In response to the violence in Haiti following the Petrocaribe protests, Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:
“Amnesty International is concerned about the unrest in Haiti following several citizen protests demanding transparency in relation to the use of Petrocaribe funds. We have received worrying reports of the use of force by police against civilians during these protests leading to several people being killed and injured as a result of clashes with firearms”.
“The Haitian state is legally obliged to ensure that the use of force in the context of protests is legitimate, necessary and proportionate, which means that firearms can only be used as a last resort and in the case of imminent risk to people’s lives. We demand that the Haitian authorities open an independent and impartial investigation to clarify the facts, identify those responsible and bring them to justice in a fair trial”.
“We reject the use of preserving public order as an excuse to justify excessive use of force when this is not in accordance with human rights standards. In future protests, police security operations must be carried out with a focus on the prevention of violence and guaranteeing the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, rather than repression.”