Series Human Rights - S-1874

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Reference code

S-1874

Title

Human Rights

Date(s)

  • 1945 - 2001 (Creation)

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No. of Boxes: 80

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International Civilian Mission in Haiti, OAS/UN (MICIVIH)
Ian Martin served as Deputy Executive Director and Director for the Human Rights Division from the start of the mission to July 1995; Rodolfo Mattarrollo served as Deputy Executive Director and Director for the Human Rights Division ad interim from August 1995 to October 1995; and Javier Zuniga served as Deputy Executive Director and Director for the Human Rights Division starting in October 1995. Anne Fuller replaced Javier Zuniga as Chief of Section from 1996 through 1999. In late 1995, the Division was restructured and became the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Section (PPHR).

Records of the Human Rights Division consist of: analyses of the role of MICIVIH in the promotion of human rights; training and orientation materials for incoming mission personnel about the history of Haiti, the MICIVIH mandate, and the conduct of human rights investigations; final reports and overviews of the human rights situation in departments and major cities; chronological surveys of human rights violations forwarded to the United Nations Secretary-General; briefs describing the Division’s work with local and international non-governmental organizations; summaries of meetings held between MICIVIH officials and representatives of the Haitian Armed Forces (FADH). A report authored by MICIVIH in May 1996, titled “Haiti: Human Rights and the Rehabilitation of Victims” describes the work of the Medical Unit and its collaboration with non-governmental organizations in providing assistance (medical and psychological) to victims of torture and political repression.

The chronological files and memoranda of the Director of the Human Rights Division, Ian Martin, consist of: administrative circulars; weekly executive summaries that describe the investigation and monitoring activities of the Human Rights Division, the security situation in Haiti, and MICIVIH’s collaboration with the National Truth and Justice Commission (CNVJ); and periodic reports about the human rights situation in Haiti, which note pending arrest warrants, the progress of criminal trials, killings and degrading treatment carried out by officers of the Haitian National Police (HNP) and armed forces, and violence carried out in the context of elections.

Records of the Human Rights Division also include: briefs about displaced persons in Haiti and asylum seekers; lists and analyses about cases of forced disappearances; and reports describing incidences of summary executions. There are also briefs describing the state of freedom of the press and the radio, and the violence and repression experienced by Haitian journalists, photographers, and radio broadcasters. These reports document: the confiscation and destruction of radio broadcast equipment; threats received by journalists; and journalists’ experiences being forced into hiding, and being captured, beaten, and tortured. Included are summaries of interviews carried out by MICIVIH staff with local Haitian journalists, and updates about the condition of journalists known to be persecuted and in hiding. Also included are notes on meetings between MICIVIH staff and the Haitian Minister of Information.

There are also documents prepared by Desk Officers at MICIVIH’s regional bases throughout Haiti and forwarded to the Director of the Human Rights Division and the Executive Director. Desk Officers’ records consist of: chronologies of incidents of human rights violations occurring in towns and communes; background information gathered by Human Rights Observers about cases of human rights violations; summaries of interviews with victims; memoranda detailing the arrests of perpetrators; briefs about public demonstrations; summaries of Human Rights Observers’ meetings with mayors and other local authorities; and summaries of Observers’ visits to towns and prisons.

Records of the Human Rights Division also document the work of the Division’s Investigations Unit. The files primarily consist of dossiers of human rights violations reported to MICIVIH and allegedly perpetrated by members of the FADH or armed civilian groups. Violations include: beatings; illegal arrest and detention; intimidation and death threats; rape; extra-judicial executions; and shootings and machete killings. Memoranda of the Investigation Unit detail cases of abductions, forced disappearances and discoveries of cadavers. Additionally, there are memoranda about individuals’ asylum status prepared by MICIVH and sent to the International Organization for Migration (OIM).

Also included are records of MICIVIH’s Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Section (PPHR), which was tasked with: planning and producing human rights educational material; executing training seminars on human rights, civic education, and conflict resolution; and reinforcing the human rights monitoring capacity of government institutions and human rights non-governmental organizations.

Records of the PPHR include weekly reports that detail seminars conducted by the PPHR, meetings between PPHR personnel and representatives of Haitian government ministries and non-governmental organizations, and media activities about human rights carried out in collaboration with the mission’s Press and Information Unit. There are also yearly evaluations of human rights promotion and civic education activities and outlines of priorities for the Section, as well as monthly activity tables for the PPHR Section. Summaries of seminars describe the audience, subjects covered, the performance quality of the seminar leader and guest speakers, and audience impressions. Seminars were targeted at demographics such as women, professions such as teachers, and groups such as members of a church or organization. Seminars covered children’s rights, the structure of local government, the Constitution of Haiti, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the judicial system, and the police. Local officials, lawyers, judges, human rights activists, or police officers often participated as guest speakers.

PPHR records also include: strategy papers on human rights promotion authored by MICIVIH personnel; outlines of human rights and civic education campaigns; draft sketches and text for posters and leaflets in French and Creole; letters and program brochures documenting MICVIH’s work with Haitian cultural organizations to promote human rights education; and profiles of the public and private sectors, and religious institutions, and non-governmental organizations in Haiti. Records also document the Section’s planning for cultural projects and events about human rights and civics. Cultural events included plays, radio spots, art contests, poetry, a travelling exhibit on human rights displayed from 2-11 September 1998, the celebration of Human Rights Day (December 10), and the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Records of the MICIVIH’s Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Section (PPHR) also include final reports about technical assistance MICIVIH provided to the Office de la Protection du Citoyen (OPC). These reports were prepared by the MICIVIH Deputy Executive Director and by international consultants assigned to the OPC. The Office de la Protection du Citoyen (OPC) was an independent institution mandated in the Haitian Constitution of 1987 that was set up to protect citizens against abuse by the government. The institution was revitalized in 1997 after receiving international donor aid and MICIVIH’s technical assistance. Included are draft and final reports, as well as correspondence between MICIVIH staff and Dr. Louis E. Roy, the Protecteur du Citoyen. The reports address a variety of topics, including: the role of MICIVH, the Haitian constitution and the protection of human rights, and cooperation between Haiti and international organizations in the protection of human rights. There are also reports, prepared by consultants, about a seminar on the challenges and dilemmas faced by the OPC, which was held from 4-6 March 1998. Additionally, there are organization charts of the Office de la Protection du Citoyen (OPC); action plans of the OPC; and an annual report of the OPC’s first year.

In addition, there are records documenting the work of the Inter-NGO Working Group for Visitation of Prisons and Places of Police Custody, which MICIVIH created to increase the effectiveness of non-governmental organizations in overseeing the protection of human rights in prisons and detention centers. These files contain: strategy proposals and discussion plans, summaries of meetings and seminars, and activity outlines. Also present are operational memoranda, statements of purpose, discussion papers, and project summaries documenting MICIVIH’s collaboration with a wide variety of local NGO’s, including the Assistance to Victims of Violence Movement (MAPVIV), Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH), and Community Organization for Rural Development (OCODER).

MICIVIH’s Human Rights Observers operated from bases throughout Haiti, and their records consist primarily of investigations of human rights violations. Included are memoranda describing Observers’ visits to court houses, city halls, commissariats, military casernes (barracks), churches, and citizens’ residences in towns and communes, and their interactions with local authorities and victims about the status of past and current violations. There are also case/incident reports and follow-up forms with attachments, including witness statements, medical records, and photographs of victims’ injuries. Many incidents are identified in the documentation with base-specific case numbers that can be referenced for further documentation in S-1880. Violations investigated include: arbitrary and summary execution, forced disappearances, politically-motivated torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, cruel and inhuman treatment, death threats and intimidation, and the destruction of citizens’ residences and property. Observers also investigated cases of citizens in marronage (hiding). The records also include statistics on types of human rights violations.

Prison visitation was carried out by teams of Human Rights Observers to assess: the conditions of detention; the state of prisoners; the respect for human rights in prisons; and the procedures followed by the authorities for imprisonment. The prison visit summaries often include the names of prisoners, and detail interviews with prisoners and circumstances of their detention.

Base records also document Observers’ monitoring of land conflicts, legal and sometimes violent disputes over conflicting claims to land ownership resulting from political instability. Records include reports summarizing interviews with disputants, judges, local officials, and members of the Haitian Armed Forces (FADH) or Multinational Force (MNF). There are also memoranda about MICIVIH providing training in conflict resolution to those involved in land conflicts.

Records originating from bases also document coordination between MICIVIH and the National Truth and Justice Commission (CNVJ), which was formed by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in December 1994. Records include memoranda exchanged between the President of the CNVJ, the CNVJ Working Group, the MICIVIH Liaison to the CNVJ, and the Executive Director of MICIVIH on the establishment of the CNVJ and its relationship with MICIVIH. Topics include finding international experts to serve on the CNVJ and the possibility of MICIVIH providing technical, logistical, or financial support to the CNVJ. There are also Observers’ reports on the CNVJ’s activities, and on the 17 December 1994 Presidential Decree establishing the CNVJ and announcing its mandate. Additionally, there are: the CNVJ’s requests for case dossiers on human rights violations investigated by MICIVIH; file transfer authorization forms signed by the victim or his or her family; lists of sent case dossiers; and case dossiers, with information summaries and attachments.

International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti (MICAH)
MICAH’s Human Rights Section was tasked to: work with state agencies, local non-governmental organizations and civil society to increase respect for human rights; and to provide theoretical and practical training on human rights to institutions and the local population. The Human Rights Section was headed by a Chief, and consisted of: a Capacity-Building/NGO Team, a Civil Society Team, a Verification Team, a Training Coordinator, and a Human Rights Legal Advisor. Headquartered in Port-au-Prince, the Section also set up and oversaw three Human Rights Regional Teams which were stationed in the cities of Gonaives, Les Cayes, and Cap Haitien. Additionally, advisors were assigned to: the Law and Human Rights Section of the Police Academy, known in French as the Direction des Écoles et de la Formation Permanente de la Police Nationale d’Haiti (PNH); the Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale d’Haiti (IGPNH); and the Office de la Protection du Citoyen (OPC).

Records of the Human Rights Section include: End of Mission Reports prepared by the Chief and by Section Teams; briefs on the mandate of the Human Rights Section; terms of reference and work plans for the Human Rights Section staff; and discussion papers and reports about the justice system in Haiti, the human rights record of the Haitian National Police (HNP), and the state of prisons in Haiti.

Weekly reports of the Human Rights Section note: field trips undertaken by staff; investigations carried out by Human Rights Advisors on incidents of human rights abuses, arrests, detentions and criminal trials; interviews conducted by Human Rights Advisors with police, judicial, and prison officials, representatives of local human rights organizations, and Haitian citizens; assessments of local police stations; and celebrations of international commemorative days led with the local population to raise awareness of human rights. The weekly reports also note training activities carried out by the Section with: the Police Academy, the Director of Studies at the École de la Magistrature; and non-governmental organizations.

Records of the Monitoring Team include diagnostic reports about the respect of human rights within the Haitian Nation Police (HNP), as observed by advisors within departments and at local commissariats in communes. There is also a file on the trial of a police chief and several officers accused of killing eleven civilians in the Carrefour-Feuilles area of Port-au-Prince in the wake of a demonstration on 28 May 1999. Records of the Civil Society Team consist of a final report and project programmes outlining the Team’s work in promoting a culture of peace and respect for human dignity. There are memoranda and correspondence relating to: a writing contest held in 2000 for young people between the ages of 15-23; and the promotion of human rights around several commemorative days, including the International Day of Peace on 5 September 2000, the International Day of Tolerance on 16 November 2000, and the International Day Against Violence Against Women on 25 November 2000. Records of the Human Rights Section’s Regional Teams in Gonaives, Cap Haitien, and Les Cayes consist of the teams’ final reports; and weekly reports with updates on cases of human rights violations being investigated and details of meetings with local government authorities and representatives of non-governmental organizations.

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  • English, French, Creole

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2000/0114, 2001/0168, 2001/0169, 2001/0170, 2001/0171, 2008/0444, 2008/0445, 2008/0446, 2008/0447, 2008/0448

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