Spokesman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: Marta Hurtado
Date: November 1, 2019
Subject: The Crisis in Haiti
We are deeply concerned by the ongoing crisis situation in Haiti and its impact on Haitians over access to their rights to health care, food, education and other basic needs.
At least 42 people have died, and 86 have been injured since tensions increased with the latest wave of protests that began on September 15, 2019, according to information verified by our office. The vast majority of these victims were shot. The information received indicates that security forces are responsible for the deaths of 19 people killed, while others were killed by armed or unidentified civilians. At least one journalist is among those dead. Nine other journalists were injured and several others reportedly received threats. We urge all actors involved to refrain from targeting journalists and to respect freedom of the press.
Since the start of the school year last September, the majority of children across the country have not been able to have access to schools, most of which have remained closed, while roadblocks and security incidents have made it particularly difficult for the regions to supply the population with food, drinking water and medicine and fuel. The health sector has been particularly affected, with power cuts, fuel shortages, and the inability for many medical personnel to reach their workplace. We are also concerned about the impact of the closure of judicial and other public services in the country, especially for vulnerable groups. Thus, already alarming rates of prolonged pre-trial detention are compounded by the closure of many courts for security reasons.
We urge all parties to avoid impeding the operation of hospitals, and to facilitate access to care health, as well as the supply, including through humanitarian aid, of food and medicine for people in prison, in orphanages and for other vulnerable groups such as the disabled.
We salute the Investigations by the General Inspectorate of the Haitian National Police concerning allegations of human rights violations by police forces, and insist on the need for investigations to be rigorous, transparent and independent , to ensure accountability, truth and justice for the victims and their families, including through legal action.
It is It is crucial that all actors support peaceful solutions that respond to the many grievances that Haitians have repeatedly made in the streets over the last 16 months. We remain ready to support a deep and inclusive resolution of the current situation in order to alleviate the suffering of the Haitian people.