Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Letter to Amnesty International

I recently sent this email to Amnesty International.

Dear Amnesty International,

I am concerned that your recent public statement on Jean-Rémy Badio missed some important issues.

Your post came soon after a statement by RSF and you stated "On 19 January, he was reportedly shot at his home in Martissant where gang warfare has been spiraling for more than two years."

This statement appears to agree with RSF’s Canadian Director Générale's recent statement that “Two armed gangs – Lame Ti Manchèt (Little Machete Army) and Baz Gran Ravin (Big Ravine Base) – have been fighting for the control of Martissant for the past two years.”

This assessment is far from the truth according to those living on the ground and human rights workers who are active daily in Martissant. I point you to an article I recently published at http://www.narconews.com/Issue44/article2517.html

Both family and friends of the victim, Jean-Rémy Badio, accuse lame Ti Manchèt of having a role in the killing. While RSF included Big Ravine Base in its press statement there has been no reports of any alleged involvement on their part. Press reports also indicate that it is the Lame Ti Manchèt and segments of the PNH that have done nearly all of the violence in Martissant.

Furthermore a human rights group that has focused its attention on Martissant, AUMOHD, states that the 2006 massacre conducted by Lame Ti Manchèt “was meant as a smoke screen to provoke Baz Gran Ravine into a retaliation and thereby distract from the push to get police and civilians involved with Lame Ti Manchèt into jail. AUMOHD’S community human rights council (CHRC) coordinator, Esterne Bruner, was assassinated by Lame Ti Manchèt 9/21/06."

AUMOHD reports that there has not been any reported retaliation on the part of the Baz Gran Ravine but that "Instead the CHRC, non-violent and non-partisan, continues to prosecute all the killings.”

I am concerned that your organization is being led away from the facts to appear to take a "neutral" position that is in fact a partisan position promoted by RSF that for them is politically expedient and exploitative. RSF helped propel a destabilization campaign against Haiti's elected government for example when its secretary general in 2002 called on the U.S. Congress and the EU to take "individual sanctions" against Aristide and Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, including "the refusal of entry and transit visas" and "the freezing of any foreign bank accounts they have". Following the illegal ouster of Haiti’s elected government RSF went silent on numerous abuses against the press and failed to denounce various assaults on journalists including the murder of grassroots journalist Abdias Jean.

I congratulate you on mentioning Abdias Jean in your recent report. I hope you will investigate the facts on the ground in Martissant. The voices of the family and friends of Badio should be heard.