Suffolk Law School Hosts 2nd Session of International Tribunal on Haiti


This session of the Tribunal is being organized by a coalition of Haiti solidarity groups, supported by the Latin America Solidarity Coalition, the New England Human Rights Organization for Haiti, the Boston International Action Center, and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.

At the Tribunal's opening session in September, prosecutors presented a detailed background of the Feb. 29, 2004, coup against exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and preliminary indictments. The actions of the U.S. and Canadian governments to destabilize the Aristide government prior to Feb. 29, 2004 were examined. Witnesses provided eyewitness testimony about the ongoing massacres of innocent civilians in Haiti being carried out by masked policemen with the acquiescence, and increasingly participation, of the U.N. occupation force.

A blue-ribbon Commission of Inquiry was announced at the Tribunal's opening session, held in Washington D.C. on Sept. 23, 2005. The Commission, led by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, traveled to Haiti in October and gathered evidence of and testimony about new massacres and other crimes against humanity which allegedly have been committed in Haiti since Feb. 29, 2004. The Commission met primarily with eyewitnesses and the relatives of victims of massacres in Haiti. Hours of testimony and evidence were videotaped, photographed and recorded, much of which will be presented at the second session of the Tribunal.

The Tribunal will forward evidence supporting the convictions for those found guilty of ordering, executing or tolerating massacres and crimes against humanity to the new International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Tribunal Participants

Michael Avery , Esq. -- Professor of Law, and Director of the Macaronis Civil Litigation Concentration at Suffolk University Law School; President of the National Lawyers Guild.
Ramsey Clark -- Former U.S. attorney general and founder of the International Action Center.
Brian Concannon, Jr. , Esq. -- Lawyer and activist, directs the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.
Ben Dupuy -- Former Haitian Ambassador-at-Large under the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and co-director of the Haitian weekly, Haïti Progrès.
Thomas M. Griffin , Esq. -- Principal in the Philadelphia law firm Morley Surin & Griffin and former federal law enforcement officer.
Kim Ives -- Filmmaker, Editor with the Haitian weekly, Haïti Progrès , and a member of the Haiti Support Network (HSN).
Lionel Jean-Baptiste , Esq. -- Attorney in private practice in Evanston, Ill., serving second four-year term as Alderman of the 2nd Ward of the city of Evanston.
Ira Kurzban , Esq. -- Former attorney for the government of Haiti.
Ray Laforest -- Union organizer with District Council 1707 in New York; national board member of the Pacifica Foundation.
John Parker -- West Coast coordinator of the International Action Center.
Captain Lawrence Rockwood -- former counter-intelligence officer in the U.S. Army who was court-martialed in 1995 after acting without orders to save the lives of prisoners in Haiti's National Penitentiary.
Lucie Tondreau , Esq. -- Has won international recognition for her work with Haitian refugees in Miami. For years she co-hosted a radio show that provided a forum for discussion between Haitians living abroad and in Haiti.
Desiree Welborn Wayne , Esq. -- Experienced criminal prosecutor and former instructor of law from Colorado.
Dave Welsh -- Delegate of the San Francisco Labor Council and organizer of a U.S. labor human rights delegation to Haiti in June and July.

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