Demand release of U.S. Filmmaker Kevin Pina and Haitian Journalist Jean Ristil!
Stop arbitrary arrests and detentions!
Kevin Pina, a U.S. filmmaker and radio correspondent for Pacifica Radio’s "Flashpoints" program, was arrested on Friday, September 9, at St. Claire's Church in the Delmas district of Port-au-Prince. Jean Ristil, a free-lance Haitian reporter, who collaborates with Pina’s news agency, the Haiti Information Project, was also arrested after photographing Pina’s arrest, according to AP. Both men were covering a police search of the church directed by Catholic priest Father Gérard Jean-Juste, a political prisoner of Haiti’s de facto regime. Pina and Ristil are being held at the Delmas 33 police station.
Kevin Pina is to be a star witness at the opening session of the International Tribunal on Haiti to be held on Friday, September 23 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Elliot School of International Affairs of George Washington University in Washington, 1957 E Street NW in Washington, DC. He will be presenting testimony and video footage of recent massacres carried out by Haitian police and U.N. occupation forces in Haiti.
The Tribunal will also expose the crimes against humanity now being carried out in Haiti. The Tribunal will forward individual indictments for those directly responsible for the massacres and crimes against humanity to the new International Criminal Court in The Hague.
A Commission of Inquiry, led by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, will be announced at the Sept. 23 session of the Tribunal. It will travel to Haiti in early October to gather more eye-witness testimony and to determine what commanders and officials were responsible for which massacres and other crimes.
Urgent Action Alert - from the Haiti Action Committee
Demand release of US Filmmaker Kevin Pina
and Haitian Journalist Jean Ristil!
Stop arbitrary arrests and detentions!
On Friday September 9, at approximately 3 p.m., Haitian police wearing black masks from the Delmas police station entered Father Gerard Jean-Juste's St. Claire church and began searching the presbytery, according to people at the church. Rev. Jean-Juste is a leading advocate of human rights in Haiti and an Amnesty International-designated prisoner of conscience. Upon seeing the police invade the church, people called as many journalists as they could.
U.S. filmmaker and journalist Kevin Pina and Haitian journalist Jean Ristil Jean-Baptiste responded to the call, arrived at the scene to cover the story, and were arrested. The police brought both journalists to the Delmas 33 police station where they remain incarcerated.
According to an AP dispatch in Newsday, Pina was detained "after filming the police as they searched the church of the Rev. Jean-Juste. Jean Ristil, a Haitian who was working for the Associated Press, was detained as he tried to photograph the arrest."
A US human rights team went to the lock-up unit Friday night to attempt to clarify the reasons for the arrest and to ensure that the two men were being properly treated.
Kevin is one of the few US journalists who have consistently dared to be on the scene in Haiti and to tell the truth about the repression occurring under the coup regime. Jean is a courageous and professional young Haitian journalist. Both journalists were arrested on September 9th while covering this important development in the persecution of Father Jean-Juste, who is being held as a political prisoner.
Jean Ristil and Kevin Pina need your immediate support to protect their lives, obtain their release from captivity, and ensure their ability to continue doing their job as journalists without any further threats, harassment or intimidation.
Please email, call and/or fax the following UN and US officials:
US Officials on Haiti:
U.S. Charge d'Affaires, Timothy Carney
United States Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Telephones: 011-509-223-4711, or 222-0200 or 0354
Fax: 011-509-223-1641 or 9038
Email to Dana Banks, Human Rights Officer:
UN Leadership in Haiti:
Juan Gabriel Valdes
Special Representative of the UN Sec.-General to Haiti
UN Civilian Police in Haiti:
Graham Muir, Chief, UNPOL
UN Human Rights Officials in Haiti:
Ph: 011- 509-510-3183 ext. 6360
Officials of the Haiti's de facto regime:
Henri Dorleans, Minister of Justice
For a more complete list of people to contact and for more information on this situation, go to: