Urgent Action:  UN troops invade home of Jean Charles Moise.

Your response today will make a difference!
[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 Haiti.

      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:
www.zmag.org/*/showarticle.cfm* 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 political arrests.

      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.

      Marguerite Laurent
      Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

      Pierre Labossiere
      Haiti Action Committee


      Kofi Annan
      Secretary General
      United Nations
      New York, NY USA
      phone number is 212-963-5012

      Ambassador James B. Foley
      U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
      phone: 509.223.7011 or 509.222.0200
      fax: 509.223.9665
      (for address and additional phones)

      Colin 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:

      Joseph Tilghman
      fax: 202.647.2901
      phone: 202.647.5088

      Lawrence Connell
      fax: 202.647.2901
      phone: 202.647.6765

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):

inquiries@un.org, acspap@state.gov, tilghmanjf@state.gov, 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.

      See: www.margueritelaurent.com/*/haitianlawyers.html & www.margueritelaurent.com/*/campaigns.html

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