Pax Christi International statement on Haiti
Brussels, 30 November 2005 - As the Haitian people, especially the residents of impoverished neighbourhoods continue to suffer under extreme violence and rampant poverty; as the political situation in Haiti continues to defy a just resolution; and as the human rights situation in Haiti remains catastrophic, Pax Christi International wishes to express clearly our solidarity with the people of Haiti.
Based on the observations of a Pax Christi International delegation to Haiti in July 2005; the guidance of Pax Christi International partners in Haiti; and Pax Christi International's own commitment to reconciliation and peace, we support the call of those sectors within Haitian society for clear steps toward a just, peaceful and reconciled society.
- We plead for all sectors of Haitian societ
y to renounce publicly the use of violence for political or economic gain; for all armed groups in Haiti disarm immediately.
- We urge that the government of Haiti, in coordination with the international community, implement immediate measures consistent with international human rights standards to quell the violence and restore security in Port-au-Prince and throughout the country.
- We insist that an independent, thorough and transparent investigation into violent attacks on civilian communities and popular neighbourhoods, such as on July 6 and August 20, 2005, be completed promptly, with those groups and individuals accused being brought to justice.
- We recommend that the international human rights community conduct an independent, thorough and transparent investigation into accusations about the practice of politically motivated arrests and detentions in Haiti; that all political prisoners be released immediately or charged and brought to a fair trial for criminal activity about whic
h there is credible evidence.
- We support national elections as a necessary step toward reconciliation, but insist that all Haitian citizens, including those living in popular and marginal neighbourhoods, be able to participate fully, freely and without fear. Political parties should make minimal commitments and agreements prior to the elections.
- We urge that independent sources of investigation and accurate information be strengthened to replace rumour, hearsay and biased reporting; that human rights investigators and journalists be protected from harm and arbitrary arrest.
- We plead that a process of national dialogue be initiated that will give voice to all sectors of Haitian society and identify steps toward a new, inclusive political consensus built on truth and reconciliation.
- As a step toward national reconciliation, we encourage competent and independent authorities to investigate and report publicly on events immediately surrounding the irregular departure of the ele
cted Haitian president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, as earlier was urged by some Caricom member countries.
At the same time, Pax Christi International commits to
- Accompany and support the people of Haiti as they move toward reconciliation, political peace and social justice;
- Support concrete peacebuilding and conflict resolution programs in Haiti;
- Denounce the abuse of power by national or international authorities (both in and outside of the country), as well as by local, violent individuals or organizations;
- Support the dissemination of accurate information about Haiti in Haiti and internationally;
- Accompany whatever national dialogue process is initiated, facilitating support, as needed, from Pax Christi International through its network of relations;
- Act in solidarity with Pax Christi International partners in Haiti.
Executive Committee Pax Christi International [/quote]
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