Alarming increase in the number of rapes

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Alarming increase in the number of rapes

Post by admin » Thu Nov 25, 2004 9:57 am

Thursday, November 25, 2004 8:35

Alarming increase in the number of rapes

Haiti Support Group press releaseThe Haiti Support Group is extremely concerned about the reported increase in the number of rapes in Haiti over recent months, and calls for action to be taken to protect women and girls from sexual attacks carried out by armed men.

In an Associated Press report dated 22 October, human rights lawyer Renan Hédouville, from the Comité des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertés Individuelles (CARLI), was quoted as saying, "In the month of August, for example, more than 50 cases of rape by former military were reported to our hot line."

On making a presentation to a visiting delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Mr Hédouville said that his organisation had received reports of women and young gir
ls being raped in many of the troubled areas in Port-au-Prince, with the most reports coming from Bel Air.

Mr Hédouville denounced the violations committed by former members of the disbanded Haitian Army (FAd'H), whose rebellion overthrew the Aristide/Neptune government in February, and who have since been agitating for the re-instatement of the FAd'H.

The reported increase in rape reported to CARLI was confirmed by the recent figures released by health centres run by GHESKIO (Groupe Haitien d'Etude du Sarcome de Kaposi et des Infections Opportunistes). In the three months, July to September, 81 women - all under the age of 30 - were admitted to GHESKIO centres for treatment and counselling following sexual assaults. The majority of assaults took place in the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince. According to GHESKIO, 54% of rapes are committed by armed men in the victim's home.

CARLI's Hédouville says that the violence is being committed against women and young girls in poor neig
hbourhoods in other parts of the country, as well as in the capital. A UNICEF team deployed to the city of Gonaives from 20 October to 2 November reported a "problem of rape of teenage girls", but further details are as yet unavailable. Despite the presence of UN troops, Gonaives has remained under the de facto control of armed gangs since the uprising at the beginning of 2004.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups report hearing about a new wave of rapes, but are unable to confirm the details because the victims are in hiding.

The Haiti Support Group is concerned that, as during the 1991-94 period of military-rule when soldiers and members of the FRAPH paramilitary used rape as a weapon to punish communities and individuals that supported the democratic government, armed groups are once again using sexual violence to achieve political ends.

- Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 196
1, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).


This email is forwarded as a service of the Haiti Support Group.

See the Haiti Support Group web site:

Solidarity with the Haitian people's struggle for justice, participatory democracy and equitable development, since 1992.

Charles Arthur
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Re: Alarming increase in the number of rapes

Post by Charles Arthur » Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:10 pm

Alarming increase in the number of rapes

Since I wrote that press release, I have now received a copy of the UNICEF report of their mission to Gonaives, and it does not throw any further light on the issue. For the record, here is the relevant section of that report on the UNICEF mission to Gonaives from 20-23 October 2004:

Viol / Violences sur les filles et les femmes

Seulement deux cas de viol ont été identifiés et pris en charge par la Caritas et la CRS. Il s'agit de deux adolescentes âgées de 15 et de 16 ans violés dans la localité de Dolan route nationale numéro 1. Ces deux filles sont actuellement à P-au-P en vue de recevoir des soins plus spécifiques. D'un autre coté, le psychologue Bordes Geslet de Médecin Sans Frontière basé à Raboteau déclare avoir eu un entretien psychologique avec une jeune fille de raboteau âgée de 15 ans victime de viol
ence physique par son oncle. La fille qui devrait revenir en consultation accompagnée de son oncle a désisté et aucun suivi n'a été fait.

De plus, un formulaire de renseignement a été élaboré et soumis au médecin responsable de MSF afin d'enregistrer les cas viol et de violences faites sur les femmes et les filles. Selon la responsable de MSF le Dr Julia, ce formulaire de deux pages, bondé de questions prendrait environ 30 à 45 minutes pour recueillir toutes les infos sur les personnes victimes. Ce qui constitue à son avis un temps fou vu le nombre de patient qu'il faut ausculter pendant la journée. Aussi, ont-ils décidé de ne pas utiliser ce formulaire qui de toute évidence est trop lourd.

Action à Entreprendre

- Renforcer la Caritas pour une prise en charge systématique pour les cas de viol et de violences
- Rendre plus simple le formulaire et le distribuer à toutes les organisations qui opèrent aux Gonaives
- S'entretenir avec le Commissaire du Gouvernement de l
'Artibonite Me Louiselné Joseph en vue prendre les mesures appropriées.
- Impliquer une organisation sur place en vue de donner une assistance légale aux victimes. À noter que l'organisation Justice et paix n'est pas opérationnelle aux Gonaives.


- UNICEF doit s'impliquer davantage dans la coordination des activités de protection. Il doit s'assurer d'un suivi régulier de ces activités
- L'UNICEF peut faire une proposition de plan d'action mais doit s'assurer de la disponibilité financière y relative

Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Women's organisations denounce gunmen, ex-FAd'H

Post by Charles Arthur » Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:35 am

25 November - The National Advocacy Coordination for Women's Rights (Coordination Nationale de Plaidoyer pour les Droits des Femmes - CONAP) has commemorated international day against violence against women with activities in Place Catherine Flon in the central Champ-de-Mars park. The theme of the rally was "No more guns, no more violence against women. All groups must be disarmed." Olga Benoît, the spokesperson for CONAP, denounced the impunity that reigns in the country and which contributes to the continuing violence, especially the increase in rapes and other physical assaults against women. She also referred to the murder of a six-year-old girl in Gonaives, Francesca Gabrielle, by a member of the National Reconstruction Front who has still not yet been arrrested.

She denounced the existence of armed gangs including the demobilised soldiers, saying, "The proliferation of guns will only
increase the number of rapes." She said she was worried about the former soldiers who go around with heavy guns and organise patrols all over the country in place of the Police. She also took the opportunity to criticise certain media outfits who make out that the population is in favour of the reinstatement of the FAd'H. (AHP)

Translated from French for the Haiti Support Group News Briefs section:

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