Urgent Action Alert,
September 18, 2012
The forgotten and abandoned in Haiti
HLLN denounces the illegal arrests and indefinite detentions of Haiti charity worker, African-American Lillian C. Miller, Catholic nun, Dona Belizaire and Vodouist, Ougan Zaza (Frantz Jean Raymond).
We issue this urgent action release to ask everyone to call, write and demand their immediate release from jail. (Update- Lillian Miller released, Oct 5, 2012, Video: Left Behind; American prisoner released in Haiti.)
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible calling on the authorities to put an end to the arbitrary detentions that are prevalent throughout Haiti. Call and write the US Embassy in Haiti, the US State Department in Washington, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Haiti Justice Ministry, the Commissaire at the civil prison in Petion-Ville and the Haiti Police at Baryè Boutey in Cap Haitian.(Check back soon. Contact information will soon be posted here on this site. Kindly also sign the on-line petition denouncing repeal of article 297 of Haiti Constitution).
Demand the Martelly government respect the rule of law, immediately release African-American, Lillian C. Miller, Catholic nun Sister Dona Belizaire and Ougan Zaza (Frantz Jean Raymond)
Time and our resources are on overload so we cannot publicize all the cases that merit international light. But we select three people currently in Haiti jailhouses - Sister Dona Belizair, Ougan Zaza (Frantz Jean Raymond) and Lillian C. Miller - whose arrests and indefinite detentions in Haiti are a shameful violation of basic human rights and freedoms protected by international and national laws.
The arrest and indefinite detentions of Sister Dona Belizair, Ougan Zaza (Frantz Jean Raymond) and Lillian C. Miller are blatantly illegal, political, arbitrary and capricious. These are the acts of not law officials but legal bandits in power – bandi legal ki sou pouvwa - and, it appears, fully licensed by the UN/US occupiers to indiscriminately arrest, indefinitely incarcerate without due process or legal cause. Blan an ba yo lisans.
In the case of the African-American Lillian Miller, in jail since May 2012 with the initial charges dropped, where is the US Embassy, the international press, Hillary Clinton, Suzanne Rice or Cheryl Mills when their intervention could do some good for a US citizen in Haiti?
Details of the cases of these three detainees are outlined below:
1. The case of Dona Belizair
See below Sister Donar Belizair’s open letter about her situation where she states that she is unjustly incarcerated “in an inhuman situation in the civil prison in Petion-ville, where the respect for human rights is being grossly violated.”
Published and public information found on this case establishes that a child named Raphael Chenet was kidnapped and attempted to be sold into adoption overseas by a foreign national working for the UN-MINUSTAH mission in Haiti.
Raphael Chenet disappeared on June 5, 2011 from an orphanage in Kenscoff, Haiti, headed by Dona Belizaire, who is a Catholic nun with her own congregation. She has run the orphanage for 23years.
The alleged culprit who kidnapped the child, is identified in Haiti police documents (attached below to Dona Belizair’s open letter) as Djimmy Mémé, a former employee of the orphanage.
He was apprehended July 18, 2011 and taken in for questioning . He confessed to the kidnapping and attempted trafficking. On his cell phone, police found text messages to a white foreigner, whom it seems, according to Ms. Belizaire’s lawyer, is an employee of MINUSTAH.
This alleged employee of UN/MINUSTAH, cited in Haiti reports as Peguy Blanc, is alleged to have hired Djimmy Mémé to carry out the kidnapping for $2,000. The child was to be given to his girlfriend, a certain white Canadian national abroad identified as “Christine,” who visits Haiti often. An excerpt from the court registry in Kenscoff (attached to Belizair’s open letter and copied below) maintains that Haiti police where able:
“to trace the path of Peguy and we apprehended them near Delmas, specifically at the crossroads of the airport.”
Although Djimmy Mémé, the former employee, confessed to the conspiracy, the kidnapping, trafficking and identified his only co-conspirator as Peguy Blanc, he was inexplicably released by the Deputy Commissioner of the Government, Rodriguez.
The lawyer for Dona Belizair accuses MINUSTAH of intervening with Haiti police to secure the release of Djimmy Mémé.
The Kenscoff justice report maintains that:
“MINUSTAH has not really kept its promise” to help Haiti police locate their employee, Peguy Blanc.
The Haiti police documents from the investigative justice at Kenscoff, provided by Dona Belizair in her open letter, also states in relevant parts, that:
“The Djimmy Mémé… confessed that he was the author responsible for the kidnapping, with the complicity of Péguy Blanc, who had a concubine, a white woman by the name of Christine, of Canadian national. The latter had wanted to adopt the minor Raphael Chenet and it is for that reason he removed the child from the orphanage to hand him to Peguy Blanc, who had offered the sum of U.S. $ 2,000 when Christine enters Haiti. That many information was confirmed by several messages (SMS) from Djimmy’s mobile phone.
Not having the means to trace the path of Peguy Blanc and Christinee, the principal authors [...] MINUSTAH has promised to put at our disposal the resources necessary to trace the path of these people. But MINUSTAH has not really kept its promise, which prevents the court to follow up on this matter and issue an arrest warrant for Péguy, and shall remit Djimmy Mémé to the prosecutor of the capital and also asks the Commissioner of the Government to do everything within its power to trace the path of Christine, who is a Canadian who comes to Haiti frequently according to statements made by Djimmy Mémé …” -Haiti police transcript. (Refer also to Belizair’ defense attorney’s statements provided herein.)
Attorney Rousseau Narcisse, the lawyer for Dona Belizairein (See video linked below ) held a press conference where he says that this same white person, which he does not name, is employed with MINUSTAH and arranged for the release of the local Haiti kidnapper, Djimmy Mémé, to take the child from the orphanage . But it is Sister Dona Belizaire who is arrested and put in jail for the crime, charge with kidnapping and trafficking children. Sister Belizaire has been in jail for three months, since June 19, 2012.
This is a gross injustice. Based on the kidnapper’s own confessions, Sister Belizaire does not in any way merit being imprisoned. HLLN categorically denounces the racism, injustice and scapegoating. This arrest by Martelly’s police subjects an innocent Haitian woman to prison for a crime apparently committed and authored by an employee of MINUSTAH.
Where is the public outrage? Where are the voices of the international human rights organizations like Amnesty International? Where is the concern and advocacy of the Catholic Church on behalf of their own, Sister Dona Belizaire?
Belizair is charged trafficking and child abuse. An open letter from Sister Belizair asking for help appears below.
2. The case of Ougan Zaza (Frantz Jean Raymond)
HLLN reported on the case of Ougan Zaza in the post titled “Basic Haiti rights repealed” on our website:
On August 18, 2012, Ougan Zaza (Frantz Jean Raymond) who was leading the Bwa Kayiman commemorations at Bwa Kayiman, Haiti, was abitrarily arrested during the ceremony under orders from Port au Prince (the Martelly/Lamothe government). The general charge mirrored the 1935 law, “asosyasyon malfektè.” (Listen, in Kreyòl, to the Lakou New York August 20, 2012 Broadcast describing the illegal arrest of Ougan Zaza, the Bwa Kayiman celebrant arrested on charges that he is at the head of a group of “evil people” – a direct product of the formerly repealed Article 297: Ti pale ak Yolande Pierre-Antoine epi ak Ougan Neite sou arestasyon Frantz Jean Raymond (Ougan Zaza) nan Bwa Kayiman. This Ougan Zaza arrest segment starts 13:00 minutes into broadcast.)
Ougan Zaza remains in jail today, at the Haiti Police at Baryè Boutey, Au Cap in the North, along with 8 other Haitians participants who were at the Vodouist ceremony honoring the great feats of the Haiti revolution. The occupiers message to the Desalin’s descendants is clear. Haitians are not free peoples, they live at the discretion of the current US-sanctioned elites. The Haiti masses are even forbidden to celebrate the Haitian revolution.” (See below copied: Constitutional Amendments and Religious persecution in Haiti, sign on-line petition)
3. The case of Lillian C. Miller
Lillian C. Miller arrested in Haiti (source: Lillian Miller Blog)
Lillian C. Miller is an African-American woman who has been put in jail in Haiti on the most spurious of charges since May 2012 . Miller is charge with operating a charity in Haiti without a permit. Talk about selective prosecution. Konbye blan ki lan peyi a san yon pemi sejou?
According to information published on Lillian Millers’ blog:
“Lillian Miller of Washington, D.C. , center, reacts as she is escorted by police officers outside a courthouse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, July 3, 2012. Miller was jailed May 21, 2012 on charges that she was violating an immigration law. The charges were later dropped but the aid worker who runs a nonprofit that seeks to house Haitians following the 2010 earthquake is still being held on criminal association charges (“asosyasyon malfektè” ). Miller was supposed to testify before a judge Tuesday but an interpreter never showed up as ordered by the judge.”
If the charges are dropped why is Ms. Lillian Miller still in jail four months later? Why is the Obama administration not outraged over this international incident in Haiti? Where is the US Embassy that is charged with protecting US citizens overseas? The international media ignores this arrest. Why? Is it because Lillian Miller is a Black woman operating her own small non-for-profit and her life and health is not as valued as that of other Americans who recently were in the news for malfeasance in Haiti? Ms. Miller, a US citizen has been locked-up in Petionville jail for four unendurable months. Why so long in jail. Why not deport her. Why is she the ONLY one in all the 42,000 foreign NGOs in Haiti arrested for no permi sejou – work permit? A close associate, maintains that “Maybe someone important wants the land Ms Miller friends tell us she was going to use to build housing for quake victims.”
Ezili Danto/HLLN is very concern about these arbitrary arrests and ashamed of Haitian justice system for this travesty. We urge everyone to please call the Petionville Commissaire demanding the release of Miller and Sister Dona Belizair .
Further information on the Miller case are at:
Open Letter for Sister Dona
I would be complicit by my silence if do not denouncing chronic abuses within the judiciary system of my country. Ladies and gentlemen, the scale that represents justice has tilted so much right now, we are witnessing a setback of more than two millennia, similar to the time of King Herod delivering the judgment of the righteous. During the trial against Jesus Christ, the fools chose to release and free Barabbas and imprison Jesus who was innocent, then crucified him..
Today, Sister Dona Belizaire is Barabbas because the kidnapper in question was released by the Deputy Commissioner of the Government, Rodriguez, for unknown reasons so far – and despite the confessions and evidence gathered by the court of Peace of Kenscoff, they still keep me in detention in the civil prison in Petion-Ville, and they falsely accuse me of kidnapping that I absolutely have nothing to do with. Maybe God wants me to go through experience in prison so I can continue to fight and advocate for those who do not have a voice and legal representation, and who are languishing behind bars in the cells of miseries.
Our judges have forgotten their main mission, which is to try people fairly so that there is equilibrium and fairness in the of justice – and that nation of Haiti be elevated “Righteousness exalts a nation and injustice is the shame of people. ”
Dear compatriots, let me take the opportunity to tell you about the situation that led to my imprisonment in the civil prison in Petion-Ville since June 21, 2012:
On June 5th, a child named Raphael Chenet was kidnapped by a former employee of my orphanage that I run for 23 years. After investigation of the Peace court Kenscoff and police of this town and after several hearings, three suspects were arrested. They released two of them who were not involved in the kidnapping of a minor. I fully understand that Judge Frantz Jean Ducasse, a competent jurisdiction, recognizes very well that criminal law is strictly construed and that criminal liability is personal. The third suspect was taken to the prosecutor’s office, and despite all the supporting evidence he was quickly released and the file was sent to the office of instruction with no one in custody. And the cell phone of the accused, which included SMS that could prove his guilt was not sent. Today, I pay the “piper”, incarcerated for a month in an inhuman situation in the civil prison in Petion-ville, where the respect for human rights is being grossly violated.
Sister Dona Bélizaire
“So I choose to shed light on the issue by posting the second expedition of the preliminary information of the Justice of the Court of Peace of Kenscoff dated June 18, 2012 of which the following extract:”
Excerpt from the court registry Peace Kenscoff:,
- The year two thousand and nine and Saturday July 18 at 5:00 in the afternoon, 208th year of the Independence.
Before us, Jean Frantz Ducasse, Justice of Peace of the town of Kenscoff, police officer, auxiliary to the Government Commissioner near the Civil Court of First Instance of the capital, assisted by Mr. Aneste Derise Clerk
Following a written request of the firm Chery and associates dated June 10, 2012 asking us to take us to go to the orphanage “sisters of Nazareth redemptive” located at Plato coffee, in order to verify the presence of a minor by the name of Raphael Chenet, the court went to the scene and has not found at that time the minor – and of the administrators of the orphanage, Ms. Euphony Beatrice, told us to be the Administrative Secretary, has informed us that the minor Raphael Chenet had disappeared from the orphanage on Sunday, June 5 at night around 7:00. Henceforth, that had prompted the process.
Certain information, [...] allowed us to arrest someone by the name of Prophet, the latter, trusted friend of Djimmy Mémé had personally handed the minor Raphael Chenet to Peguy Blanc, who was riding a motorcycle. Prophet who has nothing to do with the kidnapping, allowed us to trace the path of Peguy and we apprehended them near Delmas, specifically at the crossroads of the airport.
[...] In a letter dated June 15, 2012, addressed to the Head of Police of this municipality asking him to arrange with the investigation service for in depth interrogation of Djimmy Mémé, Joanel Joseph and Prophet Tilus on the facts of abduction [...] after they were questioned repeatedly, Djimmy Mémé , who was directly involved, admitted that Johanel Joseph and Prophet Tilus had nothing at all to do with this matter– and declared that these two people are innocent. Having established their innocence and the court let them go.
[...] The Djimmy Mémé said without hesitation that the sister who is the owner in charge and responsible to act on behalf of Sister Dona Belizaire, and who is also the Executive Director on behalf for Ms. Euphony Beatrice [... [no staff member was involved at all [...] he confessed that he was the author responsible for the kidnapping, with the complicity of Péguy Blanc, who had a concubine, a white woman by the name of Christine, of Canadian national. The latter had wanted to adopt the minor Raphael Chenet and it is for that reason he removed the child from the orphanage to hand him to Peguy Blanc, who had offered the sum of U.S. $ 2,000 when Christine enters Haiti. That many information was confirmed by several messages (SMS) from Djimmy’s mobile phone.
Not having the means to trace the path of Peguy Blanc and Christinee, the principal authors [...] MINUSTAH has promised to put at our disposal the resources necessary to trace the path of these people. But MINUSTAH has not really kept its promise, which prevents the court to follow up on this matter and issue an arrest warrant for Péguy, and shall remit Djimmy Mémé to the prosecutor of the capital and also asks the Commissioner of the Government to do everything within its power to trace the path of Christine, who is a Canadian who comes to Haiti frequently according to statements made by Djimmy Mémé [...] -
“I think, after reading this, you understand that Barabbas was released to crucify Jesus Christ, who was given a crown of thorns after so much services rendered. Today, after 23 years of hard work with a bowl around the world begging for a dollar to save the lives of our Haitian children, they have put a crown of accusation for me with the charge of trafficking children.
I take this opportunity to draw the attention of the Bar of the lawyers of Port-au-Prince, the Ministry of Justice, RNDDH, Justice and Peace and all other institutions that promote respect for human rights, to understand such an injustice, that I am subjected to.”
Sister Dona Belizaire
- Constitutional Amendment under this second US occupation in Haiti repeals basic human rights and religious freedom | Vodun under attack in Haiti
KONFEDERASYON NASYONAL VODOUIZAN AYISYEN
Le Péristyle de Mariani, Mariani, Haïti, Tél: (509) 3458-1500
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN HAITI
1. On June 19, 2012, President Martelly of Haiti promulgated in the official journal “Le Moniteur” an amendment prepared under President Préval, voted in secret and approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
2. This amendment is catastrophic since it repeals Article 297 which in effect declared the cessation of all laws and government decrees that arbitrarily restricted citizens’ fundamental rights and liberties, “notably: a) the Decree law of September 5 dealing with superstitious beliefs”.
We stress the fact that the 1935 law had managed to establish that everything having to do with Vodou was subversive, this for an excruciating fifty-two years.
3. The arguments presented by the Government are misleading. The government decree issued by President Aristide in 2004 declaring Vodou a national religion by no means protect those living in the most secluded areas of our land and who have been historically persecuted, oppressed and subject to the subjectivity of local officials (CASEC).
4. The proof of what we present here is that since this amendment was issued, many attacks have been perpetrated against Vodouists, in particular the arbitrary and unjustified detention of Hougan (Spiritual leader) Jean Raymond, known as Zaza, Guardian of the sacred Bois Caïman site, August 14th, 2012.
We, the signatories of this petition, demand:
· That full dignity be returned to Vodou immediately as the cultural and religious tradition of the Haitian people.
· That the Bois Caïman site be finally officially designated as the place of materialization of the souls of our ancestors who forged the nation of Haiti:
· An end to the hysterical and unnecessary persecution of imported religious sects that trample the right to life and hospitality offered to them, being well received all over the territory of our country:
· The removal of this infamous revocation.
· The immediate release of all Vodouists unjustly imprisoned under false pretenses with such vile and malicious intent.
Kindly also sign the on-line petition denouncing repeal of article 297 of Haiti Constitution
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