Thursday, August 16, 2007

Missing Human Rights Worker: Haiti

Haiti Action Committee Alert
Where is Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine?

Leading Human Rights Activist in Haiti Disappears

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is a tireless fighter for the Haitian people: a grassroots leader, member of the Lavalas Party, and the head of Fondayson Tran Septanm, a Haitian human rights organization that advocates for victims of the 1991 and 2004 coups against the democratically-elected governments of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Lovinsky has not been seen since the evening of Sunday, August 12, 2007 after meeting with a U.S. human rights delegation currently in Haiti. He usually keeps his family posted on his whereabouts. His car was found on Delmas 10 in Port au Prince. His friends and associates in Haiti and around the world are deeply concerned about his safety and well-being.

As a young psychologist working in Port au Prince, Lovinsky helped establish Fondsayon Kore Timoun Yo (Foundation for the Support of Children) for young street children in Port au Prince ; FAM (Foyer pour Adolescentes Mères), a center for teenage mothers ; and Map Viv ("I Live"), a program designed to give psychological and medical aid to the victims of the first coup against Aristide in 1991. The September 30th Foundation, named for the date of the first coup against President Aristide in 1991, emerged out of this work.

Similar to the work of Mothers of the Disappeared in Central and South America, September 30th Foundation held weekly vigils demanding justice for victims of human rights violations and the release of political prisoners.

Forced to leave Haiti after the 2004 coup, Lovinsky returned to the country in April 2006. Since that time, he has helped center the campaign for the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti, an end to the UN occupation, economic and social justice, and the freeing of all political prisoners. His work helped bring 10,000 people into the streets of Port-au-Prince on July 15th, commemorating Aristide’s birthday. He has been outspoken in denouncing the continued presence of coup participants and supporters within the current government.

A delegation of activists with the Haiti Action Committee had the privilege of meeting with Lovinsky in his home last month. We later saw him lead a spirited protest on July 28th across from UN headquarters on Avenue John Brown in Port-au-Prince, marking the 92nd anniversary of the 1915 U.S. Marine invasion of Haiti.

We are concerned and outraged over the disappearance of this valiant fighter for human rights and dignity. We call on the UN occupation authorities in Haiti, the government of President Rene Preval, and the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince to account for the whereabouts of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine.

Children's Hope
c/o Leisa Faulkner
3025A Cambridge Road
Cameron Park, CA 95682

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