Hundreds Face Violent Forced Eviction: Urgent Action
(Copy of statement issued by Amnesty International, 18 October 2013)
Hundreds of people left homeless after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti are the victims of an ongoing, violent campaign involving police officers to forcibly evict them from their makeshift shelters.
Residents of the Lanmè Frape area of Canaan, an informal settlement in the municipality of Cabaret, on the northern outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, have had their simple dwellings repeatedly destroyed by police officers accompanied by armed men. The residents told Amnesty International that they have been the victims of attacks on more than 10 occasions over the last 18 months and several of them have also been arrested on unfounded charges for periods of up to a month.
Two hundred families currently remain in the Lanmè Frape area, although as many as 600 lived there before the forced evictions began. According to residents, police accompanied by armed men arrived and began pulling down their shelters on 31 August. They returned on 4 September with a tractor and continued to tear down their homes. In total, 393 shelters were destroyed. On 18 September the shelters they had managed to
rebuild were again destroyed by police and armed men. On each occasion their belongings were stolen, including construction materials and commercial goods. The residents depend on the sale of these goods for their livelihood. The Lanmè Frape area of Canaan is part of 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. The residents of Lanmè Frape told Amnesty International that they have never been
presented with an eviction order. The residents have filed complaints to the Office of the Public Prosecutor (parquet), the police, the Ministry of Justice and the Senate. They are unaware, however if any investigation has been opened.
Please write immediately in French or your own language:
- Calling on the authorities to ensure that residents Lanmè Frape 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 allegations of arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment by police against Lanmè Frape residents;
- Urging them to seek durable solutions to the housing needs of Lanmè Frape residents and the hundreds of thousands of others still living in makeshifts camps.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 NOVEMBER 2013 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/Dear
And copies to:
Minister for Human Rights and the
Reduction of Extreme Poverty
33, Boulevard Harry Truman