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Posted November 19, 2003
                       
Open Letter
A mother of 4 has been kidnapped since Nov. 12, 2003

A mother of 4 has been kidnapped since Nov. 12, 2003 Last Wednesday November 12 Mrs. Reginald Boulos, born Mona Hage, was kidnapped in Port-au-Prince. I received urgent phone calls today from her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Rudy and Josiane Boulos, that her life is in imminent danger.

President Aristide is aware of the case. He has met with and is in daily communication with Reginald. The request to the congress member is for reinforcement.

To commend President Aristide's efforts and ask him to use all his power to try to save the woman. Reginald Boulos was a member of the most recent Lionel Delatour business delegation that visited Congress on September 29. Josiane Boulos, who lives here in Washington, requests on an urgent basis to see your congressmember to make this request in person on behalf of her sister-in-law. They believe not a day can be lost. Reginald Boulos is an American citizen. Mrs. Boulos is not. They have four children, all American-born, and one attending an American college.

The gang that kidnapped her is believed to be a Cite Soleil gang, but I cannot confirm this. All of the Cite Soleil gangs are so-called chimeres, aligned with or claiming alignment with the Lavalas party and government. Reginald Boulos He is the owner of Radio Vision 2000 and Le Matin, among other holdings.

There has not been much publicity about the kidnapping, but on Friday November 14, Raymond A. Joseph, an exiled Haitian reporter and founder of Haiti Observateur, charged in the New York Sun that it was political. I have no independent corroboration of the possible identity of the kidnappers.

The report by Joseph, which I cannot corroborate, follows: A campaign intended to instill fear among prominent citizens has been unleashed by the government. Owners of major press outlets have received threatening telephone calls for their enthusiastic support of yesterday's event.

The kidnapping on Wednesday at 5 p.m. of Mrs. Reginald Boulos is linked to that campaign, because her husband is board chairman of Radio Vision 2000, one of the most prominent radio stations in Haiti. Besides being board chairman, Mr. Boulos's family is a major stockholder in Vision 2000 and is also instrumental in the rebirth of Le Matin, a venerable daily that ceased publishing a year ago. Mrs. Boulos, born Mona Hage, is the mother of four, including a daughter who attends a U.S. college.

P.S.

Considering the relationship that exist between Aristide and some members of Congress, it will be an excellent idea to contact them by phone (leave a message), particularly:

Rep. John Conyers secretary Cynthia Martin (202) 225-6905

Rep. Charles Rangel secretary George Dalley (202) 225-4365

Following is the list of other Congressmen who should be contacted:

Member of Congress (and link to website) Washington Mailing Address Phone

Rep. Sanford Bishop Georgia (D) - 2nd Cong. District (Albany, Columbus, Valdosta) Committees: Agriculture, Veterans' Affairs, Intelligence 2429 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3631

Rep. Corrine Brown Florida (D) - 3rd Congressional District (Jacksonville, Orlando, Daytona Beach) Committees: Transportation and Infrastructure, Veterans' Affairs 2444 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-0123

Rep. Julia Carson Indiana (D) - 10th Congressional District (Indianapolis) Committees: Financial Services, Veterans' Affairs 1339 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4011

Del. Donna Christian-Christensen Virgin Islands (D) Committees: Resources, Small Business 1510 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-1790

Rep. William "Lacy" Clay, Jr. Missouri (D) - 1st Congressional District (St. Louis) Committees: Financial Services, Government Reform 415 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2406

Rep. Eva Clayton North Carolina (D) - 1st Congressional District (Greenville, Norlina) Committees: Agriculture, Budget 2440 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3101

Rep. James Clyburn South Carolina (D) - 6th Congressional District (Columbia, Charleston, Orangeburg, Sumter) Committees: Appropriations 319 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3315

Rep. John Conyers Michigan (D) - 14th Congressional District (Detroit) Committees: Judiciary 2426 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5126

Rep. Elijah Cummings Maryland (D) - 7th Congressional District (Baltimore) Committees: Transportation and Infrastructure, Government Reform 1632 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4741

Rep. Danny K. Davis Illinois (D) - 7th Congressional District (Chicago) Committees: Small Business, Government Reform 1222 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5006

Rep. Chaka Fattah Pennsylvania (D) - 2nd Congressional District (Philadelphia) Committees: Appropriations, House Administration 1205 Longworth House Office Building. Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4001

Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. Tennessee (D) - 9th Congressional District (Memphis) Committees: Financial Services, Education and the Workforce 325 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3265

Rep. Alcee Hastings Florida (D) - 23rd Congressional District (West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami) Committees: International Relations, Rules 2235 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-1313

Rep. Earl Hilliard Alabama (D) - 7th Congressional District (Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa) Committees: International Relations, Agriculture 1314 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2665

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Illinois (D) - 2nd Congressional District (Chicago) Committees: Appropriations 313 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-0773

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee Texas (D) - 18th Congressional District (Houston) Committees: Judiciary, Science 410 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3816

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones Ohio (D) - 11th Congressional District (Cleveland) Committees: Financial Services, Small Business 1516 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-7032

Rep. William Jefferson Louisiana (D) - 2nd Congressional District (New Orleans) Committees: Ways and Means 240 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-6636

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson Texas (D) - 30th Congressional District (Dallas, Irving, DFW Airport, Love Field) Committees: Transportation & Infrastructure, Science 1511 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-8885

Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick Michigan (D) - 15th Congressional District (Detroit, Hamtramck, Grosse Pointe) Committees: Appropriations 1610 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2261

Rep. Barbara Lee California (D) - 9th Congressional District (Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley) Committees: International Relations, Financial Services 426 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2661

Rep. John Lewis Georgia (D) - 5th Congressional District (Atlanta, Clayton County, Dekalb County) Committees: Ways and Means 343 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3801

Rep. Cynthia McKinney Georgia (D) - 4th Congressional District (Decatur, Stone Mountain, Lithonia) Committees: Armed Services, International Relations 124 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-1605

Rep. Carrie Meek Florida (D) - 17th Congressional District (Miami) Committees: Appropriations 2433 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4506

Rep. Gregory Meeks New York (D) - 6th Congressional District (Queens, St. Albans, Far Rockaway, Richmond Hills, JFK Airport) Committees: Financial Services, International Relations 1710 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3461

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald California (D) - 37th Congressional District (Carson, Compton, LA, Long Beach) Committees: Transportation and Infrastructure, Small Business 125 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-7924

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton District of Columbia (D) Committees: Government Reform, Transportation 2136 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-8050

Rep. Major Owens New York (D) - 11th Congressional District (Brooklyn) Committees: Education and the Workforce, Government Reform 2309 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-6231

Rep. Donald Payne New Jersey (D) - 10th Congressional District (Newark, Elizabeth) Committees: Education and the Workforce, International Relations 2209 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3436

Rep. Charles Rangel New York (D) - 15th Congressional District (Harlem, Upper Manhattan, Bronx) Committees: Ways and Means 2354 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4365

Rep. Bobby Rush Illinois (D) - 1st Congressional District (Chicago, Evergreen Park) Committees: Energy and Commerce 2416 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4372

Rep. Robert Scott Virginia (D) - 3rd Congressional District (Richmond, Newport News) Committees: Judiciary, Education and the Workforce 2464 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-8351

Rep. Bennie Thompson Mississippi (D) - 2nd Congressional District (NW Mississipi- Bolton, Greenville) Committees: Agriculture, Budget 2432 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5876

Rep. Edolphus Towns New York (D) - 10th Congressional District (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Heights, downtown Brooklyn) Committees: Energy and Commerce, Government Reform 2232 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5936

Rep. Maxine Waters California (D) - 35th Congressional District (Los Angeles) Committees: Judiciary, Financial Services 2344 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2201

Rep. Diane E. Watson California (D)- 32nd Congressional District (Los Angeles) Committees: International Relations, Government Reform 2413 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-7084

Rep. Melvin Watt North Carolina (D) - 12th Con. District (Charlotte, Greensboro) Committees: Judiciary, Financial Services 2236 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-1510

Rep. Albert R. Wynn Maryland (D) - 4th Congressional District (Prince George’s County- Silver Springs, Springdale, Oxon Hills) Committees: Energy and Commerce 434 Cannon House Office Building Washington

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Posted November 14, 2003
            
Letter
A United States Congress's letter to Andy Apaid (Group 184)
Letter to Andy Apaid.gif (150157 bytes)
Posted November 12, 2003
                               
Open Letter
Urgent Action Alert

November 11, 2003

Haiti by James Morrell, Executive Director, Haiti Democracy Project The time has come for the U.S. government to take an even firmer stand in support of freedom of expression; by immediately issuing an unambiguous statement designed to give the Lavalas regime and its armed thugs pause.

Urgent Action Alert — Haiti Originally: Freedom of Assembly Threatened, Civil Society Leadership Harassed, Democracy at Risk James Morrell, Executive Director, Haiti Democracy Project, 2003-11-12 Haiti Democracy Project web page item #1013 (http://www.haitipolicy.org) Freedom of assembly threatened, civil society leadership harassed, democracy at risk

Last week, the “Group of 184,” Haiti’s largest pro-democracy coalition of civil society organizations, publicly announced its intention to sponsor a peaceful rally in support of Haitian democracy and social reform—based on what its leadership describes as “a new covenant for a new beginning toward peace, social justice and development.” The appropriate public authorities were also formally notified at this time, in conformity with Haitian law regulating such assemblies. The rally—which is expected to draw thousands of citizens concerned with the seemingly ineluctable degradation of Haiti’s social fabric over the past decade—is scheduled for noon, Friday, November 14th, on the capital city’ s central public plaza.

Since the announcement, the regime in place has spared no effort in its frenzied attempts to intimidate the leadership and rank-and-file members of the sponsoring organizations—as well as the general public—in order to squelch this initiative, which it apparently perceives as inimical to its own interests.

One of the principal figures of this non-partisan civil society movement, Andy Apaid, Jr., has recently been served with a re-issued subpoena to appear before the public prosecutor in connection with the events of July 12th of this year, when the regime’s armed proxies (the so-called “popular organizations”) violently assaulted this same group as it attempted to present its proposed new “social contract” to the Catholic parish and public in Cit Soleil, Port-au-Prince’s sprawling seaside slum. (The initial summons, to which Mr. Apaid responded in person, was later revealed to be part of a macabre plot to assassinate him with a sniper’s bullet on the very steps of the Palace of Justice! The current appearance has been ordered for today, Wednesday, November 12, just 48 hours prior to the scheduled rally.)

Earlier this week, a public demonstration that targeted Mr. Apaid personally, and “demanded” that the government take action against him on the basis of his presumed dual citizenship in Haiti and the United States, was staged by the regime itself outside the Immigration Office.

Meanwhile, spokespersons for the regime and the ruling party that is behind it have taken to the airwaves on radio and television, unabashedly threatening mayhem against anyone who has the temerity to participate in Friday’s event. The specter of a blood-bath in the streets of Port-au-Prince has once more been raised, as it has so many times before by all those who would continue to rule Haiti with the iron fist of dictatorship.

Both the United States Government, through its Embassy in Haiti, and the Organization of American States, whose Special Mission to Haiti was mandated more than a year ago, have recently criticized the regime for its overt suppression of freedom of assembly and the press, and the countless human rights violations that have been attendant on the execution of this strategy. But with the clock ticking on Friday’s peaceful and lawful rally—which has already garnered the support of a broad cross-section of the capital’s population—the time has come for our government to take an even firmer stand in support of freedom of expression; by immediately issuing an unambiguous statement designed to give the Lavalas regime and its armed thugs pause as they contemplate the consequences of their ongoing harassment of the planners of the event, and the violent assault upon participants that will quite likely be staged on the day itself.

Therefore, the Haiti Democracy Project is appealing to you, in your capacity as a public servant and as a long-standing friend of the Haitian People, to intercede directly with either the US State Department here in Washington, or with your contacts at the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince, so that the appropriate actions may be taken within the next thirty-six hours.

Like the brave Haitians who intend to risk their safety on Friday in the quest for a better future for all, we too MUST stand shoulder-to-shoulder NOW, as Americans, in support of FREEDOM, JUSTICE and DEMOCRACY throughout the hemisphere.

James Morrell, Executive Director, Haiti Democracy Project

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