Human rights activist in Haiti, Pierre Esperance, threatened

Amnesty International reported on Tuesday that Pierre Esperance, Executive Director of the National Human Rights Defense Network, received a threatening letter along with a bullet. The letter accused Esperance of publishing untrue reports aimed at weakening President Michel Martelly's Government, and also referred to a previous attack when he had survived shots to the shoulder and knee while in his car.


Esperance and his team have publishing reports on a range of subjects including alleged links of the Government to the drug trade, and also about human rights and embezzlement charges connected with former dictator Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvallier.

News of the threat to Esperance comes amongst a spate of recent threats and attacks on human rights activists in Haiti. In recent months, lawyers have reported being followed or receiving threatening phone calls. One lawyer was even put in prison overnight on what police referred to as an unrelated charge. In addition, a case from February is still under investigation regarding an activist and his wife who were gunned down in Port-au-Prince.

At odds with all this activity, President Michel Martelly has repeatedly pledged that corruption will not be tolerated. Yet a crowd of about a thousand gathered in the streets of Port-au-Prince this Tuesday to protest against the corruption and misuse of funds at the hands of Michel Martelly's government. Tires and debris were burned and rocks were thrown with the protest ending near the National Palace when police let off tear gas cylinders and fired rifles in the air to disperse the crowd.

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