Haitian Priest Released after Ransom Paid

Kidnappers have released Father Ronald Sylvain after a million Gourdes was paid for his release.

Father Sylvain had been kidnapped by armed individuals in Delmas on November 10. He was released over the last weekend on the Champ de Mars.

His release came after Cardinal Chibly Langlois addressing the fourth Congress of the National Justice and Peace Commission last week expressed concern at the growing insecurity in Haiti.

He also denounced kidnappings, gender violence and insecurity of land tenure in the country.

Police said that on Saturday, they were able to release 51 passengers on a bus that had been seized by armed bandits last Friday.

Meanwhile, the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH) said on the second anniversary of the La Saline massacre, justice has still not yet been done.

It said in 2019, at least 120 people had been killed, 50 others disappeared and at least 15 women and girls were raped.

The United States in a statement reiterated its demand for justice saying “we encourage the Haitian government to accelerate and intensify its efforts to prosecute the perpetrators and deliver justice waited for a long time.”

Meantime, the Collective of Defenders of Victims of La Saline (CIDH) said that apart from the murders and rapes, hundreds of houses were burnt during the massacre.

It said so far, the Court of Cassation has not even bothered to examine the recusal appeal brought against the investigating judge.

The CIDH expressly asked the Haitian authorities to adopt the necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of members of the victims; take the necessary measures to ensure that beneficiaries can carry out their human rights activities without being subjected to threats, intimidation or acts of violence in the performance of their duties and to report on the actions taken in order to investigate the alleged facts giving rise to the approval of the present request for provisional measure and, thus, to prevent their recurrence.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), had on December 31, 2019, supported the CIDH, urged the investigation, noting “the situation of seriousness and urgency” in which the victims find themselves “since their rights to life and personal integrity are at risk of irreparable harm.”

-CMC

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