[News] Haiti: Ron Voss taken into police custody

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Thu Feb 24 11:24:25 EST 2005


February 23, 2005

RON VOSS WAS TAKEN INTO HAITIAN POLICE CUSTODY TODAY.

He was questioned for six hours and asked to return tomorrow for more 
questioning.

Today SANBA BOUKMAN was released by MINUSTHA. But Ron Voss now faces 
Haitian police custody.

There is a lot of panic within the Coup d'etat government right now. We 
want all in our Network to understand that from now until the end of Feb. 
more blood may flow and more bystanders and innocents will pay for the sins 
of the coup d'etat government and their allies. Our job is stop it by 
ringing the bell before someone else gets hurt.

At two this afternoon, February 23, 2005. Five police cars pulled up to 
Visitation house in Haiti. Twelve uniform police got out. Some of the 
"police" wore masks. All guns were drawn. Also, there were three 
plain-clothes policemen. They had to break a lock to get into Visitation 
House. They did not knock. Eight entered the house with guns. They were 
accompanied by a female judge. They took Ron Voss's American passport and 
took him down to the Haitian police station for questioning. He did not get 
handcuffed.

For some hours this afternoon, many of us were worried for Ross' safety. A 
member of the U.S. Embassy was called and went down to the police station - 
the DCPJ. The arresting police, (though they said it wasn't an arrest!) 
used as a ruse - said they found a .38 revolver an Ron Voss' premises - to 
take him down to police station for questions. Sources indicate the 
revolver belonged to the guard at Visitation House, who fled when he saw 
the show of force and SWAT "police" arriving. This was later verified. The 
gun belonging to the Visitation House' guard was indeed a lawfully 
registered hand gun. Ron Voss was accompanied to the police station by U.S. 
lawyer, Bill Quigley.

At the DCPJ police station, Ron Voss was questioned for six hours. The 
questions were all about pinning on him that last Saturday's prison break 
was planned at Visitation House. Ross was released, but asked to return 
tomorrow for further questioning. The Haitian "police" are saying that the 
Parish Twining program, lodged at Visitation House, helped plot the 
February 19 prison break.

This is confirmed: Haitian police took Ron Voss down to the station because 
they say last Saturday's prison break was planned at Visitation House by 
the Parish Twinning Program. The Parish Twining Program is a charitable 
organization, an NGO, that "twins," unites Catholic parishes and programs 
from Haiti with others in the U.S.

Who is Ron Voss? Ron Voss runs the Visitation House in Haiti. Von Ross' 
Visitation House is a nice stop in Haiti for foreigners at the scariest of 
times, to say the least about the post-Coup d'etat hell Haitians are living 
in and trying to survive.

Latortue is panicking. There is definitely a lot of panic in Haiti right 
now because of last weekend's prison break and the mounting pressure from 
human rights organizations denouncing the interim government's actions 
against the Haitian majority and the former military's executions of police 
officers and civilians.

Many of Latortue's own political allies are asking that his government 
immediately resign. Thus, they are looking for scapegoats to blame for the 
prison break .

Ron Voss has been living in Haiti very quietly, minding his business and 
for a long time. He has been doing tremendous work with the people since 
before the time of the Izmery brothers.

He is generally known for running an apolitical lodging house with heritage 
programs in Haiti.

I tried to find the Visitation's website to share more details on Ron Voss 
with you but only found this brief information (which may not be updated): 
"The Izmery Center works in collaboration with the Visitation House in the 
capital. It houses the offices of Pax Christi Haiti and the Haitian 
Solidarity Network of the Northeast; serves as an educational center 
(literacy, library, scholarship) for the neighborhood, and contains a 
medical laboratory with plans to add a tool bank and FONKOZE office."  Also 
this link shows the tourist work (15 station of the cross) the Visitation 
house has done in the past: 
<http://www.olgp.net/ministry/haiti/memorial/mem.htm>http://www.olgp.net/ministry/haiti/memorial/mem.htm

The contact information for MINUSTHA, Caricom, African Union, the Haiti 
Desk, Local and National media and Congressional reps are below.

Please ask your congressional representatives to call the U.S. Embassy to 
assure that Ron Voss and Visitation House are not caugth up in this hunt 
for scapegoats to the prison break. This sort of intimidation is oppressive 
to the extreme as it may stop future delegations, especially delegations 
going to Haiti to report on government abuses, who mainly stay at 
Visitation house from making the trip for fear of being caught up in 
SWAT-like operations such as the one conducted at Visitation house today by 
armed Haitian police.

This sort of State-sanctioned behavior hurts all of us who work to advance 
civil liberties and justice in Haiti.

We demand a stop to this intimidation campaign against regular citizens, of 
any race, who simply may be taking lodging in a place determined by the 
authorities to be sympathetic to the "pro-democracy" movement.

Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
February 23, 2005

****
Contact information:

African Union Headquaters
P.O. Box 3243
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: (251) 1 51 77 00
Fax (251) 1 51 78 44
website: www.africa-union.org
email for President Alpha Oumar Konare: KonareAO at africa-union.org

CARICOM:
Call, e-mail, fax and write CARICOM: 011-592-226-9280, webmaster at caricom.org

Call, e-mail, fax and/or write Huntley Medley, Public Relations Consultant, 
Office of the Secretary-General, Tel: (592) -226-9280-9 or 227-4671 , 
Email: hmedley at caricom.org.


cc: OAS Leinaudi at oas.org, HunterJ14 at aol.com, gunter.burghardt at cec.eu.int, 
AntBar at oas.org, Argentina at oas.org, Bahamas at oas.org, Barbados at oas.org, 
Belize at oas.org, Bolivia at oas.org, Brazil at oas.org, Canada at oas.org, 
Chile at oas.org, Colombia at oas.org, Costa-Rica at oas.org, Dominica at oas.org, 
Ecuador at oas.org, ElSalvador at oas.org, Grenada at oas.org, Guatemala at oas.org, 
Guyana at oas.org, Haiti at oas.org, Honduras at oas.org, Jamaica at oas.org, 
Mexico at oas.org, Nicaragua at oas.org, Panama at oas.org, Paraguay at oas.org, 
Peru at oas.org, Republica-Dominicana at oas.org, StKitt&Nevis at oas.org, 
StLucia at oas.org, StVnG at oas.org, Suriname at oas.org, TnT at oas.org, 
Uruguay at oas.org, USA at oas.org, Venezuela at oas.org, vze4ksd at verizon.net

cc: African Union:
Chairman of the African Union (AU), President Alpha Oumar Konare: 
KonareAO at africa-union.

cc: U.N.
Fax No. (212) 963-4879
Hon. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General
United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
212-963-5012
inquiries at un.org


U.S. Ambassador to Haiti: James B. Foley
Fax to: U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince - 011-509-223-9038 or 011-509-223-1641
State Department Haiti Desk, Washington - 202 -647-2901

Call: U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince - 011-509-223-4711
Anthony Beaver/John Mariz, State Department Haiti Desk - 202- 647-5088

Email: noriegarf at state.gov (Roger Noriega Assistant Secretary of State for 
Western Hemisphere Affairs; BanksD at state.gov (Dana Banks, Human Rights 
Officer, U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince)

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
PHONE: 011.509.244.9650.9660
FAX: 011.509.244.9366/67
Or, Office of General Secretary (New York) - 212.963.4879

** Kofi Annan's Special UN Envoy to Haiti: Mr. Juan Gabriel Valdes
** UN Military Commander in Haiti: Lt. General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira
** UN Human Rights Office in Haiti: Mahamane Cisse-Guoro

Please Fax the MINUSTAH office Attention to the 3 listed above. Better yet, 
send 3 separate letters addressing them individually.

SEND COPIES TO AS MANY OF THESE PEOPLE AS YOU CAN including your 
congressperson, local and national media (See contact for local & National 
media at: 
<http://www.margueritelaurent.com/contactinformation/local-national-media.html>http://www.margueritelaurent.com/contactinformation/local-national-media.html 
; U.S. congress at: 
<http://www.margueritelaurent.com/contactinformation/uscongress.html>http://www.margueritelaurent.com/contactinformation/uscongress.html)
*******
Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers' Leadership Network
******

"Men anpil chay pa lou"  is Kreyol for - "Many hands make light a heavy load."

See, The Haitian Leadership Networks'  7 "Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou" campaigns 
to help restore Haiti's independence, the will of the mass electorate and 
the rule of law.
<http://www.margueritelaurent.com/law/lawpress.html>http://www.margueritelaurent.com/law/lawpress.html
*******************
Here is what you can do to help us help the people of Haiti:
**********************
HLLN - Action Requested from Haiti solidarity groups and activists for 
justice and democracy

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