Deputy Arnel Belizaire Hunger Strike Protests Silence on Constitutional Violations

Lower House Deputy, Arnel Belizaire, is taking his dissatisfaction with the government of Haiti to extremes. After physically assaulting Prime Minister (PM) Lamothe's representative, parliamentarian Phelito Doran, Belizaire was suspended from Parliament for two months and his wages cut by 50%.


Undeterred, he has begun a hunger strike to protest the illegitimacy of the Judiciary Superior Council President, Me Anel Alexis Joseph, whose appointment Belizaire contends poses a conflict of interest. Joseph is an intimate of P.M. Lamothe, and Belizaire believes Joseph is unduly influenced by Lamothe's political agenda.

To up the ante, Belizaire has barricaded himself in a Lower House meeting room, bringing with him a mattress, bedding, and a gun to send a message to Parliament ". . . to stop condoning the violations of the Constitution . . ." He is also demanding political prisoners be set free and wants an accounting of how Parliament is spending funds allocated to it through the United States Agency for International Development.

Belizaire's hunger strike is being monitored by his physicians, so he does not risk permanent damage to his health. If he continues his hunger strike beyond three weeks, he officially reaches the stage of starvation. If Belizaire's hunger strike puts his life in danger, his medical support team must wrestle with a moral dilemma: to force-feed him or not. The World Medical Association declares ". . . force feeding is a form of inhumane and degrading treatment (Article 21)."

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