Haiti: UN peacekeepers monitor condition of scores of new detainees

Haiti: UN peacekeepers monitor condition of scores of new detainees

UN peacekeepers monitor condition in Bel Air, Haiti
United Nations civilian police are monitoring 90 detainees taken in during a joint operation of UN peacekeepers and the Haitian National Police in the Haitian capital's Bel Air neighbourhood to make sure that they are treated according to international standards, a UN spokesman said today.

The detainees were arrested during a security sweep yesterday to rid Bel Air of the gang members which the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said had taken over the area, Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York.

In 1991, Haiti acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which has important safeguards concerning arrested persons and fair trials.

They include observing proper procedures for arrest and detention, acting independently of political considerations and regardless of ethnic identity, and a ban on torture and extrajudicial executions. A detainee must also have access to a lawyer.

In another development, the UN announced today that Hocine Medili of Algeria will serve as Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Principal Deputy Special Representative in Haiti.

Mr. Medili had led the multidisciplinary assessment mission that lay the plans for MINUSTAH.

Meanwhile, the UN Commission on Human Rights' Independent Expert on Haiti, Louis Joinet, was scheduled to go to the Caribbean country from 6 to 17 November and to meet with senior government officials and representatives of the UN system and the Organization of American States (OAS).