Human Rights Watch (HRW) has raised awareness on this development in Haiti that challenges the country’s democratic process:
UN Security Council members should press the government of Haiti to uphold judicial independence, respect due process, and repeal its recent arbitrary changes to the Supreme Court’s composition, Human Rights Watch said today. They should also ensure that when extending the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), set to expire in October 2021, they take steps to strengthen an independent judiciary.
On February 22, the United Nations Security Council will discuss the ongoing political crisis in Haiti after a briefing from Helen La Lime, the head of BINUH, which was created in 2019 and mandated to advise the government of Haiti to promote and strengthen political stability and good governance. In early February, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse arbitrarily removed three Supreme Court justices, including one who was arrested for a few days in circumstances that the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has said “may amount to an unlawful or arbitrary arrest and detention.” The president also appointed three new justices without following procedures established in the Constitution.
“Getting rid of Supreme Court justices you dislike and appointing new ones without following regular processes will not solve a political crisis,” said Tamara Taraciuk Broner, deputy Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “Security Council members have an opportunity to put this affront to judicial independence at the top of their agenda, and they should seize it. There is no possible resolution to Haiti’s crisis without rule of law and an independent judiciary.”
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