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Haiti

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

a. Arbitrary Deprivation of Life and other Unlawful or Politically Motivated Killings

There were isolated allegations of police and other government officials’ involvement in arbitrary or unlawful killings. Some of these resulted in arrests, but there were no reports of criminal convictions.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Haitian National Police (HNP) investigated 10 police officers for homicide while on duty through August. The OIG found that six of the officers were not justified in their use of force and recommended them for immediate dismissal and criminal investigation.

Human rights groups continued to criticize the Departmental Brigade of Operations and Interventions (BOID), a special unit of the HNP tasked with fighting crime in difficult environments.

As reported by the National Network of Human Rights Organizations in Haiti, in September members of BOID publicly shaved the head of a suspected criminal in Lilavois, a neighborhood in the town for Croix-des-Bouquets just outside the capital. The suspected criminal allegedly arranged for the assassination of BOID officer Watson Jean as revenge. In response BOID officers raided the Lilavois neighborhood, where they arrested 12 persons. The corpse of one of the arrested men was found near the site of his arrest. The dead bodies of two other arrested men were photographed and circulated widely on social media, although their corpses had not been found as of October. Additionally, BOID officers allegedly burned three homes, two shops, a vehicle, and a motorcycle.

Section 3. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process

The law provides citizens the ability to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage.

Elections and Political Participation

Recent Elections: During the year legislative, municipal, and presidential elections were completed. While there were isolated allegations of voter fraud, the results conformed to international observer estimated outcomes and were generally regarded as credible. Although voter turnout was low, citizens generally accepted the elections, and public demonstrations against the election results were muted compared with previous years.

Participation of Women and Minorities: While there are no laws limiting the participation of women and/or members of minorities in the political process, low numbers of women participated in the political process. The constitution calls for a minimum of 30 percent of public officials to be women, but both chambers of parliament failed to meet this quota (3 percent in the senate, 2.5 percent in the Chamber of Deputies). Local elections did adhere to the 30 percent minimum.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future