The OAS Special Mission wishes to express concern following the public
statements made yesterday morning on radio stations in Port-au-Prince by Me.
Dameus Clame Ocnam, one of the Deputy Public Prosecutors of the Government
Commisioner attached to the Civil Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince, who
is reported to have left the country.
The Deputy Public Prosecutor spoke of pressure brought to bear on him by
representatives and advisors of the executive for him to sign legal warrants
intended to lead to the arrest of Messrs. Andre Apaid Junior, Coordinator of the
Group of 184, Herve Saintilus, President of the Federation of Haitian University
Students, and Me. Gervais Charles, Acting President of the Bar Association of
Port au Prince, in connection with events which occurred during the
demonstration held on December 22, 2003.
The Special Mission observed the public demonstration on December 22 during
which two persons lost their lives. The Mission calls for the conduct of a
serious indepth inquiry into those events in order for the facts to be properly
elucidated. Without prejudging the results of such an inquiry, the Mission is of
the view that without the benefit of a full inquiry and without other elements
of proof their personal involvement in the facts under reference, any arrest of
these persons would constitute a flagrant case of abuse of power.
The Special Mission invites the governmental and judicial authorities to apply
the law with moderation, impartiality and correctness, in order to avoid any
injustice or appearance of injustice, and in order to contribute to building
genuine rule of law in Haiti.
The Special Mission takes the opportunity to recall the December 17 statement of
the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Luigi Einaudi on the subject of
demonstrations, during a meeting of the Permanent Council. He emphasized that
“These events require urgent action by all concerned to support the rule of law”
and counselled that mob rule is unworthy of a democratic society. It is in this
spirit that, once again, the Special Mission exhorts all persons concerned to
avoid any action which might increase tension at this critical moment.