Injured man in Haiti
An injured man is transported on a motorcycle to a hospital after he was reportedly shot during gang violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti earlier this year AFP

A Haiti-based human rights group, Center for Human Rights Analysis and Research (CARDH), has temporarily shut down its operations after receiving threats, its executive director said Thursday.

CARDH's executive director, Gédéon Jean, said the group, consisting of 16 people, will no longer be operational after one of his colleagues was kidnapped on Oct. 29 and freed on Nov. 17.

Jean disclosed they also received a warning from the kidnappers to stop their human rights work in the "disturbing" areas.

"They confirmed that I was being directly targeted by the kidnappers," Jean said, Reuters reported. "CARDH's reports and analyses have demonstrated the close ties between crime, politics and the economy in Haiti, shedding light on the real 'masters' of the crime industry, who are not gang leaders."

The human rights organization has published reports featuring the condition of common citizens, who got displaced due to ongoing gang wars and lynching alongside the killing of police officers.

In September, CARDH noted that 901 kidnappings and 1,564 killings took place in Haiti. Furthermore, mass kidnappings were happening in the Bas-Artibonite region north of the capital, which might turn into a major gang center if correct measures were not taken, the group said.

Earlier this month, there was a spate of violence in Cite Soleil -- located in the capital Port-au-Prince -- after a prominent gang leader was killed. According to the United Nations, the incident displaced more than 146,500 people.

Ahead of the suspension announcement, CARDH said Wednesday that they will reduce their activities for a couple of months due to threats. However, they will resume their work after protective measures are taken.

Countries like the U.S. and Canada have imposed sanctions on businessmen and politicians of Haiti, as they are accused of helping the gang war financially.

Last week, an armed gang surrounded Fontaine Hospital Center and the director of the medical center pleaded for help on social media. The police then rescued the trapped women, children and newborns from the hospital.

In the wake of surging violence from gangs, which are controlling a big chunk of the country, the UN has given a green signal to a Kenya-led mission of deploying 1,000 police officers in Haiti to support the local police force.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.