Posted by: piedrasyluz | May 21, 2012

HELP REFUGEES AT CAMP GRACE!

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
05.20.12
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah
(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,
dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)
Hurah’s Blog:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)
Tom Luce, Editor

For All Supporters
of Human Rights For Quake Refugees!

Amnesty International Alert (click for PDF)

Dear Friends:


A good Hurah colleague has asked me to pass on this sad story of one of the camps for eathquake victims, “Grace Village”, Carrefou, Haiti. The man who claims to be the property owner has been trying to evict the victims from his property and Amnesty Int. is reporting it involves violence.

I have seen myself the same situation
where property owned by Churches, schools, municipalities as well as private owners have been in a hurry and willing to use violent means to remove people-quake refugees– from their only home. The owners argue that they have to “clean” their property, get it back to its original use, etc.

If you Google this name of this camp you can try to make sense out of a very conflicting story. But, please read the story below backed up by Amnesty International and then take action below. Where you end up understanding situation will be another big story.

I will send a letter to each official in the name of Hurah, but individuals are also encouraged to write and recruit others. Impact is with numbers of letters and the international spotlight.

Thanks!

Tom


From a Grace Camp Worker via AI
Afterward is a French Letter adapted to all officials

—————————————
May 17, 2012

Friends and Comrades:

Since November I have worked in Grace Village, a camp in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince.
After the earthquake, more than 15,000 people settled in the empty plot
around the Grace Village church. Today, approximately 3,000 Haitians remain.
The majority have been forcibly evicted or have left the camp because
of the degree of terror and violence. The man claiming to be landowner
employs a team of private security guards who patrol the camp with big
shotguns. They tear down tents at random. They beat residents. They prohibit
residents from removing trash from the camp or clean the latrines. They
do not allow any outside organizations, including the State water company,
to come inside. They call the police to arrest those who resist. Female
residents report that they are sexually harassed, told that they will
lose their tents if they do not sleep with the guards.

It is clear that the goal of the owner is to make life so awful that
people will leave. The problem is that the residents have nowhere to go.
Hundreds, if not thousands, live in makeshift shelters in the streets
bordering the camp.

When colleagues and I were in Grace Village a few weeks ago, one of the
security guards fired his shotgun into the air a foot or so from where
we stood. When I was in the camp last Wednesday, local police arrived
to arrest the residents with whom I was meeting. They were charged with
hitting one of the security guards. No evidence or testimony against them
was ever presented. They spent five nights in jail before we could get
them released.

I am working with a Haitian attorney, Patrice Florvilus, who is filing
a case against the guards for their illegal, violent acts. The justice
system in Haiti, however, works slowly. At best.

Amnesty International has two staff members on mission in Haiti. They
arrived Sunday and spent all Monday in Grace Village. They released an
urgent action notice that asks Amnesty members and supporters to contact
Haitian authorities and demand an end to the human rights abuses in Grace
Village. Amnesty’s Action Alert is included below. (Editor: see PDF attached.)

I have drafted short emails that you can copy and paste and send to the
relevant Haitian authorities. Here, too, are photos from the camp:
CAMP PICS

Thank you for reading and for caring about something that may feel very
far away.

Kenbe (hold firm),

Ellie


DRAFT EMAIL:

Cher M. Le Premier Ministre (Prime Minister Lamothe)  ecrire@laurentlamothe.com
Cher M. Le Directeur (Director of National Police Mr. Andresol) marioandresol@yahoo.fr
Cher M. Le Maire: (Mayor Jerome of Carrefour) mairiedecarrefour@hotmail.com

Je suis conscient des abus continus des droits humains dans le camp de “Grâce Village”, un camp qui est une maison à Carrefour pour des milliers de personnes déplacées à l’intérieur. J’ai lu que les familles ont vu leurs tentes arrachées. Ils n’ont nulle part où aller. J’ai lu, aussi, que les gardes de sécurité privés menacent les résidents et harcellent sexuellement les femmes. J’ai lu que les résidents ont été renfermés à l’intérieur des murs du camp. Les observateurs des droits nous disent que la police de Carrefour a été complice dans les violations des droits de l’homme et, dans certains cas, ont perpétré d’autres abus tels que de fausses arrestations et ont subi des coups physiques.

Je vous prie, (title), de tenir tous responsables à un niveau plus élevé de professionnalisme et de respect. Je demande que vous utilisiez votre position d’autorité pour intervenir. Je vous demande d’exiger immédiatement que personne ne soit expulsé dans le village sans procédure régulière, un préavis suffisant, et à la consultation. Je demande que toutes les restrictions à l’entrée et la sortie au Camp Grâce Village soient immédiatement enlevées et que les autorités commencent à travailler avec les résidents pour améliorer les conditions sanitaires et la santé dans le camp.

Je vous exhorte, vous aussi, à soutenir une enquête sur les violations des droits de l’homme dans Grâce Village Camp par les actions d’hommes de sécurité privée du camp, le propriétaire, et la police locale.

Il n’est pas dans le meilleur intérêt de personne, riche ou pauvre, de propriétaires terriens ou des sans-abri, à Carrefour d’ignorer la situation dans le Village de Grace. Les résidents qui ont fait face à une expulsion forcée vivent maintenant dans les rues, souvent dans la rue Saint-Charles et Lametin 52. Ils n’ont nulle part où aller à la salle de bain. Ils bloquent la circulation. Non seulement est-ce qu’ils sont à risque pour leur sécurité personnelle, ils présentent un risque pour la santé publique à tous les résidents de Carrefour.

Le gouvernement d’Haïti doit démontrer qu’il ne tolérera pas les violations des droits de l’homme menées par des fonctionnaires à tous les niveaux du gouvernement. S’il vous plaît utilisez votre position de direction pour montrer que “tout moun se moun”. Promouvez les droits des personnes déplacées à Grace Village, Carrefour.

Merci!

Tom Luce


Tom Luce, Organizer
Hurah – Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti
1515 Fairview St. Apt. C
Berkeley, California 94703-2317
E-mail: president@hurah.org
Web: http://hurah.org
Home: 510-229-3556
SkypeIn: 510-423-0260
Skype:tomluce
MagicJack: 510-229-3571

Buy our book, ‘The Challenges of Judicial Reform in Haiti” by Jean Sénat Fleury (http://www.lulu.com/content/7738897)

To donate (not tax exempt)
Tom Luce as above
Make check out to Hurah


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