REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
2. The oppression took on new characteristics, with increasingly cruel crimes committed by the military and paramilitary forces, resulting in massacres and rape. The rights of children were also violated as a result of reprisals taken against the families of political militants, who had to go into hiding.
3. The violent situation found by the Commission in its on-site visits disminish with the arrival of the Multinational Force authorized by the United Nations. The reinstallation of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti on October 15, 1994, opened the way for dialogue and national reconciliation. However, there are serious problems inherited by the constitutional government which now has the responsability to rebuild the economy of a country regarded as the poorest in the hemisphere and at the same time to lay the basis for a government of law, a condition sine qua non for representative democracy.
4. The international community's commitment to help rebuild Haiti will be reflected in the establishment of institutions for the protection of civil and political rights, as well as the socio-economic and cultural rights of the Haitian people.
5. In view of the worsening human rights situation in Haiti, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) continued to give priority to its work in this area and has presented a special report to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) each year concerning violations of rights in Haiti. These reports describe the political situation prevailing in Haiti, which has generated a considerable increase in violations of people's personal guarantees by way of the repression carried out by the authorities illegally governing the country.
6. Since the overthrow of the constitutional Government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the IACHR has made four on-site visits and noted, on the basis of a continuous review of the Haitian situation, an alarming number of human rights violations. The last Special Report on Haiti described the activities of the Commission between the coup d'état of September 29, 1991 and February 1994.
7. The above-mentioned report describes the steps taken by the OAS and the United Nations Organization (UN) to facilitate political dialogue between the parties concerned, with a view to President Aristide's return and the restoration of democracy in Haiti. These steps occurred in the context of various agreements: first, the Washington Agreements of February 1992, which were ignored by the de facto authorities, and up to the Governors Island Agreement and the subsequent New York Pact, which were both signed in July 1993. These latter agreements facilitated the Haitian National Assembly's confirmation of the candidate proposed by President Aristide for the post of Prime Minister.
8. Almost at the same time as the confirmation of Robert Malval as Prime Minister, the OAS recommended the lifting of the embargo imposed on October 8, 1991 on the de facto Government of Haiti. Also, the UN Security Council proclaimed the immediate suspension of the sanctions imposed on June 16, 1993. The same report contained an analysis of the process related to the creation of the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission up to the time it was evacuated from Haiti in October 1993, when the Haitian soldiers ignored the Governors Island Agreement and intensified its repression against the people, particularly against the sectors made up of Aristide's supporters. The prospects of a return of the democratic regime caused fear and opposition in military circles.
9. During its visit, August 23-27, 1993, the Commission found people terrorized by soldiers and the paramilitary groups assisting them, called attachés or zenglendos, who operated with full impunity in view of the inefficiency and subordination of the judicial authorities, who sometimes feared reprisals by representatives of the Armed Forces.
10. During the period covered in that special report, the systematic violation of human rights continued after the Governors Island Agreement was signed. Despite steps taken by the international community with respect to the lifting of the embargo, the situation continued to worsen and became critical as of September 1993. Most of the acts of violence were directed toward preventing the installation and functioning of the new government, and some of the newly appointed civil servants were unable to take control of their offices, while others had to abandon their homes after receiving death threats.
11. The climate in Haiti continued to be characterized by repression and terror. The soldiers acted with greater cynicism, as was clear with the public assassination of President Aristide's prominent supporter Antoine Izméry in September 1993 and, one month later, the assassination of the Minister of Justice Guy Malary, as well as the acts of intimidation perpetrated against members of the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission. In rural areas, there was an increase in cases of arbitrary arrest, beatings, illegal raids and confiscation of property, disappearances, and torture, leading more and more persons to go into hiding or to abandon their homes. Throughout the country, violations occurred with the active participation or the acquiescence of the police and the military forces. The violence was directed against the unarmed civilian population, which at no time took recourse to violence against representatives of the state.
12. On September 23, the UN Security Council, by Resolution 867, approved the dispatch of a mission to Haiti (UNMIH), composed of 1,300 persons who would act as supervisors of the police and military instructors and included a construction engineering unit. However, the acts of violence organized by the so-called Front for Advancement and Progress in Haiti (FRAPH) and by other paramilitary groups prevented disembarkation from the "Harlam County" that transported members of the technical assistance mission (UNMIH). The United States Government ordered the withdrawal of the boat, and Canada withdrew a detachment of 50 policemen.
13. Considering that the agreements entered into for the restoration of democracy in Haiti had not been observed, the UN Security Council, by Resolution 873 of October 13, 1993, reinstated the oil and arms embargo against Haiti and froze the Haitian military authorities' financial assets abroad. In the same spirit, the Permanent Council of the OAS issued Resolution 610 of October 18 and instructed the Special Commission responsible for monitoring compliance with the trade embargo in Haiti to resume its activities. This embargo was followed by a naval blocade authorized by the UN Security Council, since the Head of the Haitian Army General Raoul Cédras refused to step down. Following the naval blocade, observers from the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission were evacuated to the Dominican Republic, and the Government of the Dominican Republic placed its entire border with Haiti under surveillance.
14. Given the lack of progress in obtaining President Aristide's return to Haiti and the fact that the political situation remained deadlocked, representatives of four "Friends of Haiti" countries (Canada, the United States, France, and Venezuela) met in Paris on December 13, 1993 and decided to send a high-level military mission to Haiti to speak with the Haitian military leaders, who refused to receive it.
15. As a part of the efforts to find a solution to the Haitian crisis, President Aristide convened a conference in Miami, January 14-16, 1994, which culminated in an appeal by the deposed Constitutional President for unity among the Haitian people and a request for support and prompt observance of the Governors Island Agreement and the New York Pact, also with a recommendation for the start of the process for the appointment of a new Prime Minister and a government of reconciliation.
16. The Special Report on Haiti that the Commission submitted to the 24th OAS General Assembly in Belem do Pará concluded as follows: "During the period in question, the Commission recorded many deaths whose political connections were fully demonstrated by the fact that the military could instigate or stop them. Furthermore, as in the present situation, not only did it provoke and sponsor them, but the soldiers also failed to investigate and punish the perpetrators of these murders, who operated in death-squad like fashion. This prompts the conclusion that they operate because they are granted impunity by the military."
17. By invitation of the Permanent Council of the OAS, representative of the IACHR Professor Claudio Grossman testified before that political body on May 11, 1994 on the human rights situation in Haiti, pointing out that the Commission was continuing to give priority to observing the human rights situation in that country. He indicated that on the basis of the visits carried out, the Commission noted that the abuses performed by military and paramilitary elements took place with full impunity, that the general situation of human rights in Haiti continued to worsen severely, and that there was no judicial authority that could protect people from these violations.
18. Thus, by virtue of the regime of terror promoted by the Armed Forces and its continued rejection of the political agreements aimed at restoring democracy in Haiti, he announced the Commission's decision to carry out a further on-site visit, starting on May 16, 1994.
19. During its 84th period of sessions that took place in February 1994, the IACHR decided to carry out an on-site visit, in light of the worsening human rights situation in Haiti. The observation visit took place May 16-20, 1994.
20. The Commission's delegation was composed of its members Dr. Patrick Robinson, Ambassador John Donaldson, and Professor Claudio Grossman. It was assisted by Executive Secretary of the IACHR Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez, Senior Specialist in charge of Haitian Affairs Dr. Bertha Santoscoy-Noro, IACHR Attorneys Relinda Eddie and Isabel Ricupero, OAS interpreter Serge Bellegarde, and secretary of the delegation Cecilia Adriazola.
21. During its visit, the Commission met with the following eminent persons: Prime Minister Robert Malval, accompanied by Ministers Victor Benoit, Rosemont Pradel, Louis Dejoie II, Berthony Berry; Director of the OAS-UN International Civilian Mission Ambassador Colin Granderson and a member of the Mission, Tiebilé Dromé; Monsignor Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Apostolic Nuncio; President of the Chamber of Deputies, Frantz Robert Mondé, and President of the Senate, Firmin Jean-Louis. The Commission also requested a meeting with Haitian Armed Forces Head General Raoul Cédras and members of the Staff and with the Chief of Police Lieutenant-Colonel Michel François, but received no reply.
22. The Commission also met with the Coordinator of the former Presidential Commission, Father Antoine Adrien, and with representatives of nongovernmental organizations--popular grassroots bodies, human rights groups, and leaders of various political parties--with the aim of collecting information on the human rights situation in Haiti. Similarly, meetings were held with radio and newspaper representatives, who provided testimonies on the situation regarding freedom of expression in Haiti, and with representatives of the industrial sector and of various churches.
23. The lack of authorization prevented the delegation from visiting the National Penitentiary of Port-au-Prince and gaining first-hand information on the legal situation of prisoners and on the general conditions in which the detention center is maintained.
24. During its visit, the Commission collected abundant information and listened to the testimonies of the victims of human rights violations. Thanks to the cooperation of members of the International Civilian Mission and human rights groups helping to coordinate interviews with victims, who did not accept to meet with the Commission at the place where interviews were being conducted for fear of being identified, the IACHR delegation broke up into five groups in an attempt to deal with a large number of complaints at secret locations.
25. A fact that revealed the sound basis for the fear of the Haitian people was that on the date that had been fixed for receiving individual complaints, the Delegation was informed that the hotel was surrounded by armed men. This created a situation of panic among the petitioners, who fled into a room, refusing to come out for several hours. Subsequently, with the help of the Venezuelan Representative Ambassador Elsa Boccheciampe, the IACHR delegation managed to get the Haitians out in various automobiles, and they were taken to a place far from the hotel, from which they could return home without being followed.
26. The delegation was able to verify the serious worsening of the human rights situation in Haiti since its last visit in August 1993, and attributed responsibility for those violations to the de facto Haitian authorities, whose behavior justified accusations against them for the perpetration of international crimes, implicating the responsibility of individuals.
27. Following its visit to Haiti and at the prior invitation of the Government, the Commission traveled to The Bahamas for the purpose of observing the situation of Haitian refugees in that country, where it carried out a visit, May 22-27, 1994. The special IACHR delegation was composed of Professor Michael Reisman, President of the Commission; Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza, Vice-President; and Ambassador John Donaldson. The Commission was assisted by Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez, Executive Secretary of the Commission; Dr. David Padilla, Deputy Executive Secretary; Dr. Relinda Eddie, Human Rights Specialist; and Mrs. Rosario McIntyre, Secretary of the IACHR.
28. During its stay, the IACHR delegation had the cooperation of the Government of The Bahamas, official agencies, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations.
29. The Commission met with the following persons: the Prime Minister, Mr. Orville A. Turnquest; the Minister of Social Development, Mrs. Theresa Moxey Ingraham; Sir Lynden Pindling, Leader of the Opposition; Sir Clement Maynard; Dr. Bernard Nottage and Independent Senator Fred Mitchell; Mark Wilson, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Security and Transportation; and representatives of other ministries; Mrs. Marina Glinton, Director of the Red Cross; Winifred Murray, an official of the Department of Welfare; and Charles Drummond, Director of the Salvation Army. Representatives of various churches also met with the delegation.
30. The Commission's delegation visited Haitian shanty towns in Grand Abaco (Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay), Grand Bahama (Freeport), Eleuthera, and New Providence. It also visited the Carmichael Road detention camp.
31. The Commission was impressed by the fact that The Bahamas provided a whole series of basic social services for Haitians fleeing their country, and Haitian children attend school in the same conditions as Bahamian children. This meant that The Bahamas was absorbing a proportionately larger share of the Haitian diaspora than any other state in the hemisphere, a fact that weighed heavily on its budget and on its infrastructure. The Commission therefore considered that The Bahamas deserved to receive assistance from the international community.
32. The Special Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti was submitted to the 24th Ordinary Meeting of the OAS General Assembly, which took place in Belem do Pará, Brazil, June 6-10, 1994. Also during this meeting, President of the IACHR Professor Michael Reisman and IACHR member and Rapporteur for Haiti Dr. Patrick Robinson submitted to the Ad Hoc Meeting of Foreign Ministers and to the OAS General Assembly an additional report on the visit recently made to Haiti, May 16-20, 1994, in accordance with the request contained in Permanent Council Resolution 630. Also present at the General Assembly were Vice-Presidents of the Commission Dr. Leo Valladares Lanza and Ambassador Alvaro Tirado Mejía who were assisted by Executive Secretary Dr. Edith Márquez Rodríguez, Deputy Executive Secretary Dr. David Padilla, and Attorney in charge of Haitian Affairs Dr. Bertha Santoscoy-Noro.
33. Considering that the expulsion of the International Civilian Mission (July 11, 1994) meant there was no presence of any international agency recording in a coordinated way the systematic violations occurring in Haiti, President of the Commission Prof. Michael Reisman instructed the Secretary to start making relevant arrangements for a further on-site visit. The Commission issued a press release on July 27, 1994, expressing its concern with the International Civilian Mission's departure and indicating its decision to make a visit to Haiti.
34. On August 8, the Secretary requested an interview with the Head of the Armed Forces and the Staff, which was refused at end-August. In view of the soldiers' negative reaction and logistical problems caused by the suspension of all commercial flights and the lack of authorization from the de facto Government for private flights to land, the Commission published a second press release on August 31, denouncing the cold-blooded assassination, committed ten days earlier, of Father Jean-Marie Vincent and announced its intention to devote a part of its next session, in September 1994, to a detailed review of the situation in Haiti and measures that could be taken to contribute to alleviating the continuous pattern of human rights violations in the country.
35. During its 87th period of sessions, the Commission received in audience Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, UN Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Haiti, who took the opportunity to state that the environment in Haiti warranted the development and formalization of plans for closer cooperation with other intergovernmental organizations, which he felt could be achieved with the IACHR, within the framework of the promotion and defense of human rights, by virtue of the jurisdiction enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights.
36. The Commission also received in audience Ambassador Jean Casimir, Representative of the Haitian Permanent Mission to the OAS, who described before the Commission the events that had occurred most recently in Haiti in regard to the political situation and human rights. Ambassador Casimir called upon the Commission to establish a presence in Haiti as soon as possible, even before October 15, 1994, for the purpose of observing the human rights situation and providing assistance for the country's democratization plans.
37. Ambassador Casimir explained that the wish of the democratic Haitian Government was for the Commission, in addition to carrying out an on-site visit, to prepare a program of activities not only based on observations of human rights violations, but also including a program of prevention and promotion of the rights of individuals, to be implemented in the short and medium terms. This program would contain advice on measures for financing such activities. He added that, to the extent possible, such a program could be associated with the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, the Inter-American Women's Commission, and any other institution that the IACHR considered it useful to include.
38. Among representatives of nongovernmental organizations received at hearings was Mr. William O'Neill of the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, who requested the Commission to carry out an emergency visit to Haiti, so that its presence might have a dissuasive effect on human rights violations and to let the Haitian people know that they had not been abandoned by the international agencies responsible for promoting the defense of personal guarantees. Mr. O'Neill stressed the importance of the presence of human rights observers in Haiti to inform the international community on complaints of violations, especially at a time when the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission was not in the country.
39. Lastly, the Commission received the following representatives of nongovernmental organizations at hearings: Prof. Rhonda Copelan (International Women's Human Rights Clinic, Cuny Law School), Dr. Deborah Anker and Nancy Kelly (Women's Refugee Project), Jennifer Green (Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School), Dr. Wallie Mason and Anna Marie Gallagher (Center for Human Rights Legal Action), Beth Stephens (Center for Constitutional Rights); Sabine Millien (Haitian Women's Advocacy Network), Portia R. Moore and Joyce Jones (Morrison and Foerster), and Jacqueline A. McNeal, who wrote a report on the grave human rights situation prevailing in Haiti stressing in particular the women's situation. At the same time, the Commission was handed over various documents on alleged human rights violations.
40. Also presented to the Commission was one of the victims of human rights violations, who testified regarding the atrocities personally borne at the hands of soldiers in Haiti.
41. The International Women's Human Rights Clinic expressly requested of the Commission: (a) that the IACHR recognize rape as a form of torture in the Convention and cover such violations in its special reports; (b) that it send an emergency mission to Haiti for the purpose of compiling new information; (c) that it adopt a very special leadership role to achieve the disarmament of the army and the police; (d) that an international criminal tribunal be established to deal with violations committed in Haiti; and (e) that proposals be drawn up for a methodology of investigating human rights violations against women in Haiti.
42. Following its 87th period of sessions, September 19-30, 1994, the Commission accepted the invitation of the Constitutional Government of Haiti to carry out an on-site visit to observe the human rights situation in the country. This visit took place October 24-27, 1994.
43. The Delegation was composed of IACHR President Prof. Michael Reisman, Commission members Mr. Patrick Robinson and Prof. Claudio Grossman, Senior Human Rights Specialist in charge of Haitian Affairs Dr. Bertha Santoscoy-Noro, Attorneys of the Commission Dr. Relinda Eddie, Dr. Meredith Caplan, and Dr. Isabel Ricupero, OAS interpreter Mr. Serge Bellegarde, and IACHR secretaries Mrs. Cecilia Adriazola and Mrs. Gloria Hansen.
44. During its visit, the IACHR Delegation met with the President of the Republic Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to whom it expressed its deep satisfaction at the restoration of the democratic regime in Haiti. The Delegation reiterated its interest in maintaining cooperation on the study of all matters relating to its terms of reference.
45. The Delegation held interviews with the then Chief of the Armed Forces, General Jean-Claude Duperval, to obtain information on the changes that would be made within the army and the police, in accordance with the decisions that had been taken at the international and national levels.
46. The IACHR Delegation also held discussions with Director of the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission Ambassador Colin Granderson, and Head of the Human Rights Directorate Mr. Tiébilé Dromé. It also met with the diplomatic representatives of the five "Friends of Haiti" countries, namely, Argentina, the United States, Canada, France, and Venezuela; with members of Parliament, with Coordinator of the former Presidential Commission Father Antoine Adrien, and with Mayor of Port-au-Prince Mr. Evans Paul.
47. Similarly, the Delegation met with representatives of human rights organizations, with grassroots groups, with leaders of political parties, and with representatives of radio stations, the International Red Cross Committee, unions, the Chamber of Commerce, the industrial sector, and various religious denominations.
48. The Delegation visited the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince and traveled to the towns of Saint-Marc and Gonaïves, where meetings were held with victims of human rights violations committed during the period of military dictatorship. The Delegation visited the penitentiaries in the above-mentioned towns to collect information directly on the legal situation, the hygienic conditions, and the food of prisoners, as well as general conditions in the prisons.
49. During its stay, the Commission received substantial information on the general situation in Haiti and numerous complaints from victims of human rights violations committed by the dictatorial regime. That information will be analyzed in Chapter IV of this report.
50. The purpose of this chapter is to provide information on how the political process is being pursued in Haiti and on the negotiations and steps taken by the OAS and the UN with the aim of finding a solution to the Haitian crisis. The Commission does not claim that the information it provides is exhaustive. It merely gives an account of the most significant decisions taken by the international community since January 1994, the political reactions in Haiti, and their impact in regard to human rights.
51. Given the stalemate in the Haitian political situation and the worsening of the human rights situation, in early January 1994 OAS/UN Special Envoy Mr. Dante Caputo recommended the return to Haiti of the International Civilian Mission. On January 26, the first group of 22 observers arrived there, to be joined later by the rest of the team, which was in Santo Domingo. Upon its arrival, the International Civilian Mission concentrated on Port-au-Prince and observed a resurgence of violence in both the capital and its environs. The number of murders was still alarming, especially extrajudicial executions. In certain cases, the International Civilian Mission obtained information that allowed it to conclude that members of the Armed Forces, their auxiliaries, and FRAPH members were responsible. In other cases, testimony received by the Mission pointed to armed civilians as the aggressors, but it was not possible in such circumstances to establish whether these were attachés or armed bands acting with the complicity of the Armed Forces.
52. Within two months of the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission's arrival, it published 11 press releases pointing out the worsening of the human rights situation, the wave of repression in rural areas, disappearances, and the existence of clandestine detention centers. Notwithstanding the presence and the efforts deployed by the International Civilian Mission, the situation continued to worsen and became critical toward the end of April, when a number of FRAPH militants and soldiers massacred more than 20 persons in Raboteau, which is an area of Gonaïves.
53. With February 1994 came the so-called Parliamentarians' Plan, which proposed the appointment of a new Prime Minister, the withdrawal of General Cédras, the passing of the amnesty law, and the approval, once the new Government had been installed, of the law creating a police force. Finally, it provided for the return of President Aristide, but fixed no date for this. The plan failed because of a lack of support from any of the "Friends of Haiti" countries. Neither was it accepted by President Aristide, because this plan represented a departure from the Governors Island Agreement.
54. Also in February, the Senate became divided when five senators of the Alliance for Parliamentary Unity and eight senators elected in the controverted elections of September 18, 1993 violently expelled President of the Haitian Senate Firmin Jean-Louis together with twelve democratic elected senators and appointed Bernard Sansaricq. Despite the fact that this implied a parallel representation of the Senate, the faction led by Bernard Sansaricq never was recognized by the international community.
55. On March 23, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 903 whereby the term of office of the UN Mission (UNMIH), which had in fact not yet been deployed in Haiti, was extended to June 30, 1994 and requested the Secretary-General to inform it when the necessary conditions existed for the dispatch of that Mission. Also in March, the OAS and the UN launched an appeal in favor of a so-called Humanitarian Action Plan aimed at meeting the most urgent needs of the Haitian people. The proposal to implement the plan of assistance was evaluated at $62.7 million, which would be distributed in various areas, namely, health, nutrition, agriculture, and education. As contributions did not prove sufficient, the two organizations had to make an appeal to obtain funds available within the context of their national programs in order to carry out the activities.
56. In his April report, the UN Secretary-General indicated that the negotiations conducted to that date had not led to concrete progress, and it was therefore necessary to recommend that a more precisely Haitian solution be found. He therefore stated that it would be desirable for those involved, with the support of the international community, to resume a real role in this process. He added that the international community, particularly the most concerned countries, should seek unity in its approach at this stage, taking into account the recent stalemate in the negotiations.
57. On the one hand, the two-week hunger strike by well-known human rights defender and director of the TransAfrica group Randall Robinson, the arrest of six members of Congress who were demonstrating in front of the White House, and the sharp criticism by President Aristide of the Clinton Government's policy. On the other hand, the criticism by nongovernmental human rights groups on the lack of political will to take firm decisions to reinstate Aristide in power and to change the policy of summarily repatriating Haitian refugees and the worsening human rights situation in Haiti led to a revision of the United States Government's policy. There was also talk of requesting the UN Security Council to apply a total embargo against the de facto regime in Haiti.
58. Following the change in policy announced by the United States Government, Adviser on Haiti at the State Department Lawrence Pezzullo resigned on April 27 and was replaced as Special Adviser by William Gray, a Democrat and former member of Congress.
59. Among efforts made to resolve the crisis in Haiti by peaceful means, the UN Security Council on May 6 approved Resolution 917 broadening the sanctions under the embargo imposed on Haiti in October 1993, which had not had the desired effect, mainly along the lengthy border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
60. The sanctions covered in Resolution 917 would enter into force within 15 days, and as of that date every state would: 1) deny permission to any aircraft to take off, land, or fly over its territory if the aircraft's destination or place of departure was Haitian territory, except where such flights had been approved for humanitarian reasons; 2) ban the entry on its territory of any military officials from Haiti, including members of the police and their immediate family members and the main participants in the 1991 coup d'état and their family members; 3) prohibit the import into its territory of any goods and products originating in Haiti and exported from that country, except those sent for humanitarian reasons; and 4) be urged to impose an immediate freeze on the funds and financial resources of the above-mentioned persons.
61. In its Resolution 917, the Council warned in five points that the sanctions would not be fully removed until:
a) the withdrawal of the Commander-in-Chief of the Haitian Armed Forces and the resignation or departure from Haiti of the Chief of Police of Port-au-Prince and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces;
b) a total change, through resignation or departure from Haiti, in the top staff of the police and the high military commands, as provided for in the Governors Island Agreement;
c) the adoption of the legislative measures provided for in the Governors Island Agreement, as well as the creation of adequate conditions for the organization of free and fair legislative elections within the framework of a full restoration of democracy in Haiti;
d) the establishment by the authorities of adequate conditions for the deployment of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH); and
e) the return, as soon as possible, of the democratically elected President and the maintenance of constitutional order, these conditions being necessary for full observance of the Governors Island Agreement.
62. In view of the deterioration in the human rights situation in Haiti, the Permanent Council of the OAS, by Resolution 630 of May 9, strongly condemned the massive violations committed under Haiti's military regime and mentioned, in that connection, the recent reports of massacres and arson that occurred in Cité Soleil, Borgne, and Raboteau, which represented a serious obstacle to full pursuit of the proposals whose implementation was sought by the Ad Hoc Meeting of Foreign Ministers and an attempt to nullify any proposal for a total exercise of the Haitian nation's political sovereignty.
63. In the same resolution, the Permanent Council requested the IACHR to give priority to investigating cases of massive executions, sexual abuses, and kidnapping of minors, especially when these were used as methods of political terror, and to inform the General Assembly at its 24th ordinary period of sessions of the results of the next observation visit in Haiti.
64. Prior to the date when Resolution 917 adopted by the UN Security Council was to come into force and in open defiance of the international community, Emile Jonassaint, a magistrate of the Supreme Court, was designated Provisional President of Haiti, with the backing of five senators led by Sansaricq and supported by the military establishment, in the presence of Head of the Armed Forces Raoul Cédras.
65. The appointment of Jonassaint was immediately rejected by the UN and the OAS. The latter's Permanent Council unanimously declared that the Haitian crisis would be solved only with the return of Aristide and that any action taken by the illegitimate government, including any call for elections, would be considered worthless. Subsequently, because of the lack of legitimacy in the appointment of Jonassaint, politicians who supported him were isolated, and the Chamber of Deputies indicated that it would not recognize that government or any decisions it adopted.
66. The IACHR, which was present in Haiti at that time (from May 16 to 20), indicated that the fact of installing a "government" without a popular vote and of contravening the Haitian Constitution represented flagrant violation of the political rights of the Haitian people and of the rights to political participation enshrined in Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights.
67. The IACHR carried out a visit to observe the situation of human rights in Haiti. During this visit, in spite of having been prevented by the military authorities from carrying out a part of its work agenda and the fear expressed by many persons of being interviewed in public places, the Commission met at clandestine locations and obtained abundant information.
68. At the end of its visit, the Commission provided the information, at a press conference, that because of the numerous testimonies of victims of violations, it was able to report on the serious deterioration in the situation of human rights in Haiti since its last visit in August 1993. The documentation received by the Commission indicated, among other violations, 133 cases of extrajudicial executions that had occurred between February and May 1994. Also, the Commission received information on the existence of severely mutilated corpses in the streets of Port-au-Prince and directly verified one such case. The Commission pointed out that the purpose of these acts was to terrorize the people.
69. Given the military establishment's refusal to come to a solution of the political crisis, the sanctions imposed in UN Resolution 917 entered into force on May 21, 1994.
70. During the 24th ordinary meeting of the OAS General Assembly, which took place in Belem do Pará, Brazil, June 6-10, 1994, the Ad Hoc Meeting of Foreign Ministers, taking account of the reports submitted by the IACHR and by the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission, issued Resolution No. 6/94, "Call for a Return to Democracy in Haiti," in which it condemned the continuation of delaying and intimidating tactics by the de facto military authorities and the repression exercised by the latter against supporters of democracy.
71. In this resolution, a request was also made: 1) for support to strengthen the International Civilian Mission so that it could increase its staff; and 2) for the IACHR to continue drawing attention to violations against the Haitian people's human rights, to pursue its investigations on the conduct of the de facto authorities so as to help identify those responsible for the violations committed, to cooperate with the Government of Haiti in the preparation and implementation of programs to reform the country's judicial institutions, and to continue cooperating with the International Civilian Mission.
72. Finally, Resolution 6/94 urged all member states to support the UN's measures to strengthen its mission in Haiti (UNMIH), so that it can assist in restoring democracy by making the Armed Forces a professional body and training the new police force, helping to maintain public order, and protecting the staff of international organizations and other organizations participating in humanitarian and human rights efforts in Haiti. The Resolution also contained an appeal to the international community to cooperate in dealing with the problem of persons fleeing Haiti and to help in attending to their requests for asylum in their capacity as refugees, offering them protection when they meet the relevant conditions.
73. On June 10, the United States Government announced its determination to seek the economic, financial, and air isolation of Haiti, in a further attempt to force the soldiers to leave power. Consequently, President Clinton ordered the suspension of United States commercial flights to Haiti as of June 25, thus giving time for United States citizens residing in that country and wishing to leave it, to do so. Canada and Panama adopted similar measures. As of that date, the only air communications from Haiti would be assured by the Dutch company ALM and by Air France, which later also suspended their flights.
74. On June 30, the UN Security Council issued Resolution 933/94, in which it requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Council, by July 15, 1994 at the latest, a report containing concrete recommendations on the staffing, composition, cost, and duration of UNMIH, with a view to increasing and deploying that mission that would provide assistance, when the time came, to the democratic Government of Haiti to guarantee the security of the international presence, senior officials of the Government of Haiti, and essential installations and to provide assistance for the maintenance of public order and the holding of legislative elections, which would have to be convened by the legitimate constitutional authorities. It also decided to extend the mandate of UNMIH to July 31, 1994.
75. Without warning, the Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Workship sent a note to the International Civilian Mission on July 5, informing it that its term of office had expired, that it was continuing to function in "undefined, irregular" circumstances, and that he was therefore indicating that it should suspend its activities. Then on July 11, the de facto authorities handed Ambassador Colin Granderson, Director of the International Civilian Mission, a decree issued by the President who had not been recognized by the international community, Emile Jonassaint, in which he declared the members of the Mission "undesirable" and gave them 48 hours to leave Haiti. The Secretaries of the OAS and the UN immediately issued a joint statement, in which they condemned the deplorable act and ordered the evacuation of the Mission.
76. On the one hand, the expulsion of the International Civilian Mission was yet further proof of the clear contempt in which the de facto authorities held the international community. On the other hand, the Haitian people experienced a feeling of despair and abandonment in view of the human rights violations, which were becoming increasingly evident, against persons maintaining a direct rapport with the democratic regime.
77. By a press release of July 27, the IACHR expressed its concern about the expulsion of the International Civilian Mission, pointing out that this was depriving the Haitian people of a witness of the violations and robbing human rights institutions of a source of information that was essential for their work. As a result of these events, the Commission considered it suitable to carry out an immediate visit to Haiti, for the purpose of observing the human rights situation in accordance with the American Convention on Human Rights, to explore methods of ending those violations, and to develop alternative information media.
78. On July 27, the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission submitted a report entitled "Situation of Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti," covering the period January 31-June 30, 1994, in which it draws attention to the political repression carried out by soldiers and the numerous human rights violations resulting from them. The report also refers to incidents of harassment and intimidation to which members of the International Civilian Mission were subjected at the hands of the de facto authorities for the purpose of opposing their activities.
79. Given the recent events and the resurgence of violence in Haiti, President Aristide requested the international community, by letter of July 29 addressed to the UN Secretary-General, to take speedy and decisive action under the authority of the UN, so as to facilitate total application.
80. On July 31, 1994, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution No. 940/94, in which it:
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, authorizes Member States to form a multinational force under unified command and control and, in this framework, to use all necessary means to facilitate the departure from Haiti of the military leadership, consistent with the Governors Island Agreement, the prompt return of the legitimately elected President and the restoration of the legitimate authorities of the Government of Haiti, and to establish and maintain a secure and stable environment that will permit implementation of the Governors Island Agreement..."
81. Following this resolution, the de facto authorities of Haiti immediately decreed a state of siege, and the idea of a United States intervention led the Haitian military to recruit many people by force and train them to defend the country.
82. The situation in Haiti became extremely tense in August, and some embassies withdrew their diplomatic staff. Telephone lines were often cut, leaving the country incommunicado. Attacks on the press became constant, and it was often prohibited, by decree of the de facto authorities, to distribute information from embassies (especially the United States embassy). Journalists who tried to enter the country via the Dominican Republic were not allowed to do so unless they paid $500, and this gave them access only to certain events and locations.
83. The human rights situation in Haiti continued to worsen even further. The cold-blooded murder on August 28 of Father Jean-Marie Vincent, a close friend and supporter of Aristide, was one more act in the series of violations committed with impunity. His death was a harsh blow against the sector that supported the return of the democratic regime and Christian resources in grassroots communities. The Haitian Armed Forces continued to defy the international community, committing all types of violent act to pursue the repression against the unfortunate people, who were also carrying the burden of the sanctions applied under the embargo. An economy on the brink of collapse, with a terrible scarcity of goods and more than 80 percent unemployed, and obstacles created by the de facto authorities that tended to prevent the distribution of humanitarian assistance for nearly one month.
84. In mid-August 1994, the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Ghali, had announced the dispatch of a UN mission to hold discussions with the Haitian military authorities. His emissary Mr. Rolf Knutsson traveled beforehand to the Dominican Republic and from there, he was to make the necessary arrangements for them to receive the mission, which would deal with the peaceful departure of the military authorities. However, the latter let it be known that they would have to speak with the President of the Chambers of Deputy and Bernard Sansaricq who was acting as President of the Senate to discuss a national reconciliation plan, rather than the implementation of Resolution 940.
85. On August 30, Boutros Ghali announced the failure of the initiative in question, at the same pointing out that the situation in Haiti was intolerable for the Haitian people, given the repression and human rights violations, and indicated that countries that had received a mandate to intervene in Haiti should take their own decisions.
86. During the August 30 meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), attended by United States Undersecretary of State Strobe Talbott and Undersecretary of Defense John Deutch, a number of points of Resolution 940 that referred to the multinational force were discussed. This resolution provided for an operation in two phases: the first, a multinational force that would invade Haiti and take control, and then a UN-UNMIH mission composed of 6,000 persons would maintain peace and control the Haitian security forces. For a start, four countries (Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago) stated they would contribute with a CARICOM peace force of 266 members to maintain order in Haiti following the overthrow of the military authorities. The United Kingdom stated it would participate in the multinational force. It was hoped that other countries would contribute during the second phase of the operation.
87. On the other hand, 88 UN observers, the Multinational Observer Group (MOG), were assigned at the end of August to the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti to prevent contraband fuel and other goods entering Haitian territory, in accordance with the embargo decreed by the UN. Canada, Argentina, Jamaica, Barbados, and Antigua participated in this group. The Army of the Dominican Republic also dispatched 15,000 soldiers to the border region. However, according to certain information, contraband fuel continued to pass between the two countries.