[Imc-miami] Press Conference 11 AM Today - Haitian Leaders Demand Investigation of Violent Attack on Father Jean-Juste's Funeral in Haiti
jollyjack at jollyjack.org
jollyjack at jollyjack.org
Thu Jun 25 04:42:20 PDT 2009
Thursday, June 25, 11AM
28 NE 54 St., Miami, Fl 37331
Haitan community leaders and human rights activists having just returned from attending the funeral of Father Gerard Jean-Juste in Haiti, will hold a press conference today at 11 AM to demand a full investigation of the violent attack by United Nations forces on the funeral which resulted in the death a an unarmed young man who attended the service.
A short video will be shown documenting the UN attack. Please see the open letter to Kendick Meek below for more details.
When: 11 AM
Date: Thursday, June 25
Where: The offices of Veye Yo, 28 NE 54 St, Miami
For any further information, please contact:
Lucy Tondreau at 786-663-9889
Jack Lieberman 305-582-4846
Sponsored by Veye Yo and the Haiti Solidarity Committee
Dear Congressman Meek,
It has come to our attention that you and others from the South Florida Congressional delegation are participating in a one-day, bi-partisan trip to Haiti, scheduled for Monday, June 21, 2009, to meet with President Preval, Prime Minister Pierre-Louis with reference to the current situation in Haiti.
Several weeks ago you along with many other elected South Florida officials attended Father Jean Juste's memorial and publicly expressed your admiration for Father Jean-Juste's life long pursuit of justice for the Haitian people.
At the funeral of Father Jean Juste last Thursday, June 18, in Port Au Prince , witnesses on the scene say that UN soldiers fired on the funeral procession and gunned down a Haitian mourner outside the cathedral where the funeral was held. The shooting occurred after the UN forces aggressively ventured into a peaceful group of mourners to arrest a popular musician -Yvon Zapzap. The fact that the UN troops would go into a crowd full of his fans, at a funeral of a priest whose death tears Haiti's heart, appears to be a direct provocation intended to incite violence and chaos in order to further the UN military's dominion and control over the Haitian people. To then blame the resulting death on the peaceful mourners makes the crime all the more hideous.
According to an AFP article "The UN security forces in Haiti "categorically" denied that any of its soldiers were involved in the death of a person during protests in the capital. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) insist that the death, initially attributed to a gun shot wound, was due to a "head injury inflicted by a stone or a blunt object." The UN spokesperson also claimed that their forces fired only into the air. However video footage shown on Haitian TV broadcast live during the funeral and the following morning showed that UN solders, driving away in a flatbed truck with an unidentified protester, fired two shots directly into the crowd protesting the arrest and UN intrusion into the funeral.
It is now more than four days since Father Jean-Juste's funeral. If there is an investigation taking place it should know by now whether the young man was killed by a bullet wound or a rock. If the young man was shot it should also be easy to discover if a bullet fired from a UN rifle killed him. Has an autopsy been done on the body? If it has been done, why have the Preval government and the UN been silent on their findings?
The question must be asked why would the UN-Brazilian forces provoke the people of Haiti this way at a funeral of a leading human rights advocate and critic of the Preval government?
It is outrageous that there has still not been an explanation, by either the Haitian government or UN, accounting for their actions at Father Jean-Juste's funeral.
If the young man was indeed killed by a UN fired bullet there must be grave consequences for so-called "peacekeepers" who shot at unarmed mourners and murdered an innocent man in cold blood. There should also be action taken against those responsible for the cover up of this crime. The UN spokesperson, Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, should be removed from her position, as well as the head of the mission, the commander of UN/MINUSTAH, Brazilian General Floriano Peixoto. Both have stated that the UN shot "into the air" to disperse the crowd.
According to the AFP article, General Peixoto and de la Combe are blatantly asserting that the UN firing at the funeral "had no connection with the death," and that the soldiers did not fire on the people with live ammunition. The UN Mission went so far as to, without any substantiating evidence, categorically deny that any of the UN security forces were involved in the death of the young man killed during the funeral. In fact, UN spokesperson, Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, also insists, also without providing any substantiating evidence, that it was the other way around, it was the "stone-throwing" mourners who attacked the blue helmets. This, despite clear video evidence, that the Brazilian troops felt perfectly safe entering the crowd of mourners and protesters to provoke and disturb them by making an arrest.
The undersigned signers of this letter hereby ask that your delegation to Haiti demand from the Preval government and the UN occupation forces, an immediate accounting of the tragic events at Father Jean-Juste's funeral. We urge you to not look the other way, but demand answers and justice.
Haitian Women of Miami
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Haiti Solidarity Committee
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