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Haiti - Justice: 0,62 m2 per prisoner in Haiti !
22/03/2013 09:31:46

Haiti - Justice: 0,62 m2 per prisoner in Haiti !
Last week, during the 147th session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Situation of the Right to Public Security in Haiti Marie Rosy Kesner Auguste, Assistant Responsible for Programmes at National Network for the Defence of Human Rights (RNDDH) presented the report of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and found that nothing had really changed in the poor conditions of detention in Haiti.

The Haitian prison system consists of 17 detention centers, a new prison was opened in October 2012. The Haitian prison space is now therefore estimated at 6.200 square meters for a prison population estimated at 9.904 individuals, the ratio of minimum space per person is 0.62 m2. Crammed into cells in a promiscuous, inmates are exposed to infectious diseases.

The carceral space does not allow the separation of prisoners. Women and underage girls are put together and the West department apart from all the country's prisons keep men and boys together.

In addition, individuals convicted coexist with those awaiting trial, contrary to the provisions of Article 5 of the American Convention on Human Rights, which requires that prisoners be separated from those awaiting trial and placed in prisons appropriate to their criminal status, taking into account their dangerousness, the length of their sentence and their social and family situations.

Besides the harsh conditions of detention, there is the problem of prolonged pretrial detention. On the current prison population estimated 7.188 inmates are awaiting trial, or 72.57%. However, from one jurisdiction to another, the figures vary. For example, the civil prison of Port-au-Prince today welcomes 3.455 men including 285 (8.19%) are convicted, and 91.81% are awaiting trial. Of the 343 women incarcerated, only 92 were convicted. Minors are not spared. Of the 24 girls in detention, neither is condemned.

A situation contrary to Article 24 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, which clearly states that all individual who has been deprived of his liberty is entitled to the judge immediately checks the legality of this measure to be tried without delay or, unlike in the case, to be released.

FIDH and RNDDH have not ceased to sounding the alarm on the issue of detention in Haiti. However, the various measures taken by the authorities are only cosmetic. Commissions to address the drama of the preventive detention were created. Ad hoc tribunals were set up in prisons with the main objective of prosecuting persons arrested for minor offenses, but to date, the few results are not up to the expectations.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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