RESOLUTION Nš 38/82
March 9, 1983
1. In a communication dated November 24, 1977, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received the following petition:
Anous Pierre, a Haitian citizen, resident of l'Arcahaie (Robert rural
section) was arrested in September, 1976. His age is 35 years and he is
being held in the Fort Dimanche prison in cell Nš 2.
Pierre is still being held after more than one year in flagrant
violation of the Haitian Constitution which provides:
one may be kept under arrest more than forty-eight (48) hours, unless he
has appeared before a judge who is assigned to rule on the legality of
the arrest and the judge has confirmed the arrest by a decision giving
reasons therefore. (Article 17)
Pierre should be released or, if some charges have been placed against
him, he should be tried immediately by a jury of his peers.
2. On March 16,
1978, the Commission addressed the Government of Haiti and transmitted
to it pertinent parts of the petition and requested it to furnish the
information it considered appropriate in connection with the facts
3. On April 17,
1978, the Commission received from the Haitian Government a
communication dated April 5 in which the government acknowledged receipt
of the letter of March 16 and stated the following:
Chancellery hastens to reiterate once again that there are no political
prisoners in Haiti. It also requests you to not take into consideration
any more petitions and accusations of this type that are lodged against
the Haitian Government. Moreover, all persons having such petitions may
always address the Department of Justice which is required to provide
them with all necessary information.
4. Since the reply
of the Haitian Government confines itself to denying in a general
fashion the existence of political prisoners in Haiti and does not refer
specifically to the status of Mr. Anous Pierre, whose personal
identification and place of detention were made known to the government
when the pertinent parts of the petition were transmitted to it, the
Commission decided to request the Government of Haiti once again to
furnish information on the case in question, which it did in a
communication dated January 3, 1979. The pertinent parts of this
request the Haitian Government to forward to us specific information in
connection with the following:
Has Mr. Anous Pierre been arrested or imprisoned and what was the
date of his arrest or imprisonment?
If the aforementioned person has been arrested or imprisoned,
what is the date of his release and what legal provisions have been
In the event that this person has been arrested or imprisoned,
what has he been accused of and what was the decision handed down in the
According to the allegations received by the Commission, Mr.
Pierre has died during the course of his detention and, should that be
the case, what were the date and the cause of his death?
5. The Government
of Haiti did not reply to this new request for information even though
the same request was made in another note dated October 19, 1981, which
also warned of eventual application of Article 39 of the Regulations of
the Commission if the information requested was not received within a
1. In its note
dated April 5, 1978, the Government of Haiti confined itself to denying
in a general fashion the existence of political prisoners in the
country, and did not refer specifically to the status of Mr. Anous
2. That the term
stipulated in Article 31 of the Regulations of the Commission has lapsed
and the Government of Haiti has not replied to repeated requests for
information made by the IACHR in connection with the status of Mr. Anous
Pierre, and this leads to the presumption that there are no further
remedies under domestic law that must be exhausted (Article 46 of the
American Convention) in accordance with the procedures established in
3. Article 39 of
the Regulations of the Commission reads:
facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been
transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall be
presumed to be true if, during the maximum term set by the Commission
under the provisions of Article 31 paragraph 5, the government has not
provided the pertinent information, as long as the other evidence does
not lead to a different conclusion.
4. Article 1 of
the American Convention on Human Rights reads:
1. Obligation to Respect Rights
The States Parties to this Convention undertake to respect the
rights and freedoms recognized herein and to ensure to all persons
subject to their jurisdiction the free and full exercise of those rights
and freedoms, without any discrimination for reasons of race, color,
sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social
origin, economic status, birth or any other social condition.
The Republic of Haiti is a State Party to the American Convention
on Human Rights.
in view of the foregoing information and the considerations made, and
since the Commission does not have other information that would lead it
to conclude otherwise, on the grounds of Article 39 of its Regulations.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. To presume to
be true the facts denounced in the communication of November 24, 1977,
relating to the status of Mr. Anous Pierre, arrested in September, 1976,
and located, at the time of the denunciation, in cell Nš 2 of the Fort
Dimanche prison, considering that no information has been received as to
his release or having been placed under the orders of a competent
authority, or, in the event that he has died in prison, what were the
date and the cause of his death.
2. To declare that
these facts constitute a grave violation of the following rights
protected in the American Convention on Human Rights: right to personal
liberty (Article 7); right to humane treatment (Article 5); right to a
fair trial (Article 8).
3. To recommend to
the Government of Haiti: a) that it provide for the immediate release of
Mr. Anous Pierre; b) that in the event that Mr. Pierre has died in
prison, to report the date on which his death occurred and the causes of
to recommend to the Government of Haiti: a) that it make a full and
impartial investigation to determine who is responsible for the facts
denounced; b) that, in accordance with Haitian law, it punish those
responsible for the facts denounced; c) that it report to the Commission
within a term of ninety days on the measures that it has taken to put
the aforementioned recommendations into practice.
4. To communicate
this resolution to the Government of Haiti and to the petitioner.
5. To include this
resolution in its Annual Report of the General Assembly of the
Organization of American States.