The United States confirms its support for the independence of the judiciary in Haiti

This content was published on February 19, 2021 – 23:25

Port-au-Prince, February 19 (EFE). On Friday, the United States affirmed its support for the independence of the judiciary in Haiti, days after Haitian President Juvenil Moise took action against a number of judges from the Caribbean country.

The US embassy in Port-au-Prince said in a brief message posted on its Twitter account: “While judges’ organizations continue their strike in Haiti, the United States affirms its support for the independence of the judiciary without interference from the executive authority.”

Moyes ordered the dismissal of three judges from the Court of Cassation in clear violation of the constitution, which enshrines the sanctity of Supreme Court judges.

Among the judges dismissed on February 8, who were all accused by the government of plotting a coup, was Joseph Messen Jean-Louis, who was declared “interim president” of Haiti by opponents of the head of state.

“An effective democracy requires an independent judiciary, a functioning legislature, and an executive authority that protects the rights of all,” reads the commission’s published letter in three languages.

Since last Monday, judges in Haiti have suspended work indefinitely to enforce the withdrawal decision against these three justices.

The call to strike was initiated at the initiative of the country’s four main magistrates’ associations, which also accuse the president of arresting Judge Evekel d’Abrizel and appointing three judges to the Court of Cassation, the country’s main judicial body.

The associations declared their “strong dissatisfaction” with the performance of the executive authority “on February 8 and 11, 2021, for ordering the retirement of Judges Evekel D. Dabrizel and Wendel C. Three other judges, in defiance of the constitutional and legal provisions.”

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Dapriel was among 20 people arrested on February 6 for plotting an alleged attempt to overthrow Moise. The judge was released on February 11.

On Wednesday, Washington expressed its “condemnation” of the “authoritarian” and “undemocratic” actions of Moise.

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince that day echoed a series of tweets from Julie Chung, deputy assistant secretary of the US State Department’s Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, in which Washington condemns Moyes, in the midst of serious institutional efforts. The crisis opened with the judges and with the opposition.

Due to the postponement of the 2019 legislative elections, the House of Representatives, which has been practically closed since January 2020, has not been renewed, a circumstance that has allowed Moise to rule by decree since then.

Moise plans to hold a referendum next April to approve a new constitution, and then next September, to organize legislation postponed since 2019 and presidential legislation in which he will not be a candidate.

However, the opposition opposes these plans and demands the president to leave power immediately, to make room for a “transition”.

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Sacha Woodward

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