Haiti torture rife, says Amnesty

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The Independent Online
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Torture, executions and arbitrary arrests have become part of daily life in Haiti since the military coup that ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide a year ago, Amnesty International said yesterday. 'Haitians live in permanent fear, while their oppressors are free to kill, torture and terrorise with impunity,' Amnesty said. The report, based on interviews with victims and their family members during a two-week investigation in Haiti that began in late March, documented 'almost automatic' beatings that followed arrests on often arbitrary charges taking place without warrants.

'Once taken to detention centres, victims often face daily beatings, including the calotte marassa, a twin slap to both ears which causes severe pain and often leads to infection,' Amnesty said. Curt Goering, deputy executive director of Amnesty, said payment, from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, was the only way to avoid beating.