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More dubious arrests in Cite Soleil, Haiti

posted by darren ell Geography: Latin America Haiti, Port-au-Prince Topics: haiti, UN, MINUSTAH

March 3, 2007

More dubious arrests in Cite Soleil, Haiti

As we entered Cite Soleil this morning with Brian Concannon, founder of the IJDH (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti) we got a call saying a crowd had gathered outside one of the MINUSTAH headquarters in the Boston quarter of the Cite. We pulled up and sure enough there was a group of about 15 people facing the two armored MINUSTAH vehicules. Someone had been arrested that the crowd felt shouldn't have been arrested and they were demanding he be released. As has been the way every time we pull up with cameras, the MINUSTAH troops run away. All the soldiers piled into the vehicules and took off.

We then interviewed a young man named Jean Roudy who said the arrested person was a 23 year old man named Wilkins Michel who was leaving his house to go to his Saturday morning course at the St-Gerard Technical School when the troops stopped him and arrested him. He said they had no warrent and that they are doing this often.

I've been covering this story, very incompletely I admit, but it seems there's no one else doing anything else than repeating the UN line that they are arresting "armed marauders" (language from the latest UN News Service press release on Haiti. My discussion with Mario Joseph of the BAI confirmed what I mentioned, that there simply are almost no journalists here questioning what is going on.

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