Clarifying Amnesty Offers Proposed in Haiti

The article ``UN Embargo Takes Its Toll on Haitians,'' Oct. 27, misrepresents the amnesty law that is currently before the Haitian parliament. Conservative legislators hostile to elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide have indeed submitted an amnesty bill to parliament. Their aim was emphatically not, however, to vote into law ``an amnesty decree granted by Fr. Aristide.''

The Haitian president's decree ordered an amnesty for political crimes committed between the military coup of Sept. 30, 1991, and the UN-brokered Governors Island Accord of July 3, 1993. The bill before parliament, by contrast, would pardon ``all authors, co-authors and accomplices of the coup'' for all crimes committed ``during the period which extends from the coup dtat to the promulgation of the present law of Amnesty.'' Such an amnesty would even cover the Oct. 14 assassination of Justice Minister Guy Malary.

The article leaves the impression that Haitian conservatives were acting to implement the Governors Island Accord. In fact, they were acting yet again to subvert it. George Black, New York Editorial Director, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights

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