Int'l Tribunal on Haiti
First session shows horrors of occupation
By G. Dunkel
Published Sep 30, 2005 11:13 PM
Even Haitians who knew the situation in their country were shocked and horrified to see the video presented by Kevin Pina at the First Session of the Tribunal on Haiti, held in Washington on Sept. 23.
Viewers saw blood pooling out of the head of a protester, shot by United Nations troops, jerking in his death throes.
They saw Fredi Romélus, as he sat beside three bodies lying in a pool of blood in his modest home in Bel Air, describing how his 22-year-old wife, Sonia Romélus, and their sons, Stanley and Nelson, had been killed by the UN forces. “They surrounded our house this morning and I ran, thinking my wife and the children were behind me. They couldn’t get out and the blan [UN] fired into the house.”
Bel Air is one of the sections of Port-au-Prince where support for restoring democracy and deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is the strongest.
The same shot killed Sonia and Nelson, the son she was holding. Stanley, 4 years old, was killed with another shot to the head. The UN forces claimed that Sonia, Stanley, Nelson and an unidentified protester were bandits who fired on UN troops first. No weapons were found in the street and UN forces suffered no casualties.
This was part of the testimony entered at the tribunal’s Washington session. Other sessions are being planned in Miami, New York, Montreal and Boston, where there are significant Haitian communities.
The tribunal’s stated purpose is “to gather testimony and proof of the crimes perpetrated by the UN forces in Haiti.” The dossier that it creates will be presented to the International Criminal Court, which sits in The Hague. The United States does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, but other countries whose forces comprise the UN troops in Haiti do.
Ira Kurzban, an attorney from Miami who represented the Haitian government under Aristide, testified to the collapse of the justice system there. He pointed out that the United States itself had recognized this by refusing to deport Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, wanted for mass murder, to Haiti, saying that the Haitian justice system could not guarantee him a fair trial. This was just a pretext to cover up Con stant’s role as a CIA agent, Kurzban said.
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, coordinator of the Foundation for Victims of the Sept. 30, 1991, Coup d’Etat, testified to the complicity of the U.S. government in the systematic undermining of the democratic process in Haiti, recounting his own personal story of how he escaped after Aristide was kidnapped.
Thomas Griffin, who had been a federal parole and probation officer for 10 years before he became a civil rights and immigration lawyer in Philadelphia, testified about his civil-rights investigation in Haiti during November 2004. He interviewed people suffering from gunshot wounds to the head who were afraid to go to the hospital because they said people who go to the hospital with such wounds usually wind up in the morgue.
Griffin said that he investigated a site where 60 bodies had been burned. He said large amounts of misprinted Haitian currency were used as fuel, which pointed to the involvement of the current de facto government.
Kevin Pina, a U.S. journalist who has lived in Haiti for over a decade, testified to how he obtained his video interview with Fredi Romélus. He also told how, while trying to exercise his profession as a journalist, he was arrested by police as they were attempting to plant a weapon in the house of Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste, a supporter of Aristide’s Lavalas Party.
Jeb Sprague, Yves Engler and Seth Donnelly also testified.
Ramsey Clark, an anti-war activist, founder of the International Action Center and former U.S. attorney general, has agreed to lead a Commission of Inquiry in Haiti, which is tentatively scheduled for the beginning of October. Capt. Lawrence Rockwood, Tom Griffin, Dave Welsh and Katharine Kean have agreed to serve on it and some notable U.S. political figures have expressed interest.
The presiding judges at this session of the Tribunal were Ben Dupuy, Lionel Jean- Baptiste and Lucie Tondreau. The investigating judge was Brian Concannon.
Basically these uber lefties want UN peacekeepers tried under the ICC.
Exactly what GWB said could happen to US forces.