AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Urgent Action Alert: Families at Risk of Forced Eviction in Haiti
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"Hundreds of families living in a camp for internally displaced people in Carrefour, in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, are being harassed and intimidated and are at imminent risk of forced eviction," Let Haiti Live reported last week.
Amnesty International has released an urgent action alert calling on supporters to contact Haitian authorities and demand an end to the human rights abuses in Grace Village.
Your voice counts. Please join us by sending this letter to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, Head of Haitian National Police Mario Andresol and Carrefour Mayor Yvon Jerome. Invite them to stand for the basic human rights of the families living in Grace Village.
Please help us spread the word far and wide. Share this petition with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation at #noevictions.
I first visited Grace Village, a camp in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, in November of last year. After the earthquake, more than 15,000 people settled in the land around the Grace Village church. Today, approximately 3,000 people remain. Residents say that the majority have been forcibly evicted or have left the camp because of the degree of terror and violence. The landowner employs a team of private security guards who patrol the camp with big shotguns. Residents report that they tear down tents at random and that they beat residents. Residents also say that the security guards prohibit residents from removing trash from the camp or clean the latrines. Grace Village authorities do not allow any outside organizations, including the State water company, to come inside. The Grace Village authorities call the police to arrest those who resist. Female residents report that they are sexually harassed, told that they will lose their tents if they do not sleep with the guards.
- Eliie Happel, Human Rights Advocate living in Port-au-Prince
At least 30 families have already been forcibly evicted, after their shelters and belongings were destroyed during the night of 28 April. They were forced to leave their properties without any due process and without being offered any alternative accommodation.
On 14 May, when Amnesty International delegates visited the camp, at least 40 more shelters had been marked for demolition. There is no court order to legalise the imminent eviction and the affected families have not been consulted or offered alternative housing.
The inhabitants of the camp are living in grave fear. On May 15, residents were locked inside the camp. People are afraid to speak to the press because of the potential violent repercussions at the hands of the camp management committee.
The homeless families denounce Pastor Jeune who is received funds from an international religious mission to help internally displaced people. They state that he only helped a few people members of his church to move to transitional shelters in another location. On May 16, many of the residents demonstrated against the impending second displacement without any housing solutions. In addition, the camp committee has a close relationship with the Haitian National Police who have arrested six people from the camp who were organizing with the other internally displaced families to resist the destruction of the camp.
Many families are desperate and say they would like to go to the informal encampment known as Kanaran, an unofficial camp. However, Kanaran is quite distant from Grace Village and they don’t have the means to transport their things; they also have children in school in the community in Carrefour at this time.
- Etant Dupain, Journalist, Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye
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