The Raboteau trial - a chance to strike back against impunity
'This trial is a crucial step towards addressing human rights violations committed under the military dictatorship' the organisation continued. 'The Haitian authorities should make full use of this opportunity.'
Amnesty International urges the Haitian government to ensure that the Raboteau trial adheres to international standards of effective remedy for victims of human rights violations and fair trial by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal.
The organisation recognises and commends efforts made by the Haitian government over the past few years to bring those responsible for the massacre to trial. The Raboteau trial is taking place in the wake of the Carrefour-Feuilles trial, at which police officers were tried and convicted for human rights violations for the first time since the foundation of the Haitian National Police five years ago.
Background Raboteau is a heavily-populated shanty town along the coast at GonaÃ¯ves, a city in the Artibonite department. Throughout the period of the de facto military government, it was particularly targeted for repression by the army and paramilitary because of its activist past and the strong support of its inhabitants for ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. As a result of a joint military and paramilitary operation in April 1994, an estimated 20 people lost their lives on 24 April 1994 after they were surrounded and attacked. Homes were sacked and burned and men, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights beaten.