The coordinators of the OPL express their deep concerns about the government’s questioning of Sauveur Pierre Etienne, executive secretary and spokesperson of our Organization of the People in Struggle. This questioning in isolation, without witnesses, comes in the context of the policy of intimidation and use of terrorists, known under the misleading name of “Popular Organizations,” to break the law with total impunity. The legal authorities have shown themselves incapable of effectively intervening against them. Official encouragement of the terrorists, impunity for them, and complicity between the terrorists and the state apparatus goes on at all levels including the prosecution of the victims instead of the criminals.

At the very moment that the earth is trembling under their feet in their obsession for power, they want to impose on the country the silence of the grave. The dogs are unleashed. The de-facto prime minister issues his threats. Now, must all those named in the list of the TKL “popular organization” of Saint Jean Bosco be condemned by these fabricated accusations? The OPL says no! It continues to do everything within the law and in the context of political struggle to bar the route to this macabre exercise.

Sauveur Pierre Etienne is a founding member of the OPL, a member of our national coordinating committee, a spokesperson for the Democratic Convergence, a university professor and author of important works on social and political problems. A national political leader, he was the object of an assassination attempt on the airport road on September 5, 1999. He is constantly being threatened in the media by individuals working for the government who have a particular grudge against committed intellectuals: Jean Pierre Louis, Jean Dominique, Yvon Toussaint, and others. These precedents make us wary of this questioning which cites the so-called “public clamor” and which certain people wish to use for criminal purposes.

The national coordinating committee of the OPL calls on all the political parties, the defenders of democracy, the intellectuals, the students, and all the citizens to defend Sauveur Pierre Etienne, freedom for political parties and full freedom of speech which the Lavalas government is trying to muzzle by means illegal or pseudo-legal.