Haiti


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Haiti Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns

Amnesty International is seriously concerned that Haiti is descending into a severe humanitarian and human rights crisis. After weeks of insurrection by the armed opposition, President Aristide left Haiti on February 29. Since his departure the situation has remained volatile as spontaneous clashes between Aristide's supporters and members of the armed opposition continue to erupt despite the presence of a multinational force authorized by the U.N. Security Council in Haiti. It is feared that continued violence will result in more deaths and mass exodus of refugees.

Civilians at Risk

Amnesty International is distressed by the number of killings and human rights abuses committed in the context of clashes between police, armed Aristide supporters, and the armed opposition. Fears remain that unlawful killings and lootings may wreak further havoc on the country if the rebels and Aristide supporters fail to disarm.

Humanitarian Catastrophe

Amnesty International is alarmed by the humanitarian consequences of the violence in Haiti. Traffic through Haiti's main ports has been severely disrupted, blocking imports of food and water on which civilians rely, with petrol and other supplies running low. The poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti's political gridlock threatens to sweep the country into an appalling humanitarian crisis.

Refugees

As the situation remains volatile, Haitians are likely to continue to seek asylum outside the country. Authorities of the neighboring Dominican Republic have announced that their border-crossings are closed, and US President George W. Bush has announced that "we will turn back any refugee that attempts to reach our shore." and set up a cordon of Coast Guard vessels off the Haitian coast to deter boat departures. So far, more than 1,000 Haitian boat people have been summarily returned. Turning refugees back to likely persecution is a violation of international refugee law.

Impunity

Amnesty International is extremely concerned that Haitian judicial institutions have been further weakened by the recent political turmoil, making it difficult to hold authorities and armed opposition groups accountable for the deaths of hundreds of civilians since February 5. Furthermore, former military and paramilitary leaders responsible for serious human rights violations have taken up leadership positions within Haiti's armed opposition, and may demand impunity and a significant role in defining Haiti's future. If Haiti is to overcome the cycle of violence that has plagued the country the past decade, it must move quickly to ensure impunity does not take hold in the post-Aristide era.

Haiti Newsroom



July 14, 2021 • Press Release

Experts Remind DHS Secretary Seeking Asylum is a Human Right — Regardless of How You Arrive

Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Cubans and Haitians will not be allowed to reach the United States to seek asylum if traveling by boat. Secretary Mayorkas’s remarks come despite both Cubans and Haitians facing acute economic, political, and public health crises in their countries. Administrations in the United States have tried to use cruel deterrence-based policies since President Regan, and not only have they never worked, they often result in family separations. Experts also noted that the United States has a troubling history of interdicting people seeking protection at sea and of sending Haitians to Guantanamo Bay. Former asylum-seekers, advocates, and experts responded:

July 13, 2021 • Press Release

Over a Hundred National and International Groups Call on the Biden Administration to Welcome Haitians Seeking Safety in the U.S.

Over 130 human rights, humanitarian, immigration and women’s rights organizations called on President Biden, the Department of Homeland Security, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Agency, and the Department …

July 7, 2021 • Press Release

Investigation urged into killing of Haitian President and grave human rights violations under his watch

Last night’s armed assault that reportedly killed Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and injured his wife is a shocking indicator of the serious human rights and political crisis that Haiti has …

February 27, 2020 • Report

Countries cracked down on asylum and the right to protest in the Americas in 2019

As millions took to the streets to protest rampant violence, inequality, corruption and impunity, or were forced to flee their countries in search of safety, states across the Americas clamped …

June 13, 2016 • Report

Where are We Going to Live?: Migration and Statelessness in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has unlawfully expelled hundreds of Dominicans to Haiti who have been caught in the middle of a wave of returns and deportations of more than 100,000 people in recent months, Amnesty International said in a new report a year after the Dominican Republic ended a moratorium on deportations on June 18, 2015.

June 13, 2016 • Press Release

Reckless deportations from Dominican Republican leaving thousands in limbo in Haiti

The Dominican Republic has unlawfully expelled hundreds of Dominicans to Haiti who have been caught in the middle of a wave of returns and deportations of more than 100,000 people in recent months, Amnesty International said in a new report a year after the Dominican Republic ended a moratorium on deportations on June 18, 2015.

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

URGENT: Children seeking asylum in the U.S. are being denied their human rights based on their nationality — help ensure that all girls and boys fleeing violence can seek safety.