RESOLUTION No. 42/83 - CASE 7861 (HAITI)

September 26, 1983

BACKGROUND:

  1. In a communication dated August 19, 1981, the Commission received a complaint from Messrs. Baldimir Jeanty, Jean Rolland, Denisse Roosevelt Blaise, Jean Claude Bastien and Josias Chery, who had been arbitrarily arrested nine months previously and were still being held at the Port-au-Prince National Penitentiary.

  2. The pertinent parts of the denunciation were made known to the Haitian Government by cable dated August 20, 1981, which requested the corresponding information.

  3. In view of the fact that the Haitian Government did not answer the aforementioned communication, the Commission repeated its request for information through a communication dated July 22, 1982, which advised the Haitian Government of the possible application of Article 39 of the Commission's Regulations if the information requested were not received.

  4. In a note received on September 30, 1982, the Government of Haiti acknowledged receipt of the communication of July 22, 1982, and stated that it would be referred to the corresponding department for the necessary processing.

  5. Thus far, the Haitian Government has not provided the information requested.

WHEREAS:

  1. In its note received on September 30, 1982, the Haitian Government confines itself to acknowledging receipt of the Commission's communication and to stating that it would be referred to the corresponding department for processing, without referring specifically to the situation of the gentlemen in reference: Bladimir Jeanty, Jean Rolland, Denisse Roosevelt Blaise, Jean Claude Basties and Josias Chery.

  2. The period stipulated in Article 31 of the Commission's Regulations has expired without the Haitian Government having answered the repeated requests for information made by the IACHR with regard to the situation of Messrs. Bladimir Jeanty, Jean Rolland, Denisse Roosevelt Blaise, Jean Claude Basties and Josias Chery. This leads to the presumption that all remedies under domestic jurisdiction have been exhausted (Article 46 of the American Convention).

  3. Article 39 of the Commission's Regulations reads as follows:

    Article 39

    The facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall be presumed to be true if, during the maximum period set by the Commission under the provisions of Article 31, paragraph 5, the government has not provided the pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not lead to a different conclusion.

    Article 1 of the American Convention on Human Rights states the following:

    Article 1. Obligation to Respect Rights

    1. The States Parties to this Convention undertake to respect the rights and freedoms recognized herein and to ensure to all persons subject to their jurisdiction the free and full exercise of those rights and freedoms, without any discrimination for reasons of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic status, birth, or any other social condition.

    2. The Republic of Haiti is a state party to the American Convention on Human Rights.

      Therefore, in view of the related background and the consideration given and in view of the fact that the Commission does not have other convincing factors which lead it to a different conclusion, based on Article 39 of its Regulations,

      THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,

    RESOLVES:

    1. To presume the facts denounced in the communication of August 19, 1981 to be true, concerning the situation of Messrs, Bladimir Jeanty, Jean Rolland, Denisse Roosevelt Blaise, Jean Claude Basties and Josias Chery, who were arrested nine months prior to the complaint and located at the time of the complaint in the Port-au-Prince National Penitentiary, thus far lacking knowledge that they have been set free or placed before the competent authority for trial.

    2. To state that such facts constitute a serious violation of the following rights established in the American Convention on Human Rights: Right to Personal Liberty (Art. 7), Right to Humane Treatment (Art. 5), and Right to a Fair Trial (Art. 8).

    3. To recommend to the Government of Haiti that it: a) provide for the immediate release of the aforementioned Messrs. Bladimir Jeanty, Jean Rolland, Denisse Roosevelt Blaise, Jean Claude Basties and Josias Chery; b) provide for a complete and impartial investigation to determine responsibility for the facts denounced; c) punish those responsible for the events in accordance with Haitian law; and d) inform the Committee within 90 days concerning the measures taken to carry out the above recommendations.

    4. To convey this resolution to the Government of Haiti.

    5. To include this resolution in the Annual Report of the Commission to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, in accordance with Article 59 (g) of the Commission's Regulations, if the Government of Haiti does not carry out the recommendations made or does not comment on this resolution within the period indicated.