Originally: La Scierie Genocide

La Scierie Genocide:

                                        NCHR advocates for the organization of a model trial

The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) would like to inform the public that it has decided to provide assistance in the open investigation into the genocide la Scierie (St.Marc) committed during the period between 9 and 29 February 2004.  NCHR?s assistance will take the form of providing legal representation by the law firm of Samuel Madistin for those victims [of the events taking place in St Marc] who have solicited the organisation for assistance.

 While providing this legal assistance to the la Scierie victims, NCHR will maintain its complete neutrality and will refrain from taking sides in the case.

 NCHR?s decision to intervene in this case is based on the following:

  • The la Scierie genocide constitutes the largest massacre perpetrated against the civilian population by the Lavalas regime.  Numerous violent acts have been revealed ? acts that were evidently carried out with the complicity of high ranking officials of the State: 
  • Men, women and children, tortured, killed, burned alive;
  • Homes ransacked, pillaged and destroyed by fire;
  • Women raped inside the town?s police station
  • Arbitrary arrests, kidnappings of individuals followed by their disappearances
  • The inaccessibility to justice of the socially marginalized  is one of the causes of impunity
  • The organization of a just, impartial and fair trial, in addition to a well prepared one, is a demand of the Haitian people and civil society alike.  The trial concerning the la Scierie massacre must serve as a model.
  • NCHR is well aware that defending the memory, honor, dignity and interests of the victims of la Scierie must be undertaken by well-known lawyers, known for their competence and their integrity to avoid the shortcomings and errors of the past.

 NCHR invites the investigating bureau of Saint-Marc to take charge of the case in order to perform its tasks well. Likewise, NCHR encourages the police to yield to the orders of the judiciary and join the Minister of Justice to do everything within their power to facilitate the execution and success of this investigation as well as the realization of legal proceedings within a reasonable timeframe.

 Port-au-Prince, 30 March 2004