a communication dated May 30, 1975, the general situation of human
rights in Haiti was denounced and a list was attached containing the
names of 74 individuals who, with two exceptions had not been brought to
trial, despite the fact that in most cases they had been detained for a
number of years;
Commission, in a note dated August 12, 1975, transmitted to the
Government of Haiti the pertinent parts of the denunciation and
requested that it provide the corresponding information;
Government, in a note dated August 28, replied as follows:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs feels compelled to emphasize the malicious
intent of the anonymous claimant, who did not act out of a desire to
cooperate with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in order to
uphold respect for the basic attributes of man in the hemisphere, but
rather decided to sully the reputation of a government that has made the
restoration of the Haitian nation in all spheres the pivot of its
has also invented names and includes on his list individuals who have
been released such as Jean Bernadel, or individuals who are
beneficiaries of an order of clemency issued by the President for Life
of the Republic by virtue of which their punishments were reduced, such
as Raymond Toussaint, Scrith Dougé, Clémard Joseph Charlas, Fernand
Prosper, Edmond Pierre Paul and Hubert Legros.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs feels that it is useful to recall that one
of the first measures taken by the President for Life of the Republic
was to form a commission to study the files of all prisoners.
was concluded that the legal guarantees have been afforded to prisoners
during trials, at the conclusion of which they have been sentenced to
penalties provided by Haitian penal law for the offenses committed.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to request the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights that it first judge the grounds of a
denunciation before bringing it to the attention of the governments of
the hemisphere. Otherwise, it will lose any credit that it might deserve
and the result will be to counteract the purposes for which the
Commission was established.
claimant, in a communication dated September 24, 1975, made the
following observations regarding the reply sent by the Government of
information provided by the Haitian Government is far from exhaustive
and of the list of 74 prisoners submitted to Your Excellency on May 30,
1975, reference is made only to the case of Maître Hubert Legros.
Haitian Government has not provided information on 73 of the 74
individuals on our list, who have not been given the right to the
judicial process to which they are entitled under the Constitution of
Haiti. We urge the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to
reiterate its request for information on these cases.
the basis of this background information, at its 36th session
the Commission decided to request the Government of Haiti to kindly
provides the information on the case and forwarded that decision to the
Government by note dated October 20, 1975;
its 38th session, the Commission again decided to send a note
to the Government of Haiti, in order to forward it supplementary
information that it had received from the claimants:
decision was forwarded to the Government of Haiti by note dated October
its 39th session, the Commission decided to repeat its
request and to request additional information from the Government;
a note dated March 3, 1977, the Commission addressed the Government of
Haiti as follows:
its 39th session, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights followed up the study on this case and decided to confirm the
request for information sent to the Haitian Government by note dated
October 20, 1976.
the Commission decided to inform the Haitian Government that it had
received other complaints from a number of claimants on one aspect of
that same case. It also wished to point out that in the communication
sent to that Government in response to its note of August 12, 1975, it
cited only one of the parties in this case.
the Commission set March 31, 1977, as the deadline for the Government of
Haiti to provide the requested information. Once the deadline in
question had passed the Commission would consider itself obligated to
consider possible application of Article 51 of its Regulations.
a note dated March 18, 1977, the Government replied to the note sent by
the Commission, in the following words:
response to your communication Ref: Case 1944, dated 3 March 1977,
permit me to inform you that an in-depth investigation conducted by the
competent government service revealed that the name of one Hubert Legros
has been used to attempt to accuse the Haitian Government of a violation
of human rights.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again calls attention to the damage
that acceptance of such denunciations will do to the prestige of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
the Government of Haiti, in notes dated January 21, 1977 and March 15,
1977, has provided accounts of individuals who have been granted
clemency by the Government, those communications, which made no mention
of the case being examined, cannot be regarded as adequate replies to
the request for information made by the Commission; further Article 51.1
of the Regulations of the Commission establishes the following:
The occurrence of the events on which information has been
requested will be presumed to be confirmed if the Government referred to
has not supplied such information within 180 days of the request,
provided always, that the invalidity of the events denounced is not
shown by other elements of proof.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. In application
of Article 51.1 of the Regulations, to presume the events denounced in
the complaint to be confirmed, which concerned the unjustified detention
of the individuals named in the denunciation of May 30, 1975, and whose
names do not appear on the lists provided to the Commission by the
Government of Haiti in its notes of January 21, 1977, and March 15,
2. To point out to
the Government of Haiti that such events constitute very serious
violations of the right to liberty and personal security (Article I of
the American Declaration of the Right and Duties of Man); of the right
to a fair trial (Article XVIII); of the right of protection from
arbitrary arrest (Article XXV), and the right to due process of law
3. To recommend to
the Government that it immediately releases the detainee in question or
brings them to trial.
4. To recommend
the Government that it punish, in accordance with Haitian law, those
responsible for the events denounced, and that, within sixty days, it
inform this Commission of the measures taken.
5. To forward this
resolution to the Government of Haiti and to the claimant.
6. To include this
resolution in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the
Organization (Article 9 (b bis), c), iii. of the Statute).
Adopted at the 539th meeting held on May 27, 1977 (41st Session), and forwarded to the Government of Haiti on September 22, 1977.