United Nations

A/51/703


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

2 December 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/703
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 37


             THE SITUATION OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI

                        Report of the Secretary-General


                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   The present report is submitted following the report of the
Secretary-General of 13 August 1996 (A/50/861/Add.2) on the situation
of democracy and human rights in Haiti and pursuant to paragraph 6 of
General Assembly resolution 50/86 C of 29 August 1996, in which the
Assembly requested me to submit to it regular reports on the work of
the International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICIVIH).  Prepared in
consultation with the Organization of American States (OAS), the
report outlines the activities of MICIVIH under the joint auspices of
OAS and the United Nations.  It also assesses the human rights
situation and the functioning of the institutions whose operations are
crucial to the promotion and protection of human rights.


                          II.  THE POLITICAL CONTEXT

2.   The overall calm described in my previous report was disrupted
in August by violent incidents which threw the spotlight on the
security situation and on the manner in which the Government
responded.  Increasingly threatening statements by former military
personnel demanding payment of what they considered their due,
incidents condemned by the Government as acts of destabilization and
rumours of a plot against the State led to the arrest, on 17 August,
of 19 persons.  Among them were 15 demobilized soldiers and 2 members
of the Mouvement pour le de'veloppement national (MDN), an opposition
party which had been seeking to attract the former soldiers.
  
3.   In the following days, shots were fired at the main police station
of the capital, the Parliament and the National Television building
and, on 20 August, two MDN leaders were assassinated.  The leaders of
one opposition party alleged that the Government was involved, while
the press quoted foreign officials who implicated the Presidential
Security Unit.  This led to the suspension of the unit's two
supervising officers in September, as well as bilateral and
international efforts to reinforce the security of the President.

4.   The situation has since improved owing to a number of factors: 
the Government committed itself publicly to address the issue of its
obligations to the demobilized soldiers, who eventually refrained from
disrupting or threatening to disrupt public order; the Parliament
adopted the economic and public sector reform bills; and the
performance of the new police force was perceived as improving.  The
situation has nonetheless remained fragile.  Disruptive protests, both
for socio-economic reasons and against corruption, have continued. 
New arrests on charges of plotting against the security of the State
have been made, including that of the leader of the Alliance pour la
libe'ration et l'avancement d'Hai"ti (ALAH), an opposition party, in
October.   Difficult challenges lie ahead, in particular, reinforcing
the authority of the State, reforming the justice system and
implementing economic and public sector reforms.  In this context,
divisions within the ruling Lavalas movement, as well as the
opposition parties' deep distrust of the Government, as reflected in
their responses to the Government's efforts to reconstitute the
Provisional Electoral Council, will require skilful management by the
Government.


        III.  ACTIVITIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL CIVILIAN MISSION TO HAITI

5.   In response to the recommendation of the Secretary-General, and
following President Pre'val's request of 18 July 1996 (A/50/861/Add.2,
annex), the General Assembly, on 29 August 1996, extended the mandate
of the United Nations component of MICIVIH until 31 December 1996
(resolution 50/86 C, para. 2).  The Mission's strength and mandate
remained unchanged.

6.   With an average effective strength somewhat below the mandated
level of 64 United Nations and OAS personnel, the Mission retained a
permanent presence in seven of the nine administrative regions of the
country.

7.   The Mission was tasked with:  (a) verifying full observance by
Haiti of human rights and fundamental freedoms; (b) providing
technical assistance at the request of the Government of Haiti in the
field of institution-building, such as training of the police and
establishment of an impartial judiciary; and (c) supporting the
development of a programme for the promotion and protection of human
rights in order to promote a climate of freedom and tolerance
propitious to the consolidation of long-term constitutional democracy
in Haiti and to contribute to the strengthening of democratic
institutions.

8.   The monitoring of police conduct, with particular reference to
respect for human rights and the observance of due process, continued
to constitute a central activity of the Mission.  In the area of
institution-building, the Mission participated in training programmes
at both the Ecole de la Magistrature (Magistrates School) and the
Police Academy, and also cooperated with the Ministry of Justice and
donors.  A number of the Mission's recommendations and suggestions
with regard to the police and the judiciary have been or are in the
process of being implemented.  Human rights promotion and civic
education activities requiring financial outlays were slowed by delays
in the process of renewing the Mission's mandate.  Public information
activities relating to the work of the Mission continued apace,
however.


                        IV.  THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION

9.   Improvements in the human rights situation were maintained and the
authorities showed a continuing commitment to fighting impunity and to
strengthening the protection of human rights.  Violations by State
agents of the right to life and physical integrity remained relatively
sporadic.  At the same time, in spite of some improvement, major
concerns in the judicial domain included glaring violations of legal
and constitutional procedures as well as continued shortcomings in the
area of respect for due process.


             A.  Reports of abuses by the Haitian National Police

10.  The firm response of the authorities to egregious violations
reported earlier appeared to have curbed the worst premeditated abuses
- summary executions and torture - by the Haitian National Police
(HNP) which had emerged in the first seven months of the year. 
Nevertheless, nine people were shot dead by police in September, the
highest figure since March, bringing the total killed since January to
more than 40.  Most recent incidents occurred in Port-au-Prince, but
others were reported in the Artibonite, Grande Anse and North
departments.  While there may have been legitimate grounds for the use
of force on some occasions, force seems to have been used excessively
in some cases.  One summary execution was reported in September and
another possible instance in November.  However, none of these
incidents appeared to be politically motivated.  Several recent
incidents, both fatal and non-fatal, occurred when police in
plainclothes, mostly off-duty, became involved in disputes and used
their firearms in public places.  The Inspection Ge'ne'rale (office of
the Inspector General) responded swiftly by carrying out immediate
inquiries and by suspending and disarming those allegedly implicated,
pending the outcome of the inquiries.  However, the frequency and
nature of the incidents suggest a need for stricter control over the
use of firearms.

11.  After a sharp rise in the first seven months of the year,
particularly in Port-au-Prince, the number of allegations of beatings
of people in police custody decreased.  Most of the detainees
interviewed throughout the country by MICIVIH did not report having
suffered ill-treatment.  High-profile detainees, including members of
opposition parties and former members of the Armed Forces of Haiti,
were by and large treated well before their transfer to prison, but a
handful alleged they were threatened, manhandled or beaten during
arrest or interrogation.  Some individuals arrested and accused of
armed crimes also alleged that they had been beaten.


       B.  Incidents allegedly involving other police or security units

12.  On several occasions, MICIVIH raised concerns with the authorities
about alleged abuses by members of the Presidential Palace Guard and
the Presidential Security Unit.  Allegations that members of the
Presidential Guard were involved in the 20 August killing of two MDN
members have yet to be substantiated.  No progress seems to have been
recorded in the judicial investigations into the killings.  HNP is now
initiating an internal inquiry.

13.  Strict instructions were issued to palace security units by
President Pre'val in late August to desist from carrying out security
operations other than those related to the protection of the president
and the palace.  In addition, by a decree dated 8 August 1996 but made
public only in September, palace security units were placed under the
authority of HNP, including with regard to disciplinary procedures.

14.  MICIVIH also raised concerns about the existence of parallel
security forces, including heavily armed so-called municipal police in
the capital.  Five security agents from the Mairie (City Hall) in
Port-au-Prince were reportedly dismissed after their alleged
involvement in the killing in August of a suspected thief.  Reports of
beatings by members of the Conseils d'Administration des Sections
Communales (CASECs - Municipal Section Administrative Councils) were
also received from some rural areas.


                      C.  Arrest and detention procedures

15.  MICIVIH continued to monitor arrest procedures and the legal
situation of detainees held in police stations and in prison.  It drew
the attention of the authorities to the failure to respect legal and
constitutional arrest and detention procedures reported in a number of
cases, including the arrest of a justice of the peace accused by the
police of illegally releasing detainees and the failure to respect a
court order to release the leader of an opposition party.  Some delays
were reported in bringing detainees before judges within the 48-hour
period stipulated by the Constitution, though in general the
requirement was respected.

16.  A new development was the arrest of more than 40 individuals
accused of threatening State security and related charges
between August and October.  Arrest warrants were issued against more
than 60 others in October.  MICIVIH expressed its concern about the
vagueness of the accusations against the detainees, which did not
specify individual charges.  Those arrested included former members of
the Armed Forces of Haiti, members of MDN, the leader of the
opposition party ALAH and a former mayor.  While a few were released,
most remained in prison as of the end of October.  MICIVIH monitored
their legal situation and the conditions of their detention.  All but
six had appeared before a juge de paix (justice of the peace) by the
end of September, though in some cases after the 48-hour limit.  Most
of the cases appeared to have been referred to a juge d'instruction
(examining magistrate).  Some detainees were interrogated by a special
unit set up by the Port-au-Prince Commissaire du gouvernement (State
Prosecutor).  MICIVIH's concerns about the legality of the unit, the
inclusion in it of persons who were neither police nor judicial
officials and the apparent absence of proper judicial scrutiny were
raised with the Minister of Justice and the State Prosecutor.  MICIVIH
was later informed that the unit would be abolished.

17.  Little or no progress was reported in legal proceedings against 10
other individuals accused of offences related to State security who
were arrested between April and July 1996.  The determination of their
judicial status by the examining magistrate as required by the
criminal code is now overdue.  Four appear to have no judicial
dossier.  MICIVIH also continued to draw attention through public
reports and in meetings with the authorities to the many other cases
of prolonged pre-trial detention in prisons and police detention
centres throughout the country, although some improvements were noted
in certain localities.


                D.  Investigations into abuses by state agents

18.  Internal mechanisms for investigating police abuses were
consolidated and police authorities sent a clear message that such
practices would not be tolerated by dismissing or temporarily
suspending those implicated.  The Inspector General began handing over
cases to the State Prosecutor in Port-au-Prince for further action and
some police agents were arrested for alleged abuses as well as for
criminal activities.  Police also arrested a number of HNP agents
suspected of involvement in criminal activities, and greater efforts
were made to condemn police abuses publicly and to inform the public
of disciplinary measures taken. 

19.  While few allegations of abuse by prison administration guards
were reported to MICIVIH during this period, it should be noted that,
according to prison officials, no sanction other than a general
reprimand was handed down in the beating on 3 September of two women
detainees in Fort National prison in Port-au-Prince.


         E.  Prosecution of those responsible for human rights violations
             during the de facto regime

20.  There were few positive signs of progress in investigations into
past human rights violations, although the Government was prompted to
make greater efforts to tackle the issue of impunity by public
pressure following the acquittal of two men accused of the 1993
killing of Justice Minister Guy Malary and protests at the delays in
bringing to trial those alleged to be responsible for the 1994
Raboteau massacre.  A handful of former members of the military or
their collaborators were sentenced for past human rights violations,
mainly in the department of the Centre, but others were released or
arrest warrants remained pending.

21.  On 30 September, the anniversary of the coup d'e'tat, the
Government began distributing the report of the National Truth and
Justice Commission.  With regard to documents seized by United States
troops at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Haiti and the Front
re'volutionnaire pour l'avancement et le progre`s d'Hai"ti (FRAPH) at
the time of the intervention of the Multinational Force in Haiti, no
bilateral agreement had been reached on conditions for handing them
over to the Haitian authorities.


                        F.  "Popular justice" killings

22.  Reports of "popular justice" killings, where persons suspected of
criminal acts or of being associated with such persons are killed by
crowds, fluctuated sharply.  Between January and the end of September,
101 individuals had reportedly been killed during 50 such incidents. 
Figures for August (one killing) and September (three) were among the
lowest for the year, but rose sharply again in October (nine).  The
fact that one of these victims was killed after being pulled out of a
courtroom in front of police and judicial officials again illustrated
the difficulties faced by State officials in exercising their
authority. 


             V.  Institution-building activities of the International
                 Civilian Mission to Haiti

                        A.  The Haitian National Police

23.  Structural weaknesses and operational constraints which hamper the
effectiveness of HNP continued to be addressed by the HNP management
with the assistance of the civilian police (CIVPOL) element of the
United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) and of major donors. 
As before, President Pre'val lent his authority to bolster these
efforts by chairing the committee on institutional development,
comprising government and police officials, UNSMIH, donors, and
MICIVIH.  These efforts met with some success and the public
perception of HNP's performance in Port-au-Prince is starting to
improve.  In particular, the police were credited with ensuring a
trouble-free start to the school year in early October despite threats
of obstruction by organizations made up of former members of the Armed
Forces.

24.  The absence of police in rural sections resulted in the continuing
practice of resorting to parapolice agents (e.g. voluntary police),
members of CASECs and others to carry out police functions.  This
problem needs to be resolved urgently to prevent the entrenchment of
parallel security forces and a resurgence of local vigilante groups.

25.  MICIVIH activities focused on monitoring the performance of the
police with regard to human rights, participating in the training of
police officers at all levels, recommending measures to improve
certain operational and disciplinary procedures, and facilitating
police community outreach.  Some steps now being taken include
measures recommended in MICIVIH's report in July 1996 on the human
rights record of the HNP.  The report was made public in August. 

26.  MICIVIH worked closely with the Office of the Inspector General
whose capacity and effectiveness have improved appreciably over the
past few months.  Speedier internal inquiries, conducted with the
technical assistance of UNSMIH CIVPOL, concluded in disciplinary
measures ranging from warnings to dismissals.  By the end
of October 1996, some 40 police agents had been dismissed from the
force.  It is regrettable, however, that the Inspector General's
report on incidents in the Cite' Soleil of March 1996 has not yet been
released.  Police authorities also placed increased emphasis on the
role played by newly deployed departmental directors and police
commissioners in enforcing discipline and investigating abuses.  To
further strengthen internal disciplinary procedures, MICIVIH proposed
the addition of a number of serious human rights violations to the
list of punishable breaches of police conduct.  Information on new
cases of serious abuses documented by MICIVIH was transmitted to the
Inspector General, and proposals for the transmission of information
by police to prosecutors for the pursuance of judicial inquiries into
criminal acts committed by HNP agents were also submitted to
appropriate government and police authorities.

27.  In addition to human rights training for HNP members, MICIVIH
designed a training module on the use of force to complement firearms
instruction.  It is also participating in the preparation of
programmes to train investigators of the Inspector General's Office
and in the retraining of presidential and palace guards.  Training
presentations drew on the pertinent United Nations instruments, in
particular the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement
Officials, as well as HNP's performance, as monitored by the Mission
in the field, including incidents of abuse and misconduct.

28.  To improve detention conditions in police stations, MICIVIH drew
up a detention register in collaboration with UNSMIH CIVPOL which was
approved for distribution by HNP directors.  MICIVIH was also
instrumental in urging the prison administration, Administration
pe'nitentiare nationale (APENA), with support from the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and UNSMIH, to help improve prison conditions in
Carrefour Police Station.  Similar projects will be undertaken in
other police stations which in some areas are being used increasingly
as detention centres because of judicial processing delays. 

29.  MICIVIH has worked closely with UNSMIH CIVPOL personnel in helping
HNP to improve its outreach to local communities.  HNP agents
participated in MICIVIH civic education seminars and radio programmes
explaining the role of the police and answering questions from the
public.  In some places this has enabled HNP to repair strained
relations with local communities.  In the Grande Anse, where HNP had
regularly collaborated with MICIVIH civic education programmes, the
police themselves launched a programme.


                       B.  Prisons and detention centres

30.  In mid-July, APENA guards at the National Penitentiary went on
strike to demand the same rights and remuneration as HNP agents, thus
delaying criminal trials in Port-au-Prince.  In response, the
Government has prepared a bill to incorporate APENA into the Haitian
National Police.  There has been some concern, however, that the
autonomy of APENA could be weakened by the proposed links between the
two institutions. 

31.  At the request of the prison administration, MICIVIH submitted
comments on a draft prepared by APENA for internal regulations for
prison facilities, which included guidelines for the provision of
food, medical services, hygiene, access to education and professional
training, and contact with the outside world, as well as security and
disciplinary measures.  The regulations are due to be adopted soon.

32.  MICIVIH observers throughout the country interviewed several
hundred detainees in order to assess their conditions, treatment and
judicial status.  They documented long judicial delays which
contributed to acute overcrowding in some prisons and detention
centres.  The tendency for judicial officials to place those accused
of minor offences in detention rather than granting them provisional
liberty also contributed to overcrowding.  Even though conditions of
detention improved steadily, sanitation, nutrition and health care
remained much below international standards.  The UNDP prison reform
project continued to provide training to all prison staff, including
support for staff members responsible for maintaining prison
registers.  It also prepared plans for renovating prisons in different
parts of the country and organized and funded renovations for the
prison in Port-de-Paix which was in danger of collapse.  MICIVIH
participated in a review organized by UNDP of all persons detained in
the Port-au-Prince prisons, which was to identify those who lacked
individual files or whose cases were at a standstill. 


                            C.  The justice system

33.  The issue of judicial reform returned to the centre of public
attention during this period, both with regard to the performance of
the judiciary in relation to past human rights violations and to its
handling of cases involving former State officials, members of
political parties and former members of the Armed Forces accused of
corruption or of threatening State security.  Glaring shortcomings in
the judicial system were illustrated by the trial and acquittal of two
men accused of killing Justice Minister Guy Malary, which caused a
public outcry, particularly regarding the role of the Public
Prosecutor.  Partly in response to the heightened criticism, a
judicial reform bill was submitted to Parliament on 3 October.  The
Senate is conducting a national debate on its provisions, some of
which are perceived as controversial by certain sectors, particularly
those that concern the dismissal and nomination of judges.  The
Ministry of Justice undertook other important initiatives, which over
time could help to rebuild public confidence in the judiciary.  In the
short term, however, the most critical problems and major bottlenecks
remain, exacerbated by the absence of consensus on an overall
strategy. 

34.  The Mission participated in Ministry of Justice/donors
coordination meetings as well as in the monthly coordination meeting
chaired by the Prime Minister which has the task of monitoring
progress on a number of agreed measures in the field of justice. 
However, the pace of implementation by the Ministry of Justice has
still not matched the progress made in consolidating HNP and APENA. 
This has sometimes led to tensions between the different institutions
over their respective areas of authority and over responsibility for
shortcomings.

35.  The Mission collaborated with the efforts of the Ministry of
Justice to implement judicial reform, supported by French and United
States initiatives to strengthen the judicial system.  Among these was
a project to improve public prosecution registries in six key regions. 
Significant progress in setting up the new system was noted, despite
technical difficulties.  MICIVIH has also proposed to the Ministry of
Justice urgent measures to deal with the acute backlog of criminal
cases in Port-au-Prince. 

36.  Although there was some improvement in the number of cases that
underwent judicial processing, a survey conducted by MICIVIH revealed
that the situation was particularly critical in Port-au-Prince, where
94 per cent of detainees were in pre-trial detention, as compared to
some 80 per cent nationally.  MICIVIH continued to facilitate meetings
between prison, judicial and police authorities to improve
communication, to better streamline the pre-trial phase of
prosecutions and to prevent detainees from getting lost in the system. 
These initiatives played a key role in the improvements observed in
places that succeeded in "turning the tide" of high pre-trial
detentions.

37.  MICIVIH observers continued to visit judicial officials and courts
throughout the country, attend trials, monitor the legal status of
detainees and discuss human rights issues relating to the criminal law
and penal procedure with members of the judiciary.  A MICIVIH press
release in September highlighted the problem of prolonged pre-trial
detention, detailing judicial shortcomings which severely impaired
investigations, such as incomplete preliminary inquiries, delays in
proceedings, insufficient judicial officials to carry out
investigations, lack of training and insufficient resources. 
Inadequacies in the system were most apparent during criminal court
sessions monitored by MICIVIH observers.  Lack of case preparation,
poor organization, failure to constitute juries and the arbitrary
application of the law were among the failings noted.

38.  Judicial investigations remained inadequate.  While some training
has been carried out for judicial officials and public prosecutors at
the Ecole de la Magistrature with the support of the international
community, the need for further training and resources remains urgent. 
MICIVIH presented to the Government a proposal for the creation and
training of a special team of prosecutors and judges to investigate
cases of past violations of human rights and the currently most
serious crimes.  The Justice Ministry agreed, as a priority, to create
a team, including two additional prosecutors and one investigative
judge, to support the Gonai"ves judicial officials investigating the
1994 massacre of Raboteau, for which an ex-captain of the Armed Forces
and a former FRAPH leader are awaiting trial.  The project also
includes a second phase of training for a large number of officials,
and eventually a permanent training course for all judicial officials
as a third step to increase their professional investigative capacity.

39.  The functioning of the judiciary continued to be hampered by
material and logistical problems, such as inadequate court buildings
and a lack of basic equipment.  However, new courts are being built in
some departments with bilateral donor support.  The Minister of
Justice announced that more courts would be created and additional
judicial personnel appointed.  Lack of resources prevented judicial
inspectors from functioning outside the capital and also seriously
hampered the development of the Ombudsman's office.

40.  Basic court administration and budgeting skills need
strengthening.  Reporting and coordination between the judicial
hierarchy and the Ministry has improved but communication problems
persist, particularly in rural areas.  Ministry officials recently
initiated meetings in the capital with State prosecutors and judges of
all departments in an attempt to solve these problems.  The Ministry
also conducted a professional evaluation of all its personnel at its
head office, as well as a survey of its overall structure.  The
resulting recommendations, once implemented, should improve the
functioning of the Ministry substantially.

41.  At the request of the National Assembly and the Ministers of
Justice and Foreign Affairs, MICIVIH provided information on regional
and international human rights treaties not ratified by Haiti.  The
Ministry of Justice and HNP adopted and agreed to distribute
ministerial circulars relating to arrest and detention, search and
seizure and police detention which had been drafted with MICIVIH's
assistance.  A draft circular on the use of Cre'ole in the justice
system is also under discussion.

42.  MICIVIH continued to provide training on principles of human
rights and respect for judicial guarantees at the Ecole de la
Magistrature.  The school's status, which has not yet been determined,
was one of the topics discussed at a major colloquium on the
independence and status of the judiciary organized by the Ministry of
Justice, with the support of donors, on 8 and 9 November.


                          VI.  HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION

43.  MICIVIH's activities in the promotion and protection of human
rights were restricted during a five-week period immediately after the
renewal of the mandate, pending the availability of funds.  However,
the Mission was able to produce in-house video and radio documentaries
on violence against women and on the rehabilitation of victims of
organized violence, which were widely broadcast.  MICIVIH began
collaboration with the Ministry of Justice for the bi-weekly
production of an educational television programme about the justice
system.  In several departments, it sponsored radio call-in programmes
on local stations during which judicial and police officials were
invited to discuss their work and respond to the public. 

44.  A new development in MICIVIH's use of cultural activities as a
vehicle for human rights promotion was the creation of a Haitian
puppet show designed to deter summary "popular justice" and to inform
the general population about the proper role of the police and the
courts.  It was performed around the country to large, enthusiastic
audiences.  The Mission also organized the painting of public murals
on human rights themes, including one in a prison in Jacmel. 

45.  The Mission pursued its collaboration with government agencies. 
It helped the Secretariat of State for Youth, Sports and Civic Service
to organize a conference on civic education and held a second series
of seminars on women's rights in cooperation with the Ministry of
Women's Affairs and Women's Rights. 

46.  With the support of local officials and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), one- and two-day civic education seminars were
held around the country, focusing on understanding the judicial
system.  MICIVIH observers continued training Haitian instructors,
reinforcing their knowledge of human rights and supporting them in
their efforts to hold seminars in diverse communities.

47.  Supporting the work and strengthening the capacity of Haitian
human rights NGOs remained a priority.  MICIVIH held further meetings
with participants in its two-week intensive training course in August. 
In collaboration with NGOs, it continued to reinforce Haitian
facilities for the provision of medical, social and psychological
assistance to victims of past human rights violations.  The Mission
was also completing a study on the medical and psychological effects
of repression based on the experiences of MICIVIH's Medical Unit and
on those of other health professionals.

48.  Conflict resolution activities with peasant leaders human rights
organizations and municipal and police authorities continued.  These
included a training seminar for mayors and police in Milot (Cap-
Hai"tien) and for peasant leaders in the Artibonite, a region prone to
violent conflicts over land.  Haitian lawyers working with MICIVIH as
trainers as well as staff members of the United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF) took part in a training session on conflict resolution
specially organized for MICIVIH observers.  A MICIVIH project for
mediation and conciliation training at the Ecole de la Magistrature is
in preparation.


             VII.  RELATIONS WITH INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES AND WITH THE
                   UNITED NATIONS SUPPORT MISSION IN HAITI

49.  As in previous months, MICIVIH continued to collaborate with UNDP
particularly in relation to the maintenance of prison registers and on
issues related to prison conditions.  It also collaborated as
appropriate with specialized agencies of the United Nations system. 
In the framework of its joint project with the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on conflict
resolution, MICIVIH organized performances in rural Artibonite
communities, depicting the mediation of a dispute between two
peasants.  Other joint project activities included the production of a
conflict resolution training video and the production of Cre'ole
language materials.

50.  Apart from weekly executive meetings, the MICIVIH Executive
Director continued to participate in the weekly meetings between the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the President of
the Republic and raised concerns about human rights issues as
appropriate.  MICIVIH staff members continued to participate in
working groups on justice and on the police; these groups are composed
of government officials, representatives of the Friends of the
Secretary-General on Haiti and staff members of UNSMIH.  Discussions
focused on strengthening the police force and the judicial reform
programme.

51.  MICIVIH continued to collaborate closely with UNSMIH in Port-au-
Prince and the rest of the country, exchanging information, liaising
on police and judicial matters and assisting the Government of Haiti
in the institutional development of HNP.  MICIVIH also took part in
weekly meetings with UNSMIH on public information activities.  UNSMIH
continued to provide extensive administrative support to MICIVIH.


                              VIII.  CONCLUSION 

52.  The emphasis placed on institution-building and reform by the
Government, the relevant authorities and the international community
is starting to bear fruit.  New institutions such as HNP and APENA are
slowly being consolidated and there is a noticeable change in the
public's perception of the performance of HNP.  The continued
insistence on accountability and the rejection of impunity have
contributed to the improved human rights situation.  Nevertheless,
some recent events show that continued vigilance is necessary.  The
major bottlenecks and structural weaknesses in the judiciary must be
resolved urgently in order to restore eroded public confidence in the
justice system.  Legal and constitutional procedures must be observed
scrupulously to ensure that measures taken to counteract corruption
and threats to State security cannot be interpreted as arbitrary acts
intended to restrict or punish political opponents.  The intangibles
of trust and confidence are as essential to building a state of law as
is respect for human rights and due process.

53.  While gratifying, the gradual improvements in the functioning of
the Haitian National Police and in the prison administration have not
been matched by a similar process of reconstruction in the other
institutions on which the enjoyment of human rights in a society of
law hinges, particularly the judiciary.  It is encouraging that the
Haitian Senate now has before it proposals for badly needed judicial
reform which, if enacted, would provide parliamentary support for
beginning a long-overdue reconstruction of the judicial sector. 
However, these proposals can only become an important element in the
efforts to reinvigorate the judicial system if they meet with the
widest support among the interested sectors and society as a whole. 
It is my conviction that the implementation of an agreed judicial
reform process of the magnitude needed, together with the need to
overcome remaining weaknesses in the police and prison administration,
will require continued assistance from the international community. 
As I pointed out in my previous report, it is in these areas that
MICIVIH has placed emphasis since its redeployment in October 1994 and
it is in these areas that the Mission, because of its extensive field
experience and accumulated expertise, would be able to make a
significant contribution to the consolidation of key structures
charged with protection of human rights and to the deepening of the
democratic process. The Government of Haiti shares my assessment and
has requested, in a letter to me from President Pre'val of
30 November 1996 (see annex), an extension of the mandate of MICIVIH
for a 12-month period.

54.  Following consultations with the Secretary-General of the
Organization of American States, I therefore recommend to the General
Assembly that it authorize a 12-month extension of the mandate of the
United Nations component of MICIVIH at its present level when its
current mandate expires on 31 December 1996, with a focus on assisting
the Haitian authorities in their efforts to rebuild and consolidate
the cornerstone institutions of a democratic society based on law and
respect for human rights. 

55.  I take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the
creativity and commitment with which the Director and the staff of the
Mission have carried out its mandate.


                                     ANNEX

                                                           [Original:  French]

           Letter dated 30 November 1996 from the President of Haiti
                      addressed to the Secretary-General


     I have the honour to inform you that the Haitian Government wishes
to have the mandate of the International Civilian Mission to Haiti
(MICIVIH) renewed until 31 December 1997.

     Since its establishment in Haiti, the Mission has played an
important role in support of the protection of human rights.  Its
presence in the country is justified by the fact that the institutions
responsible for ensuring the rights of citizens are continuing to show
signs of weakness which must be addressed urgently.

     In this context, the Haitian Government is convinced that, with
the support of MICIVIH, it will be possible to continue the process of
institution-building, the training of the State agents concerned and
the dissemination of the principles of human rights.


                                                       (Signed)  Rene' PRE'VAL


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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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