September 30, 1991 – September 30, 2002:  The Violence Continues

 In commemoration of the eleventh anniversary of the bloody coup d’etat of

September  30, 1991, the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) reflects on the

 negative impact of this date on the struggle for change and the

 establishment of democracy in Haiti.

 On September 30, 1991, forces hostile towards the winds of change,

 overthrew and sent into exile then-president Jean Bertrand Aristide, and

 proceeded to establish a reign of terror across Haiti that lasted for three

 years.  The statistics of those years are overwhelming:  death,

 disappearances, torture, rape, theft, pillaging, and destruction by fire

 characterize these coup years.

 Eleven years later, despite the return to power of the former priest

of  Saint Jean Bosco, the demands for justice of the Haitian people remain

 ignored.  Until today, with the exception of the trial at Raboteau, the

 people of Haiti have not enjoyed the right to any form of due process.  The

 criminals of the coup continue to roam the streets.

 Furthermore, NCHR is indignant at the reality that yesterday’s

 victims have become today’s perpetrators.  If FRAPH has officially been

 dissolved, now armed gangs increasing in number benefit from the complicity

 of the ruling power, terrorizing the country with absolute impunity, just

as  the members of FRAPH did.  Threats, political persecution, illegal arrests,

 arbitrary detentions, summary executions, and disappearances are common

 practices today, just as they were that long night of the coup.  The recent disappearance of Félix BIEN AIMÉ and his two friends, as well as the suspicious and illegal arrest of Rosemond JEAN, leader of an association for cooperative victims, are clear testimonies to this reality.

 NCHR strongly disapproves of these new attempts on the part of the

 government to destabilize and silence the cooperative-victims movement, as

 witnessed in the arbitrary arrest of the spokesman of the Coordination

 National des Sociétaires Victimes (CONASOVIC), Mr. Rosemond JEAN.

 NCHR is extremely concerned by the climate of violence and intolerance that

 prevails in the country.  It is disturbed by the arrogance of armed gangs, the scant

 concern for justice and the fight against  impunity shown by political leaders, and the lack of a concerted effort on the part of coup survivors  to establish the rule of law in Haiti.  Was the resistance to the coup

d’etat  in vain?

 Additionally, the sacrifices of the Haitian people and  international community to reestablish constitutional order have not created the stable and secure environment that

 was hoped for — an environment that is a necessary condition for the

 socio-economic development of the country.

 NCHR vehemently condemns the new wave of threats  against the

 independent press, namely those directed against Radio Kiskeya, Radio Ibo,

 and Radio Caraïbes FM.

 These new threats against the independent press are coming from the head of

 state, following a partisan meeting at the former ranch of dictator

 Jean-Claude DUVALIER.  During this meeting, members of the independent

press were labeled enemies to be defeated, enemies comparable to those who

 orchestrated the military coup of 1991. Such threats are unacceptable and

 they are a clear call to violence. Furthermore, NCHR has not forgotten that

 the repulsive murders of Jean L. DOMINIQUE and Brignol LINDOR were preceded

by such threats.

 It is equally scandalous to insinuate that all journalists who refuse to

 carry out government propaganda are from the same cast as those who

 orchestrated the horrific coup d’etat of 1991.

 It is NCHR’s sincere hope that it is not a methodical, mechanical and

 subversive force that is driving these repeated attacks against the press

 and civil society groups.

 In conclusion, NCHR invites the ruling power to acknowledge the degree of

 deception against the majority of the Haitian people, and to heed their  desperate and just demands for justice, freedom, security and democracy.