Haitian National Police Officers Accused of Carrying Out Unlawful Killings

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Twenty Haitian National Police (HNP) are implicated in the deaths of at least nine Haitians, with police accused of using illegal force and carrying out extrajudicial or summary executions.

The United Nations human rights officials in Haiti today called on Haitian authorities to conduct investigation and prosecute local police officers suspected of carrying out unlawful killings and acts of torture in the Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the human rights section of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti (MINUSTAH) have issued two reports. One report unveiled a series of alleged killings by members of the Haitian National Police. The other report cited the torture and murder of Serge Demosthene, who had been accused of a crime.

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The Haitian National Police marching band at Portau-Prince airport, February 2010. Wikimedia common

The allegations come as the country still struggles to recover from a massive earthquake that struck two years ago next month.

The OHCHR and MINUSTAH said they are currently investigating allegations that up to 70 police officers are implicated in more than 20 other killings in the Port-au-Prince.

OHCHR noted that while criminal justice investigations were launched in some cases and accused police were suspended or detained, there were no criminal convictions in any of the incidents.

In several cases, the suspended police personnel resumed their functions even before the investigations into their conduct were concluded, according to the reports.

The second U.N. report contends that two men, Serge Demosthene and Feckel Plaisimond, were illegally arrested and tortured in the Petionville police station to make them confess their guilt in the June 2011 slaying of Guiteau Toussaint, a prominent banker who was the director of the National Bank of Credit.

The Haitian National Police is the law enforcement and defense force of Haiti. HNP was formed to bring public security under civilian control as mandated in Haiti’s constitution. The national police force has over 8,000 officers in a country of 10 million.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.