2 September 2011 –
The United Nations independent expert on human rights in Haiti, Michel Forst, today welcomed declarations by the new Haitian authorities of measures in the field of the rule of law, adding that he hoped that the declarations will soon be implemented and followed by positive impacts.
“I see in these declarations the beginning of the long-awaited completion of the necessary separation of the executive and the judiciary powers which should eventually help give Haitians confidence in the effectiveness of their justice system, which has been so criticized,” said Mr. Forst, referring to the upcoming appointment of judges by the President to the six vacant seats on the country’s highest court.
Mr. Forst indicated, nevertheless, that he is deeply disturbed by the situation in Haitian prisons, and surprised that for obscure, seemingly purely bureaucratic reasons, and in the midst of the cholera epidemic, latrines in several prisons are no longer emptied, and that the supply of food is almost no longer assured.
“This is profoundly shocking, not to mention the risk of an explosion of violence that the inaction of the state entails when inmates no longer receive food,” he said.
On the humanitarian situation, the expert urged that the police receive clear instructions not to support the forced eviction of people living in formal and informal camps, outside of the procedures established by Haitian law, regardless of whether camps are on public or private land.
In a related development, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) today welcomed the selection by the Senate of candidates for the six vacant positions on the Supreme Court, while stressing the importance of establishing an independent judiciary to strengthen the rule of law in the country.
“MINUSTAH reiterates its determination to support the Haitian authorities in strengthening the rule of law and will provide the Government, upon request, all the technical expertise available to it,” the mission stated in a news release.