Communication No. 1711 (HAITI)

Communication No. 1711, dated March 10, 1971, denouncing the summary trial without guarantees of a group of Haitian civilians and military personnel, including some of those mentioned in case no. 1677.

In a cablegram dated March , 1971, the Commission requested that the Government of Haiti supply the corresponding information, transmitting to it the pertinent parts of the complaint in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of the Regulations.

The Government of Haiti, in a note of March 15, 1971, replied to this request as follows:

  1. The anonymous denunciation was a new act of intervention in the internal affairs of Haiti;
  2. The request from the Commission contained injurious and abusive language;
  3. The complainants were denying to the Haitian state the exercise of a right essential to its sovereignty, that of bringing to justice those who threaten the internal or external security of the state or who are guilty of acts of terrorism;
  4. That the Government of Haiti could not accede to the Commission's request, for this would constitute interference in the proceedings of courts of justice, requesting that they hand down opinions favoring specific interest; and that;
  5. The denunciation was a political maneuver using the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In response, the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Justino Jiménez de Aréchaga, sent a note to the Haitian Government on July 15, 1971, in which he stated that the Commission is empowered to examine the communications addressed to it and to address itself to the government of any American state in order to obtain the information it considers pertinent so as to make more effective the observance of fundamental human rights (Article 9 (bis) of its Statute).

The Government of Haiti, in a note dated August 12, 1971, presented a number of comments on the powers and action of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, again denying the acts denounced and contending that the Commission "has been the victim of an almost frantic repetition of complaints on similar matters, but without foundation, from individuals and sectors engaged in systematic defamation of the Haitian Government."

At its Twenty-sixth Session (October-November 1971), the Commission decided: a) to send a note to the Government of Haiti stating that the CIDH has taken note of its communication of August 12, 1971, but that it cannot accept the terms of that communication, and b) to include these cases in the Annual Report to be submitted to the General Assembly of the Organization at its Second Regular Session, as provided in Article 9 (bis), paragraph c) of its Statute. In accordance with this decision, a note was sent to the Government of Haiti on November 26, 1971.