[If you see this too late, I urge you to read it anyway, for
the background information it contains, and to understand the urgency of
restoring democracy to Haiti. --Daniel.]
****Urgent Action Alert *****
June 14, 2004
For Immediate Release
French soldiers and U.N. Troops invade
the home Mayor of Milo, Jean Charles Moise.
Early reports indicate that on June 14,
2004, at around 4:00 am in the morning, a contingent of French soldiers
along with some U.N. (blue helmet) soldiers invaded the home of the duly
elected Mayor of Milo, Jean Charles Moise.
According to sources close to Mayor Jean
Charles Moise, on finding that he was not home, the soldiers arrested his
wife and took her into custody, and possibly some other adults in his house,
leaving his small underage children without a mother.
Contact immediately: Kofi Annan at the
UN, the French Mission at the UN, and U.S. Ambassador James Foley directly
at the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince. [contact information listed
below]. Also: contact Secretary of State Colin Powell at the US State
Department in Washington, call the State Department's Haiti desk, and contact
your Senators and Representatives. Call early and call often.
Raise your voices to protest this illegal
arrest of the Mayor's wife at 4:00 am in contravention of Haitian law.
Protest the pattern of dead-of-night home invations, practiced solely against
Lavalas officials while Guy Phillipe, Jean Tatoune and other known drug
dealers, and convicted murderes run free in Haiti. Denounce the un-reported
mass killings of Haitian civilians since the Coup D'etat, the reprisals,
continued illegal arrests of popular leaders in the Lavalas party and this
current hunt for the Mayor of Milo, Jean Charles Moise by foreign troops.
The house was ransacked and damaged by
the soldiers. Under Haitian law, even with a warrant and judge (Juj de
pe) present, no arrest may be made between the hours of 6:pm and 6 am in
To date, foreign troops in Haiti have
absolutely refused to respect or be bound to Haitian law, Constitution
or sovereignty. The U.S. soldiers and now French and U.N. soldiers seem
to be establishing a record, instead, of terrorizing suspects in the dead-of-night
and treating Haitians, even 5-year old Haitian children, as in the So Ann's
home invasion, like criminals, especially if they are affiliated with the
Lavalas party in Haiti which still remains Haiti's strongest and most popular
democratic party and movement.
What is most disturbing about this pattern
is the single-minded focus on arresting primarily Lavalas voices with a
well-known popular support base and credible reputations. This pattern
is continuing even under the new U.N.-led troops with this current hunt
for the Mayor of Milo. Said Mayor, Jean Charles Moise has been a frequent
voice in the U.S. media denouncing the human right abuses taking place
in Haiti since the U.S. and France forced President Aristide and the Constitutionally
elected government out of office. (See Mayor Jean Charles Moise's personal
testimony "Haiti's Murderous Army Reborn" at:
and at www.margueritelaurent.com/*/personaltestimonies.html
and re-printed below).
Haiti has had a long history of brutal
political repression conducted by US supported dictators and their paramilitaries
in the dead of night. That is why the law against such dead-of-night
arrests was adopted by sincere and conscious Haitian legislators who wished
to stop this pattern of injustice -- such terrorizing, arbitrary and warrantless
If the French soldiers and UN troops
had a legitimate warrant to exercise, they should have exercised it at
the appropriate hour and in accordance with the laws of the land and in
accordance with their UN mission as peacekeepers.
Call, fax and write Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, ask whether UN soldiers are now taking the place of the former
bloody Haitian military and FRAPH paramilitiries, who never abided by any
Haitian law whatsoever. Demand a stop to these sorts of home invations
in Haiti by foreign troops there as "peacekeepers." Demand the release
of the Mayor's wife, due compensation for the ransacked and destroyed home
and a stop to this seeming systematic witch hunts for only Lavalas officials
in Haiti and abroad.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Haiti Action Committee
New York, NY USA
phone number is 212-963-5012
James B. Foley
U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
phone: 509.223.7011 or 509.222.0200
and additional phones)
Powell, U.S. Secretary of State
fax: 202.647.2283 or 202.647.5169
phone: 202.647.5291 or 202.647.7098
Haiti Desk Officers, U.S. State Department:
For a multiple e-mailing, here are all the e-drsses (with the exception
of Sec. Powell's, whose e-mail link is a Webpage):
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, ConnellLF@state.gov
Background information of the Mayor of Milo:
ZNet | Haiti
Haiti's Murderous Army Reborn
by Jean Charles Moise; Pacific News
Service; March 14, 2004
Editor's Note: A mayor from northern Haiti currently in
hiding says that the Haitian army is back in force, shooting people and
burning homes. How could this happen, he asks -- and where are they
getting the all the heavy weaponry?
CAP HAITIAN, Haiti -- I am the mayor
of Milo, a district of about 50,000 people near Cap Haitian. When I was
elected nine years ago, at the age of 28, I was the youngest to serve in
that office in Haiti's modern history. I've traveled in the United States
on speaking tours, telling Americans about how we were building democracy
in Haiti under the Aristide government. In late February my district came
under attack by anti-Aristide forces and I fled for my life. From where
I am now -- hiding in the woods -- I see the old Haitian army is back.
Those they don't kill, they lock up in
containers, because they burned down the jails. The kind of containers
you put on ships.
The situation is different here from
what I hear about in Port-au-Prince, where you have the multinational force
of American, Canadian, Chilean soldiers.
In Cap Haitian you have the former Haitian
military. There are no police any more, so they are the ones who are law.
They come into your home. They take you, they beat you up, they kill you.
They burn down homes. They do anything they want, because they are the
only law in town.
The journalists are in Port-au-Prince,
but here in the north no one is reporting what's going on, that the former
Haitian military is killing people. They are killing about 50 people a
day in Cap Haitian. It's happening not just in the northern department
but also in the central plateau, in the Artibone region.
Can you imagine that on Monday at 2 p.m.
the former military declared a curfew that would start at 4 p.m.? The peasants,
many of them are poor and do not have a radio, so how could they hear of
this curfew? So what happened at 4 p.m.? The former military took to the
streets and anyone they saw on the streets they shot. This is the kind
of stuff that is going on. Can you imagine this?
We have people like myself, mayors and
other members of the municipal government who have had to flee and are
now sleeping in the woods, and have gone to the mountains. We have church
members and priests who have been beaten and whose cars have been destroyed.
These people are also in hiding. We could never have imagined that we would
be going back to this situation that existed before.
It is intolerable.
Since this whole thing started I haven't
seen my wife and my children. I have been in hiding. This cannot continue.
This is a catastrophe for the north of Haiti and all the people of Haiti.
One has to ask, why is all of this happening?
Is this because we used to have only 10 public high schools but now we
have over 150? Is it because we made a democracy where people could go
in the streets, protest, and be free to say whatever they want? Is it because
black people in the country now, people who were poor and always kept out
of the political life of the country, they have come out and have been
participating in democracy? Is that why they have unleashed this terror
on us? Is that what we are paying for?
We ask these questions: Is it because
the United States blocked international assistance to Haiti to make people
rise up against the president, but they never did? Is it because people
here are continuing to support their president?
Is that why we are getting all this repression? We have
to ask those questions.
We wonder whether it is because the army
that used to exist before was disbanded by President Aristide. Instead
of defending the people, that army used to carry out a war against us.
Is it because that army is no longer there that someone has rearmed it
and brought it back to Haiti with very powerful weapons?
Now the old army is doing what they used
to do before, except with more powerful weapons and with helicopters. They
are drowning people in the sea. That's what going on.
The press is reporting the looting that
is taking place in Port au Prince but they are not reporting about the
police stations that were burned and destroyed here in the north. They
are not reporting on the number of schools that have been destroyed. They
are not reporting on the burning of the airport in Cap Haitian and all
the other things that were built under the government of President Aristide
for the Haitian people.
I cannot understand how a group of disbanded
military has access to such sophisticated equipment and heavy weaponry.
They have two helicopters and they have two airplanes. They use the helicopter
to transport their troops and they use them at night with spotlights to
look for people in hiding. They are in the air and they have their troops
on the ground.
These are the questions we ask ourselves
as we hide from those with the guns..
Mayor Jean Charles Moise spoke with
PNS contributors Lyn Duff and Dennis Bernstein via cell phone. The interview
originally aired on Pacifica Radio's Flashpoints show (KPFA FM 94.1 in
Berkeley, Calif.). Duff is a freelance writer who has reported widely on
Haiti since 1995. Bernstein is the executive producer of Flashpoints.
See, The Haitian Leadership Networks'
7 "men anpil chaj pa lou" (Kreyol for - "Many hands make light a heavy
load.") campaigns to help restore Haiti's independence, the will of the
mass electorate and the rule of law.