SENATE INVESTIGATION OF MAYARD-PAUL FOLLOWING DISORDER AT THE AIRPORT
(Defend Haiti) - By Samuel Maxime
PORT-AU-PRINCE - The Minister of the Interior, Local Authorities and National Defense, Thierry Mayard-Paul, was motioned to be the subject of a senate investigation on Friday after security agents at the international airport held a strike from work caused by an incident of disorder during the arrest of Deputy Arnel Bélizaire (Delmas & Tabarre/Veye-To).
"'You're looking at us in the eye? You're looking at us in the eye? Blah!'
"Oh oh! And how about that. They gave the man a blow to the head!"
"They were just hitting them, man. From the time they stepped into the airport they're giving the guy blows and they held the other two and beat the guy some more, man."
This the explanation given by a witness at the airport. Another, spoke of the actions of the Minister of the Interior.
"The minister of the interior, Thierry Mayard[-Paul]. The gentleman entered with a core of his security guards. If it was not for the intervention of Roro Nelson to make these guys [stop], these guys [minister's security] would have been sleeping in prison last night."
"They beat those guys [airport security], they beat the security agents inside, they passed in front of the door for Air France... and if you have to provide security to an area and you have government officials entering without a mandate or authorization... even though they gave them a place to enter, through the diplomatic room... this is a Makoutiste act..."
"This is the return of the Makoutes. You stayed in the same place and took all the beatings until you start putting out blood. And then you beat them two other occasions on top of it."
A firearm restricted zone at the international airport, Toussaint Louverture, had its integrity compromised by the Minister of the Interior is what security agents claim; but as a minister for national defense and homeland security it is still to be determined whether it was the airport security that were out of order in trying to stop the minister.
The airport security allege that Mayard-Paul was participatory in the beatings. Senator Nenel Cassy (Nippes/Inite) brought the matter to the floor of the senate in a session that made quorum on Friday afternoon, saying:
"On many radio stations we heard that the airport was blocked where the security guards did not provide security at the airport."
"Yesterday, after they [police] left with Deputy Arnel Belizaire, there are three security guards that they mistreated."
"[one] who, himself was on Scoop Radio this morning, as a source who was beaten a lot, and said one hit came directly from the Minister of the Interior."
"They hit them, they beat them, three security guards because there was a law passed... they block people from bringing firearms into an area of the airport."
"And... not only did the minister hit someone but his security continued to do it to them again."
"And this morning because of the solidarity that others have, the entire airport was blocked because of what happened to these people, they were obliged to have a strike and not work."
"And as they are not working, they let us learn that an airport police chief accompanied by another authority in the airport, because no one was working, allowed people who came to the airport to board planes without being screened, because all security guards were on strike."
"I'm not going to accuse the Minister of the Interior and say that it is true or that it is not true but I have heard enough of this, ..... also from the other employees..."
"...it is Deputy Arnel Belizaire that they arrested. The population began to wake up, colleagues in pariament began to wake up, and they let him go immediately without any explanation... and today, three, of these people [security guards] who don't have anyone who can speak for them,... I insist that these men come together with the senate to carry out an investigation and a commission.... to go with these people to find out directly if the minister of the interior personally got to the point of beating these people."
The senate resolved for an interpellation of the Minister of the Interior.