RESOLUTION Nš 41/82
March 9, 1982
1. In a
communication dated November 24, 1977, the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights received the following denunciation:
Luc Deselmours, a Haitian citizen 35 years of age, was arrested in
Port-au-Prince in July, 1976. He was moved to the Fort Dimanche prison
on October 4, 1976. He was placed in cell No. 2 of that prison.
Deselmours has been detained for more than one year in flagrant
violation of the Haitian Constitution which stipulates:
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)
Deselmours 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 14,
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. In a
communication dated February 17. 1979, the petitioners sent additional
information about the case of Mr. Luc Deselmours, which information was
transmitted to the Government of Haiti in a note dated March 5, 1979.
The Commission has not received any reply in this connection.
5. Since in its
communication dated April 5, 1978, 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.
Luc Deselmours, whose personal identification and place of detention
were made known to the government when the pertinent parts of the
petition were transmitted to it, and since it has not received any reply
to the request for information made in the communication of March 5,
1979, the Commission decided to request the Government of Haiti once
again and for information to warn it of the eventual application of
Article 39 of the Regulations, which it did in a note dated December 21,
1981, to which no reply has been received to date.
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. Luc
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. Luc
Deselmours, 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
1. 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.
5. 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. Luc Deselmours, arrested in September,
1976, and located, at the time of the denunciation, in cell Nš 2 of the
Fort Dimanche prison, and about whom there has been no information of
his being released or placed under the orders of competent authorities
for due processing.
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. Luc Deselmours; b) that it provide full and impartial investigation
to determine who is responsible for the facts denounced; c) that in
accordance with Haitian laws, it punish those responsible for the facts
denounced; d) that it inform the Commission within a term of ninety days
of the measures it has taken to put these 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.