Half-Hour for Haiti: Invest in Hope and Justice for Haiti

2008 has been a year of great tragedy, but also great hope, for all of us at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). The bad news from Haiti kept coming, from April’s food crisis to August’s hurricanes and November’s school collapse. As usual, it was the poor who suffered the most, including our clients. But the good news kept coming too, as IJDH and BAI won several historic victories for Haiti’s poor, with your help. The highlights for us were delivering court-awarded damages to 94 victims of the Raboteau massacre, and receiclip_image001ving a binding order from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights requiring improvements in Haiti’s miserable prisons.

Update: The good news first: the Haitian government has appointed an Investigating Judge (Juge d’Instruction) to investigate the disappearance of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. The judge started holding hearings last week. Attorney Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), representing Lovinsky’s family, participated in the hearings. He reports that the judge is off to a good start. Two people have been arrested in the case, both in connection with possessing Lovinsky’s cell phone.

Some progress on Debt Relief for Haiti: the Inter-American Development Bank will be paying 2/3 of the debt service owed to the Bank by Haiti in 2009, a total of about $14 million. This can make a great difference for Haiti, and is good reason to push the World Bank to make a similar arrangement.

The bad news: the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit has resumed deportations to Haiti. Representatives Alcee Hastings and Robert Wexler called resuming deportations to a country that has had as bad a year as Haiti “short-sighted and inhumane” in a letter to immigration officials. We hope to have an action alert on this issue soon……….Continue reading

Links: Targetting Aristide

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