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UN Mission in Haiti Urges Respect for Demonstrators

 Head of the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré. (Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Nektarios Markogiannis)

Head of the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré. (Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Nektarios Markogiannis)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Nov. 26, 2014: The head of the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has condemned the violence in Haiti that recently caused injuries among demonstrators protesting delayed elections.

Sandra Honoré yesterday called on all sides to respect the right to free expression while also avoiding any recourse to violence.

“The freedom to demonstrate and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed by international conventions, enshrined in the Haitian constitution and supported by the law,” Honoré said in a statement last evening.

Her comments come on the heels of a November 18th that resulted in several injuries to anti-Government demonstrators after thousands clashed with pro-government residents.

The protests were held amid worries that Martelly could try to rule by decree when parliament expires in January following three years of election delays.

“The right to demonstrate and freedom of opinion is a sign of the consolidation of democracy in Haiti and efforts must be made to both sides to avoid any recourse to violence, defamation, intimidation of all kinds, or acts that may contribute to the peace and stability,” added. Honoré.

“As part of strengthening the rule of law, it is up to the Haitian authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure that the right to peaceful protest is respected and that offenders are prosecuted,” she said.

Haitians were supposed to go to the polls on October 26 to elect 20 senators, 102 deputies and municipal officials, but the National Assembly did not pass an electoral law in time because of a political impasse.

The mandate of the parliament and senate is set to expire on January 12 and if elections are not held, Martelly could take over amid a political vacuum.