Originally: NCHR-Haiti Responds to the Increasing Violence

It is with deep concern that NCHR observes the increasing violence that has been occurring throughout the country but specifically in the capital of Port-au-Prince, since September 29, 2004.  The mounting brutality includes assassinations, pillaging and looting of stores and homes, arson and the introduction of barbaric acts of decapitation.  These actions cannot remain unpunished.  Those responsible for these actions ? individuals who have never denied committing these acts nor have hidden their political affiliations ? have managed to establish a climate of violence prohibiting citizens from going about their daily activities. 

NCHR has also observed that the since September 29, the Haitian National Police have increased their operations and made numerous arrests in relation to the ongoing violence. However, in the majority of these cases, those being arrested are not being brought before a judge within the timeframe required by the law ? that is to say, within forty-eight hours of their arrest.  Furthermore, several of these individuals are being transferred to Haitian prison facilities with a detention warrant merely signed by a Justice of the Peace without having been heard by a judge. 

There is no doubt that the level of violence in the capital is escalating has been paralyzing the capital and affecting judges and their work.  Due to security reasons, many judges are unable to go to work.  Yet at the same time, the law states that judges have the obligation to hear from each charged person before they make their decisions.

NCHR strongly encourages the interim Haitian government and the police to act without emotion and with firmness in bringing these criminals to justice so as to put an end to these acts of violence and in so doing guarantee the security of the population.   Furthermore, NCHR urges the government to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of judicial authorities required in order to carry out their work.