Haiti: UN mission chief urges calm, respect for rights in wake of protests

Head of the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Nektarios Markogiannis

25 November 2014 – Amid rising tensions Port-au-Prince and other key Haitian cities in the wake of last month’s delayed elections, the top United Nations official in the country deplored the violence that recently caused injuries among demonstrators and called on all sides to respect the right to free expression while also avoiding any recourse to violence.

“The freedom to demonstrate and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed by international conventions, enshrined in the Haitian constitution and supported by the law,” said Sandra Honoré, head of the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in a press release issued yesterday evening.

According to press reports, an anti-Government protest is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25 at Port-au-Prince and several provincial cities. It followed another protest on November 18 that resulted in several injuries.

“The right to demonstrate and freedom of opinion is a sign of the consolidation of democracy in Haiti and efforts must be made to both sides to avoid any recourse to violence, defamation, intimidation of all kinds, or acts that may contribute to the peace and stability,” said Ms. Honoré.

“As part of strengthening the rule of law, it is up to the Haitian authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure that the right to peaceful protest is respected and that offenders are prosecuted,” she said.

"The period from November 25 to December 10 marks the 16 days of activism for the protection of human rights, it is up to all to reject violence in all its forms to move towards a stronger Haiti, more stable and more respectful the rights of all and all, " she said.


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