Amnesty International Calls for Urgent Action on Families Forcibly Evicted
News Release courtesy of Amnesty International
Around 60 families have been forcibly evicted from their homes in an informal settlement in the area of Titanyen on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. A further 100 families face a similar threat. Many of them are victims of the January 2010 earthquake who had already been forcibly evicted from their makeshift camp in May 2012.
On the morning of 7 December, a justice of peace (juge de paix) from the municipality of Croix-des-Bouquets accompanied by 17 police officers and a group of men armed with machetes and sticks forcibly evicted around 60 families from an informal settlement in Titanyen on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. The residents stated that the justice of the peace did not present an eviction order and that they had no prior notice of the eviction and therefore had no opportunity to appeal against it.
The armed men began to tear down their dwellings without allowing the residents time to collect their belongings. These belongings were then stolen as police fired their weapons in the air in order to intimidate the residents. According to the residents over a dozen people were assaulted, including a woman who is four months pregnant. They were told that the remaining families living on the site (approximately 100) would also be forced off the land.
Most of the families are former residents of a camp for people internally displaced by the earthquake, known as Camp Mozayik, located in the municipality of Delmas of Port-au-Prince, who were forcibly evicted in May 2012. Titanyen where they now live is part of an area commonly known as Canaan, a large tract of land which the then government declared for “public use” (utilité publique) two months after the earthquake in March 2010. Tens of thousands of people who lost their homes in the earthquake have subsequently relocated there, but many face eviction from people claiming ownership of the land.
Please write immediately in French or your own language:
- Calling on the authorities to ensure that residents of this community are not evicted without due process, adequate notice, consultation and that all those affected have access to adequate alternative accommodation;
- Calling for an investigation into the participation of state authorities in an illegal eviction, and into the apparent excessive use of force employed by the police officers;
- Urging them to seek durable solutions to the housing needs of these Titanyen residents and the hundreds of thousands of others still living in makeshifts camps.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 20 JANUARY 2014 TO:
Minister of Justice and Public Security
(Ministre de la Justice et de la Securité
Jean Renel Sanon
18 avenue Charles Summer
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Dear
General Director of the Haitian Police
(Directeur Général de la PNH)
Police Nationale d’Haiti
Salutation: Monsieur le directeur /
And copies to:
Minister for Human Rights and the
Reduction of Extreme Poverty
33, Boulevard Harry Truman