Submitted to AlterPresse on April, 10 th, 2008
The Réseau national de défense des droits humains (Rnddh) acknowledges the large protest movement the Haitian people are conducting throughout the country to reclaim their right to eat and their right to access to the basic goods used every day. Rnddh considers this reclamation legitimate.
The right to eat is a fundamental right that any respectable government must guarantee for its citizens.
At the same time, Rnddh deplores that this protest movement is accompanied by numerous acts of violence, of theft, of pillage. These violent acts are not acceptable in a democratic society.
Rnddh condemns the attacks against the press, such as TeleHaiti and the newspaper Le Matin, along with the journalists who were made victim while carrying out their work. Rnddh reminds those demonstrating along with those responsible for maintaining order that they must protect the freedom of speech that the press and journalists represent.
Rnddh condemns any lack of professionalism by those responsible for maintaining order, whether through a lack of protecting the rights and well-being of citizens or through improperly acting against the civil population, injuring many with bullets most notably in the town of Les Cayes and in front of the National Palace in Port-au-Prince.
Rnddh deplores the fact that many demonstrators, principally those in Les Cayes, lost their lives through conditions that are not clear.
Rnddh extends its condolences to all those who were victims during these events.
Rnddh hopes that those who participate in pillaging, theft, destruction, those who use guns without thought, and those who abuse their force will answer to justice for the acts they committed, no matter what their rank in society or institution they are a part of.
Rnddh asks the president of the Republic along with the government and Haitian parliament to consider that it is the application of Neoliberal policies that is the cause of this protest movement.
Today, those in power must do whatever is necessary to change the economic orientation, to stop taking orders from the IMF and the World Bank. Institute a social economic policy that takes into account the claims of the mass population.
Create jobs. Take effective measure to lower the cost of living. Stop the waste in the state administration. Fight corruption and impunity in the state.
April, 09, 2008
Statement by Rnddh Executive Director,