doc. 9 rev. 1
September 1988
Original: English



... continued



f)       The Case of Messrs. Eddy Moise, Sénêque Jean Louis

         and Kador Dérésil (Case No. 10.022)


          125.    In November 1987, the Nouvelliste, one of Port-au-Prince's daily newspapers, reported that Messrs. Eddy Moise, Sénêque Jean Louis and Kador Dérésil had begun a hunger strike on November 6, 1987 to protest the fact that they had been held in preventive detention for nine months.  These three individuals were arrested February 6, 1987 in Gonaives (152 Km N.W. of Port-au-Prince) by the police who accused them of having participated some hours earlier in an armed robbery and murder of a police lieutenant, Ajax Raymond, in Port-au-Prince.


          126.    In late July 1987, Mr. Gérard Georges, the lawyer of the Auguste brothers, took up the case of these three individuals.  Mr. Georges, in November 1987, by letter addressed to Mr. François St. Fleur, the then Haitian Minister of Justice, requested that Minister St. Fleur intervene in this matter to assure that his clients would be given a fair trial.  In addition, he stated that his clients had been severely beaten and that, as a result, Mr. Moise suffered from a puncture eardrum.


          127.    On November 10, 1987, Messrs. Moise, Dérésil and Jean-Louis ended their hunger strike in the National Penitentiary having received assurances from the Minister of Justice that they would be tried during the next session of the Criminal Court.  On July 18, 1988 the trial began.


          128.    According to information presented to the Commission, during its August 1988 on-site visit, the lawyers for Mr. Eddy Moise and the other two defendants were not permitted to represent the accused.  Mr. Jean Claude Nord was threatened by means of the use of force to vacate the courtroom.  Three court-appointed lawyers (whom the defendants did not want) were assigned to represent them.  No witnesses were called for the defense in spite of the fact that the accused claim that the summoning of certain witnesses such as Sgt. Damus could have exculpated them.  The trial lasted for 12 hours, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.  While in detention in Recherches Criminelles the accused had been forced to write confessions, while handcuffed, that were dictated to them by the authorities.  Ms. Jossette Namphy, a cousin of Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, was the only witness for the prosecution.  The defendants had been charged with murder and armed robbery.  Mr. Namphy did not file charges until after the defendants had been arrested.  They were sentenced to three years in prison based on the confessions which had been obtained illegally.  The defendants "benefited" from the Loi Lepinasse, pursuant to which their sentence was reduced by the amount of time (in this case one and a half years) that the accused had served in preventive detention.


129.    As the cases of the Auguste brothers and Eddy Moise, Dérésil and Jean-Louis illustrate, conditions of detention are the most severe in the irregular detention centers such as Recherches Criminelles.  The Commission has received information of massive killings in these centers which it has been unable to verify.  According to one eyewitness report, allegedly at the time of the November 28-29, 1987 elections, some 46-50 young people believed to have been part of the vigilance brigades, were rounded up and executed in Fort Dimanche by uniformed and plainclothes members of the military.


          130.    According to information received by the Commission there is a systematic policy on the part of the military of extrajudicial executions which are termed "direct flights".  The military reportedly integrates the death squads in carrying out these executions.  In spite of the fact that this information was presented to the Commission, it was not possible for the Commission to verify it.  The Commission has received information that the following persons have died in Recherches Criminelles during the months April-May, 1988; July 1988 and August 1988:



April-May 1988



Sanon Jean-Marie                                  Torture

Yvon Myrthil                                         Starvation

Malachie Bernardo                                  Starvation

Guito Louis                                           Starvation

Toussaint Amazan                                  Torture

Elie Joseph                                           Torture

Dieufils Germain                                     Torture

Elie Jeanty                                           Torture

Gabriel Chéry                                        Torture

Hubert Michel                                        Torture

Murat Jean                                           Torture

Kenol Clervil                                          Torture

Gérard Cayo                                         Torture

Jonas Lovinsky                                      Torture

Onel Paul                                             Torture

Sanon Jean-Marie                                  Torture

Yvon Myrthil                                         Starvation

Malachie Bernardo                                  Starvation

Guito Louis                                           Starvation

Toussaint Amazan                                  Torture

Elie Joseph                                           Torture

Dieufils Germain                                     Torture

Elie Jeanty                                           Torture

Gabriel Chéry                                        Torture

Hubert Michel                                        Torture

Murra Jean                                           Torture

Kenol Clervil                                          Starvation

Gérard Cayo                                         Starvation

Jonas Lovinsky                                      Starvation

Odiel Paul                                             Starvation

Dodo                                                   Torture

Ti son                                                  Torture

Accrochage                                          Torture

Djo Joseph                                           Torture

Princius Noel


Reynold Kokobe                                     Torture

Clovis                                                  Torture




July 1988

Ronald Bernard                                      Torture

Pierre                                                  Torture

Camille                                                 Torture



August 1988




Toussaint Bernardo                                Starvation

Ducane Mondelus                                   Starvation

Bernard Luc                                          Starvation

Excellent Pierre                                     Starvation

Bertrand Julio

Etienne Jn Jules                                     Torture

Alteron Paul                                          Torture

Mangat Maurelu                                     Torture

Victor Jn. Luis                                       Torture

Franklin Ortiz Vergas                              Torture

Gladis Delva                                          Rape and Torture

Montas Joseph                                      Torture


          131.    During the Commission's visit to Recherches Criminelles in August 1988 it requested that Col. Baguidy provide the Commission with the registry (cahier) of the names of persons who had been detained in order to verify whether these individuals had in fact been in detention or not at Recherches Criminelles.  Col. Baguidy refused to make the registry available to the Commission leaving the Commission no other alternative but to presume these allegations of 36 deaths in detention since April 1988 to be true.


G.       The Layout of Recherches Criminelles


          132.    Mr. Daniel Narcisse, who was the coordinator of the group of political organizations known as the Liaison of Democratic Forces, an organization which was part of the Group of 57, was briefly detained in Recherches Criminelles, having been arrested without a warrant, before he was summarily expelled from Haiti on October 10, 1987.  Mr. Narcisse, now in exile, has provided a physical description of the detention center at Recherches Criminelles which he drew, as follows:





Mgr. Guilloux Street



        Narcotics                                            Women's cell


________/     /_________                             ___/    /______/     /

       Men's cell


______/    /_________



        Corridor                                MAIN ROOM                           Punishment cell


_________________________                                           _______________________________





















          According to Mr. Narcisse's testimony:


                   The interrogation rooms are on the first floor.  The detainees are on the ground floor.  You go into the main room.  On the left and the right, two corridors lead into that room.  Down the left-hand corridor, on the left, there is a room serving as a shower and toilet; on the right, an (unlocked) cell called the "drug cell".  Down the right-hand corridor, there are three cells:  two large (one for men, one for women) on either side of a third cell (the small one I was in).  Only the small cell is padlocked.  It is used as a punishment cell.  The windows looking out on the back (onto Mgr. Guilloux Street) are barred.  There is also a barred opening above the doors.


                   A single meal is served (badly cooked cornmeal) at around 5 p.m.  The three large cells (drugs, men, women), as well as the main room, are full of prisoners.  The 'privileged' stay in the main room.  Their privilege is due to bribes given to the guards.


                   As the cells are open, there is continual promiscuity and coming-and-going.  The men and the women are able to mix.


                   There were 104 people in there.  In 45 days (between the end of August and 10 October) 43 people died of dehydration, diarrhea, malnutrition, beatings and injuries.


          133.    In a recent testimony by Edouard Desgrottes, 36 years of age, who spent two weeks during the month of April 1988 detained in Recherches Criminelles and 7 days thereafter detained in the National Penitentiary, before being placed on an American Airlines plane bound for new York, he testified that there were three cells for men at Recherches Criminelles.37   Cell No. 1 in which he was detained held 26 men and was 12 feet long and six feet wide.  Cell No. 2 had 38 persons and cell No. 3 had 46.  The women's cell held 5 persons, including an old woman who was accused of having "eaten" a child.


          134.    The Commission visited the detention cells at Recherches Criminelles which correspond with the physical description provided by Mr. Narcisse.  The Commission found five persons in detention in Recherches Criminelles:  three women and two men sharing the same room and open bathroom facilities.  The conditions at Recherches Criminelles were the most alarming that the Commission was able to see.  The Commission had received reports of underground cells at Ft. Dimanche and Recherches Criminelles, but the existence of such cells was denied by the authorities and the Commission was not able to verify their existence.  The five prisoners at Recherches Criminelles were detained for a variety of petty crimes (theft, having been turned in by an employer, possession of drugs and the like) and the prisoners looked like they were terrified by the presence of the Commission.  The delegation inspected a number of cells which were empty on the occasion of its visit but the stench in the cells convinced it that they had not been empty for very long.  It is evident that Recherches Criminelles continues to be used as an irregular detention center where detainees are held incommunicado, for sustained periods of time, where they have no access to legal counsel and where they are subject to interrogation and beatings by the police authorities, which in many cases have resulted in death.



h)       Arbitrary arrests prior and following the January 17, 1988 elections


          135.    The Commission has received information that hundreds of persons were arrested by the Armed Forces throughout Haiti in the days directly prior to and following the January 17, 1988 elections.  It was reported that the individuals arrested were church and community leaders who were accused of urging people to boycott the elections.  The names of some of the persons who were arrested and information about their cases presented to the Commission is as follows:



                   Providence Pierre, Delano Exile, Telemaque Altidor, Ertide Lovisdor and Edouane Salina are all development workers and members of the "Ti-legliz (Catholic community groups), who were arrested in Hinche on January 13, 1988 by members of the Army.


                   Rodriguez Raphael, Irama Delimas, Wilson Exile, Julien Jean-Louis are the names of development workers and members of the Mouvement Pàysan de Papaye (MPP) who were arrested in Papaye.  Several days later they were brought before the Tribunal Civil in Hinche along with others whose names have not been communicated to the Commission.  28 people were later released, but others are believed to continue in detention.


                   Denis Pierre, Vigar Jacques, Leres Metellus, Solange Jean, Arnoux Joseph, Dunaud Dubreus were all arrested in the Hinche area.


                   Madsen Abadi was arrested in Thomonde on January 19, 1988 and believed to have been detained in the local army barracks.


                   Jean-Philippe Marcel was arrested in Gros-Morne on January 9 and transferred to the military garrison in Gonaives.


                   At least 25 people were reportedly arrested in Cayes-Jacmel, including 3 staff members of the Planned Parenthood Federation.  Many young people were arrested in Jeremie which is reported to be under virtual military occupation, and also in Petite-Rivière de l'Artibonite.  Many peasants in the Jean Rabel area in the northeast of the country are also said to have been arrested.


                   Joseph Pierre was arrested by soldiers in the St. François area of Gonaives on January 9, 1988.  He is believed to be a member of the "Front Uni des Gonaives".  The army, on several occasions in the past few months has raided the shanty towns looking for leaders of this group.  In September 1987, his home and those of Jean Tatoune and Flauvel Stevil were reported to have been set on fire by soldiers who claimed that they were searching for drugs in the area.



136.    Due to the difficulty of fact-finding in Haiti and the secrecy surrounding detention, it is difficult to obtain follow-up information on these cases of detention in rural areas outside of Port-au-Prince.


137.    There are exceptions, however, such as the case of Madsen Abadi, who was arrested in Thomonde on January 19, 1988, without a warrant and taken to the local army barracks.  The Commission learned that he was released a few days later.  He told journalists that he had been accused of promoting a boycott of the January 17, 1988 elections, and that as punishment, while in detention he was tied by the hands and feet in the position known in Haiti as djake (parrot's perch) and beaten 50 times with a stick.


138.    Death while in detention in rural detention centers is even more difficult to confirm.  The Commission has received reports that detainees have died in these detention centers as in Port-au-Prince, as a result of beatings or starvation.  The commission has also learned that a prisoner can usually pay his way out of prison if he has a sufficient amount of money to give to the guard.


139.    The Commission has received information that a detainee, Mr. Lucete Fanfan, aged 50, died on or about February 5, 1988, while in police custody at Pointe-a-Raquette on the Island of La Gonave.  The authorities have reportedly said that he died as a result of an epileptic fit or cardiac arrest; however, his family has said that he has no history of either illness.


140.    During its on-site visit in August 1988 the Commission visited the detention center in Hinche.  It confirmed that the following persons were in detention:


          Elène Joseph

          Chantal Edouard

          Mme. Odilon Marcelus

                   Roline Bazil

                   Rinel St. Ilmond

                   Elicier Cherenfant

                   Périol Mésidor

                   Nelson Pt. Homme

                   Billet Michel

                   Luckner Jn. Baptiste

                   Létroy Mervil

                   Edner Métellus

                   Vilcénor Vilsaint

                   Pdner Délima

                   Odius Louis

                   Aristal Bénoit

                   Sainfrael Sainrilus

                   Olaris St. Hilaire

                   Mitro St. Hilaire

                   Emanès St. Louis

                   Elminor Fonrose

                   Jacques Jean

                   Archange Elminor

                   Larochel Altidor



          141.    The Commission also received the following list of names from a human rights organization of persons who had been arrested in Hinche:



                   Delius Saintinat

                   Lenois Elusma

                   Elius Absalon

                   Clema Fertile

                   Denis François

                   Edwan Saint Ima

                   Rosane Derius

                   Ledois François



          142.    The Commission is concerned that the official list does not include the names of persons on the second list.  Both lists are dated August 31, 1988.  It again publishes both lists with the intention of stimulating follow-up monitoring by the local human rights organizations and to encourage the government to make public its registries of detainees which it is obliged to maintain on a systematic and daily, updated basis.



i.        Harassment of Opponents to the Government


          143.    In spite of the existing legal restrictions placed on the Armed Forces as regards carrying out an arrest, many homes and businesses are ransacked by members of the military or the police and information seized without the operation leading to an arrest.


          144.    For example, the Commission received a complaint that on February 4, 1987, a dozen soldiers attacked the home of Professor Victor Benoit, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Education, an organization that conducts human rights monitoring.  The soldiers ransacked the house and terrorized his family warning them that Mr. Benoit and his wife should cease their human rights activities.  After the attack on Professor Benoit's home the same troops attacked the office of Mr. Robert Duval, the President of the League of Former Political prisoners.


          145.    These searches have continued and the authorities proceed to harass political opponents of the Government.  The perpetrators of these searches, being members of the military or protected by the military, are, as in the case of the death-squad type killings, immune from any investigation or punishment.


          146.    More recently, the commission received a complaint to the effect that on March 25, 1988 at 1:20 p.m., armed civilians and military officials broke into a pharmacy located on the Champs de Mars, in downtown Port-au-Prince.  Information made available to the Commission indicates that seven civilians, armed with machineguns, under the orders of a lieutenant in a blue police uniform, and accompanied by two civilians who identified themselves as a justice of the peace and a court clerk announced that they were carrying out a search for arms.


          147.    The lieutenant carried a grenade which he held in his hand during the entire operation.  At the entrance of the pharmacy two other civilians were posted carrying machineguns.  When asked whether they had a warrant to carry out the search they replied that they had tried to obtain a warrant from the Commissaire du Governement, but that this official was "too busy" and had not been able to procure one for them.


          148.    These officers, under the orders of the Chief of Police, proceeded to carry out a search of the premises in front of the frightened clients and indignant owners.


          149.    The owners, Mr. Yves and Ms. Gladys Lauture, charged that the search violated Article 43 of the 1987 Haitian Constitution, because even the private areas of the pharmacy premises were searched and such searches are prohibited unless carried out pursuant to law.


          150.    Ms. Gladys Lauture is an active member of the Committee for the Respect of the Constitution and a member of a number of church and community organizations.  It is well known that these organizations have severely criticized the electoral massacre of November 29, 1987.  It is also well known that they profess non-violence and reject the use of force to resolve political and social conflicts.


          151.    On March 28, 1988, the leaders of the National Committee of the Congress of Democratic Movements (KONAKOM), held a news conference to commemorate the first anniversary of the 1987 Constitution.  The leaders stated that they had noted more than 20 violations of the Constitution and that the Haitian people must remobilize in order to make the Government respect the Constitution.


          152.    They noted that a climate of fear is reigning in Haiti because of the searches of people's houses being frequently conducted.  The KONAKOM leaders said they felt the current searches were illegal, and violative of the Constitution, even though a justice of the peace accompanied the members of the military while they carried out the searches.  In terms of the political situation, they noted, these searches portended a frightening future because this is how François Duvalier had begun.


          153.    the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, which has its headquarters in New York, presented to the Commission the following four testimonies regarding conditions of detention of former detainees.  These complaints were received during an on-site visit conducted by Mr. William O'Neill and Mr. Elliot Schrage, two lawyers representing the lawyers Committee, who visited Haiti in late April-early May 1988.  The Commission also met with Messrs. Bastiani and Robuste during its August 1988 visit.



The Case of Mr. O'Daniel P. Bastiani


          154.    The case of Mr. Bastiani was opened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on June 1, 1988 and is registered as Case No. 10.204.  Mr. Bastiani is about fifty years old and a member of Rev. Sylvio Claude's party who alleged that he had been arrested because he has been very active in this party.  After his arrest by Sergeant Gabriel and Corporal Henri, he said he was beaten on the head with clubs for about fifteen minutes and that this treatment continued for two or three days.  Mr. Bastiani stated that he still has trouble swallowing and hearing.  He remained in prison from April 14 to April 22, 1988 in a 25 feet by 15 feet cell with 27 other inmates.  There were no toilet facilities and all had to share a small bucket in the corner of the crowded cell.  The prison provided no food other than a little bit of gruel and although families were allowed to deliver food to the prison they were not allowed to visit the prisoners.  During his entire stay, Mr. Bastiani had no contact with a lawyer and no medical care was provided while he was in prison, in spite of the fact that prisoners were beaten and injured.  When he was released the local judge refused to intervene or get involved in the case at all.  Mr. Bastiani informed the Commission that his hands and feet are still swollen and that someone told him that since ha had told his story on Radio Lumière and had named names, the soldiers were upset and they said they "would get him". 


The Case of Mr. Murat


          155.    Mr. Murat said that he is a member of Sylvio Claude's party and was arrested on February 18 by Cherinot Georges without a written warrant.  The official reason given for his arrest was that he had allegedly set up an office for Rev. Sylvio Claude in the neighborhood, a fact that Mr. Murat denies.  While at the National Penitentiary he said he did have a bed but he had to pay five dollars a month to the authorities.  In his section there were 150 prisoners where some 30 or 40 slept on beds and the rest slept on the floor on thin mats.  The food was very bad, the toilets were filthy, and the inmates were not allowed to use them at night; prisoners who knew their rights and asked that they be enforced were beaten.  Mr. Murat was allowed to see visitors three times a week but during his entire stay at the prison he was never visited by a doctor or lawyer. 


The Case of Mr. Laurentes Robuste


          156.    On March 18, 1988, Mr. Laurentes Robuste was illegally arrested and detained after being accused by his boss Mr. Stanley S. Bazin, of stealing his watch.  Two detectives in civilian clothing, one of whom is named "Ti Fre" came to the house and took Mr. Robuste in a car to Recherches Criminelles with an arrest order that was issued by the Army and not by a judge or commissaire.  Mr. Robuste was kept in a cell which measured 8 feet by 10 feet together with 52 other inmates.  There was not even a bucket for a toilet and each morning the floor had to be cleaned.  Mr. Robuste was fed once a day on rice and ground corn which was put into his hand and if a prisoner attempted to get another handful he would be hit 15 times.  During his imprisonment, Mr. Robuste never saw a lawyer and on March 21, 1988 after being handcuffed, he was taken to appear before army officers.  Without any warning someone from behind began hitting him on both sides of his head simultaneously with the palms of his hands.  Mr. Robuste said he was then put in the "djake" position and was hit more than one hundred times with a bat over his head, stomach, legs, arms and back.  He said that blood started to come out of his ears, nose and mouth.  Following this beating he remained in Recherches Criminelles for 26 days.  At that point, Mr. Stanley Bazin found his watch and called Recherches to tell them to release Mr. Robuste.



The Case of Mr. Laennec Hurbon


          157.    Since the coup d'etat of June 20, 1988 the Commission has learned that the home of the Haitian sociologist, Mr. Laennec Hurbon, was ransacked.  The four men who raided the house the night of July 3, 1988, were equipped with walkie-talkies and dressed in black.  They stole documents and US$1.300 in cash.  Dr. Hurbon was researching the November 29, 1987 massacre and was active in the human rights community.38 




          158.    The 1987 Constitution prohibits the expulsion or forced exile of Haitian citizens, but this prohibition has been circumvented by the Government in cases involving political opponents who hold dual nationalities.


          159.    In order to facilitate the repatriation of Haitians in the "diaspora" who had adopted foreign nationalities at a time when the Duvalierist dynasty appeared entrenched, the 1987 Constitution provides that returning exiles have two years, from the date of the departure of Duvalier, within which to renounce their foreign nationality and to regain their Haitian citizenship.




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          37.     "Charles Edouard Desgrottes fait des confidence à H.O".  Haiti Observateur 6-13 mai 1988.

          38.     See, Le Nouvelliste 5 July 1988.

          39.     Based on various interviews with individuals following their release and departure from Haiti.

          40.     See, "Les prisons sont-elles vraiment vides?"  Haïti-en-Marche, 6-12 July 1988.