and real projectiles gravely or mortally injuring people”.
“The population is held hostage with the constant attacks of armed gangs in working-class neighborhoods, daily robberies and the dizzying rise of kidnappings that target people of all conditions and that are often accompanied by rapes, of torture and murder. It was recorded from January to August 2020, one 1,270 cases or 160 cases per month”.
Stating that the Haitian president and his enforcement agencies are “complicit” with criminal groups that “act with impunity”, the representatives of the 14 organizations added that: “Democratic elections require that actors have confidence in the electoral institution. The college of councilors set up by the executive is illegitimate and illegal. Added to this is the fact that, arbitrarily, the executive wants to have a new Constitution adopted before the elections. In doing so, the electoral process is fundamentally flawed.”
It is against this background that the organizations affirm that “under the current conditions, elections are certainly not possible”. The governments and institutions that encourage it are “complicit in imposing an anti-democratic, repressive and unconstitutional power” on the people of Haiti.
The joint statement is signed by the representatives of:
POHDH – Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations
CE-JILAP – National Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace
RNDDH – National Network for the Defense of Human Rights
PAJ – Alternative Justice Program
SKL – Sant Karl Leveque
CRESFED – Centre for Economic and Social Research and Training for Development
ICKL – Karl Leveque Cultural Institute
F-GAJ – Fondation Groupe d’Alternatives et de Justice
MOUFHED – Haitian Women’s Movement for Education and Development
CONHANE- Haitian Council of Non-State Actors
SOFA – Solidarity Fanm Ayisyèn
TK – Tèt Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen