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Haiti - Justice : Poor detention conditions, threats of recourse against the State
Indeed, the prisons of Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Saint Marc, Jérémie, Fort-Liberté, Jacmel and Petit-Goâve have been facing a severe shortage of food for several weeks. From August 23 to September 27, 2022, more than twelve deaths have been reported. According to national and international observers, malnutrition and the absence of adequate medical care are the main causes of death.
Unfortunately, the excessive use of preventive detention, associated with the inability of the judicial authorities to assume their responsibilities, to respect the procedural deadlines as provided for by Haitian laws and international instruments relating to judicial guarantees are among the major causes of prison overcrowding with a rate of more than 90% of prolonged preventive detention due to the carelessness of certain judicial authorities.
Faced with this alarming observation, the OPC recommends that urgent measures be taken in concert with international partners working in the humanitarian field in order to limit the damage while waiting for structural reforms.
The Citizen Protection Office reminds the authorities concerned that in accordance with the international instruments ratified by Haiti, any person deprived of liberty must be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
As a result, the OPC warns that if provisions are not adopted as soon as possible, the situation could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe with the possibility for the relatives of the deceased prisoners to open the way to appeal against the State before regional and international human rights bodies with a view to reparations for serious human rights violations. Poor conditions of detention : parents of deceased prisoners must join together to attack the State before international bodies advises the OPC.
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