Dec 17, 2017
Haiti prisoners threaten to burn down building
Saturday, December 16, 2017 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — Prisoners at the Commissariat of Petit-Goâve jail, south west of here, Friday threatened to set fire to the building if the authorities do not adequately deal with overcrowding and a shortage of food at the penal institution.
The building, which is supposed to house 60 prisoners, now has a population of 224 and the angry prisoners speaking on Radio Préférence here said they are worried about sanitation conditions as well.
“We are hungry, this morning we were given something of poor quality that we refused to eat,” one detainee told the radio station with others warning “if we are not given food, we will set fire.”
The police have stepped up surveillance but the detainees have described the holding cells as inhuman, with some prisoners seriously ill and need to be hospitalised.
They also fear that some of the prisoners carry various diseases including the HIV/AIDS virus.
Every time I mention the subject of PREVENTATIVE DETENTION to someone who eats three meals per day, usually showers, has some schooling and a job, I get a convoluted diatribe, often emotional, on why President Moise cannot simply insist on the end to PREVENTTATIVE DETENTION and the release of those held for non-violent crimes.
PREVENTATIVE DETENTION is based upon the flawed assumption that we have a functioning justice system that can handle the continuous case load.
Instead, we have a legal system that cannot handle the backlog, without the daily addition of cases.
Many have been held under PREVENTATIVE DETENTION for years without ever having appeared in court for crimes that might have resulted – if the person was guilty – in a small fine.
This is in direct violation of Article 26 of our Constitution.
No one may be kept under arrest more than forty-eight (48) hours unless he has appeared before a judge asked to rule on the legality of the arrest and the judge has confirmed the arrest by a well-founded decision;
And, of course, there is the laughable Article 18:
Haitians shall be equal before the law, subject to the special advantages conferred on native-born Haitians who have never renounced their nationality.
Why is the ex-Justice Minister Camille Edouard Jr. not being held under PREVENTATIVE DETENTION, like the unfortunate poor? That is, of course, a naive question.
Guys like him have contacts that would prevent any such action and probably prevent any sort of conviction for his indirect murder of 20 prisoners.
It is not Brain Surgery or Rocket Science!!
Haitian governments have been known for doing truly outlandish things, such as having a Senator’s boat, carrying 750 kilos of cocaine and 14 of his friends, intercepted off Tiburon, in 2007, by MINUSTAH when the Senator’s boat sent out a distress signal. They should all be in jail forever, but our Senate held a trial and found their associate “Innocent.”
This same bunch can support President Moise’s move to eliminate PREVENTATIVE DETENTION once and for all, except for serious cases such as murder, rape, bank robbery, kidnapping, and theft of government funds by Deputies and Senators.
By releasing something like 11,000 Haitians, from truly unbelievable inhuman conditions, the Jovenel Moise government will be saluted upon the World’s Stage.
11,000 Haitian families will be thankful.
For the more pragmatic, the move will save a lot of money that is supposed to go for food and upkeep, except cabinet ministers keep stealing the cash.
PRESIDENT MOISE: Reset the clock to zero and let the system renew itself.
THE WORLD IS WATCHING.