RESOLUTION Nš 37/82
March 9, 1982
1. By means of a
communication dated December 12, 1977, the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights transmitted to the Government of Haiti the following
pertinent parts of a denunciation that reached the Commission in
connection with alleged violation of human rights in that country:
Bazile, 51 years of age, was arrested in Jeremie in 1965 and has been
held without any charges being placed against him or being put on trial.
Cauvin, an attorney who routinely defended political prisoners and who
is the former president of the Bar Association, was arrested in April,
1963, in Port-au-Prince, and has been held without charges or trial of
Gaboton, attorney, was arrested in April, 1973, and is now detained
without charges or trial of any kind.
Sabalat, was arrested in April 1973, and has been detained without
charges or trial of any kind.
2. On December 22,
1977, the Commission received from the Haitian Government a
communication in which it acknowledged receipt of the aforementioned
letter of December 12 and stated the following:
Chancellery hastens to send you under this cover the text of the
complete decree on Haitian Positive Law in the area of legally proven
text of the aforementioned decree did not arrive attached to the
government's note and the Commission so informed the Government of Haiti
in a communication dated January 9, 1978.
3. Since the
response of the Haitian Government limited itself to acknowledging
receipt of the communication of December 12, 1977, and to stating that
it was attaching the text of a decree, which, in fact, never reached the
Commission, and did not refer specifically to the situation of Messrs.
Alphonse Bazile, Emmanuel Cauvin, Paul Gaboton and Ernst Sabalat, the
IACHR decided to request the Government of Haiti once again to furnish
information about the case in question, which it did in a communication
dated January 3, 1979, the pertinent parts of which read:
behalf of each of the following persons, namely: Alphonse Bazile,
Emmanuel Cauvin, Paul Gaboton and Ernst Sabalat, we request the
Government of Haiti to remit to us specific information in connection
with the following matters:
Have these persons been arrested or imprisoned and what were the
dates of their arrests or imprisonments?
If these persons have been detained or imprisoned, what is the
date or dates of their release and what legal provisions have been
If these persons have been detained or imprisoned, what have they
been charged with and what was the decision handed down in the case?
According to allegations received by the Commission, these
persons died during the course of their detention and, should such be
the case, what were the dates and the causes of their deaths?
4. The Government
of Haiti did not answer this new request for information even though it
was repeated in another note dated October 19, 1981. This note also
warned of the eventual application of Article 39 of the Regulations of
the Commission if the information requested was not received within a
1. In its note of
April 5, 1978, the Government of Haiti confined itself to acknowledging
receipt of the communication dated December 12, 1977, and to stating
that it was attaching the text of a decree issued by the government in
connection with judicially acknowledged disappearances, but did not
refer specifically to the status of Messrs. Alphonse Bazile, Emmanuel
Cauvin, Paul Gaboton and Ernst Sabalat.
2. That the
Government of Haiti has not replied to repeated requests for information
prepared by the Commission in connection with the status of Messrs.
Alphonse Bazile, Emmanuel Cauvin, Paul Gaboton and Ernst Sabalat, which
leads to the presumption that there are no further remedies under
domestic law which must be exhausted (Article 46 of the American
Convention) in accordance with the procedures set out in that same
3. Article 39 of
the Regulations of the Commission reads:
facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been
transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall be
presumed to be true if, during the maximum term set by the Commission
under the provisions of Article 31 paragraph 5, the government has not
provided the pertinent information, as long as the other evidence does
not lead to a different conclusion.
4. Article 1 of
the American Convention on Human Rights reads:
1. Obligation to Respect Rights
The States Parties to this Convention undertake to respect the
rights and freedoms recognized herein and to ensure to all persons
subject to their jurisdiction the free and full exercise of those rights
and freedoms, without any discrimination for reasons of race, color,
sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social
origin, economic status, birth or any other social condition.
5. The Republic of
Haiti is a State Party to the American Convention on Human Rights.
in view of the foregoing information and the considerations made, and
since the Commission does not have other information that would lead it
to conclude otherwise, on the grounds of Article 39 of its Regulations.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. To presume to
be true the events denounced relative to the status of Messrs. Alphonse
Bazile, arrested in January, 1975, Emmanuel Cauvin, arrested in April,
1963, Paul Gaboton, arrested in April, 1973, and Ernst Sabalat, arrested
in April, 1963, considering that to date there has been no information
as to whether they have been released or placed under the order of a
competent authority, or, in the event that they have died in prison,
what the dates and the causes of their deaths were.
2. To declare that
these events constitute a grave violation of the following rights
protected by the American Convention on Human Rights: right to personal
liberty (Article 7); right to humane treatment (Article 5); right to a
fair trial (Article 8).
3. To recommend to
the Government of Haiti: a) that it provide for the immediate freedom of
Messrs. Bazile, Cauvin, Gaboton and Sabalat; b) that in the event that
these men have died in prison, that it report the dates on which their
deaths occurred and the causes of them.
to recommend to the Government of Haiti: a) that it call for a full and
impartial investigation to determine who is responsible for the facts
charged; b) that it punish, in accordance with Haitian law, the persons
responsible for the facts denounced; c) that it report to the Commission
within ninety days on the measures it has taken to put the foregoing
recommendations into practice.
4. To communicate
this resolution to the Government of Haiti and to the petitioner.
5. To include this
resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the
Organization of American States in accordance with the terms of Article
59 (g) of the Regulations of the Commission, if the Government of Haiti
does not put into practice the recommendations made within the