Network of Concerned Historians calls for action to protect 2 human rights activists in Haiti





Dear Colleagues,

Amnesty International is campaigning for two human rights activists in Haiti: Wilson Mesilien, who received death threats in late November, and Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, who was kidnapped last August. Both are coordinators of the 30 September Foundation and probably targeted because they pressed for an end to impunity for past abuses and reparation for victims of the 1991-94 military regime and for the victims of the transitional government of 2004-6. I hope that you can send the recommended urgent appeals immediately. Please remember to write in your professional capacity. Thank you.

With best wishes,

Antoon De Baets
(Network of Concerned Historians)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION

18 December 2007

UA 336/07: Fear for safety / Possible “disappearance”

HAITI

Wilson Mesilien (m), aged 39, human rights activist, interim coordinator of the Fondasyon Trant Septanm (30 September Foundation),

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine (m), aged 54, political and human rights activist, former coordinator of the Fondasyon Trant Septanm


The life of Wilson Mesilien, the interim coordinator of Fondasyon Trant Septanm (30 September Foundation), may be at risk due to his continued work in defending the rights of the victims of the 1991-1994 military coup. Amnesty International is even more concerned for his safety as the former coordinator of the Fondasyon, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, was kidnapped on 12 August and his whereabouts are still unknown.
Over the last few weeks, Wilson Mesilien has been receiving threatening telephone calls. Early in the afternoon of 26 November, two unknown individuals tried to intercept him as he rode his motorcycle in Boul. des Industries, North of Port-au-Prince. Wilson Mesilien was on his way home after attending an appeal court hearing for Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, a former prisoner of conscience who is still facing criminal charges.
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine has not been seen since 12 August, after he had left the company of a delegation of human rights activists visiting Haiti. The car he was driving was found abandoned near the neighborhood Delmas 18. Days before his abduction, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine had announced his intention to stand as Senator in the elections initially scheduled for December 2007 under the banner of the Fanmi Lavalas Party. There are fears that he may have been abducted by people connected with the former military because of his continued activism in denouncing past human rights violations during the 1991-1994 military government and in gathering signatures to amend the Constitution in order to eliminate all provisions for the existence of a Haitian army.
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine’s abduction was reportedly made to look like a kidnapping for ransom. His family were contacted by his alleged abductors on 14 August and asked to pay a ransom of US$ 300,000 for his release. However there has been no further contact from the abductors.
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is a psychologist and has been involved for several years as a grass-roots community organizer, mainly working with children. During the last presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, he was appointed General Coordinator of the National Office on Migration. He left Haiti into exile during the transitional government and returned in February 2006.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Wilson Mesilien is one of the founding members of Fondasyon Trant Septanm along with Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. The Fondasyon was named after the date of the military coup, 30 September 1991 during which President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted. At least 3,000 persons were killed during the military regime between 1991 -1994. Ever since its creation in 1996, the Fondasyon members carry out weekly marches in central Port-au-Prince and several other Haitian towns to press for an end to impunity for past abuses and reparation for victims of the 1991-1994 military coup and for the victims of the transitional government of 2004-2006. The Fondasyon also campaigns for the total abolition of the Haitian army through a reform of the Constitution by gathering signatures during a tour of a photo-exhibition of victims of past human rights abuses.


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

**expressing concern for the safety of Wilson Mesilien and of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine who has not been seen since 12 August;
**urging the authorities to double their efforts to locate Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine;
**calling for the authorities to ensure Wilson Mesilien’s protection in accordance with his wishes;
**calling for a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the “disappearance” of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine and the threats received by Wilson Mesilien, to make the result public and to bring those responsible to justice;
**reminding the authorities that the UN Declaration on the Rights and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms recognizes the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders and their right to carry out their activities without any restrictions or fear of reprisals.


APPEALS TO:

Minister of Justice and Public Security
**Monsieur Rene Magloire
**Ministre de la Justice et de la Securite Publique,
**19 Avenue Charles Sumner,
**Port-au-Prince, HAITI (W.I.)
**Fax: 011 509 245 0474
**(The fax may not be in service at all times, but please keep trying.)
**Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Minister

General Director of the Haiti National Police
**Mario Andresol
**Directeur General de la Police Nationale d’Haiti
**Grand Quartier General de la Police
**12 rue Oscar Pacot,
**Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)
**Fax: 011 509 245 7374
**Salutation: Monsieur le Directeur General/Dear Mr Andresol


COPIES TO:

Human rights organization
**c/o Fondasyon Trant Septanm
**No. 3, 2eme impasse Lavaud , Boite Postale 19042
**Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)

Ambassador H.E. Raymond A. Joseph
**Embassy of the Republic of Haiti
**2311 Massachusetts Ave., NW
**Washington DC 20008
**Fax: 1 202 745 7215
**Email: embassy@haiti.org


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.

Check with the Network of Concerned Historians if sending appeals after 29 January 2008.

Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement that promotes and defends human rights. This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including contact information and stop action date (if applicable). Thank you for your help with this appeal.



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