Wednesday, August 24, 2016

As Appeals Court Upholds “Immunity” Plea:

New Internal Report Slams UN Cholera Cover-Up
by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

UN officials are frantically fending off questions about their organization being to blame for importing cholera into Haiti following the leak last week of an internal Special Rapporteur draft report which slams their “existing approach of simply abdicating responsibility [as] morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.”
            On Aug. 18, the day after freelance reporter Jonathan Katz (the AP’s former Haiti correspondent) leaked excerpts of New York University law professor Philip Alston’s draft report in the New York Times, a New York State Appeals court upheld a lower court decision granting the UN “immunity” from a class-action suit being brought on behalf of Haitian cholera victims. (Alston’s full report was published in the New York Times Magazine on Aug. 20).
            UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq stated that the UN “needs to do much more regarding own involvement in the initial outbreak," stopping short of admitting responsibility or specifying what exactly “much more” is.
            On Aug. 19, Mr. Ban issued a statement saying he “deeply regrets the terrible suffering” the cholera epidemic has caused Haitians and assumed “a moral responsibility to the victims” by “building sound water, sanitation and health systems.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

UN Admits Role in Haiti's Cholera Outbreak After Years of Denial

KIM BROWN, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News.
As Haiti was struggling to rebuild after the devastating earthquake that crumbled the country in 2010, they were struck again by another disaster, a cholera outbreak that ended up killing about 10,000 people and sickened hundreds of thousands. Many Haitians immediately pointed the finger at United Nations troops for causing the outbreak, claims that the UN long denied until now. A spokesperson for UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon said in a statement to the New York Times that “The UN has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.
We’re joined today with Brian Concannon. He’s the executive director at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. He’s also an attorney representing some of the families of the victims of the cholera outbreak. Brian thank you so much for joining us.

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