MADRE News

Choose a news category:

MADRE Calls for International Solidarity with Haitian Women's Human Rights Defenders under Threat

Posted on: Monday, November 4, 2013

Keywords: Haiti, Latin America and Caribbean, Combating Violence against Women

On the morning of October 24, 2013, women at the Haitian organization KOFAVIV were targeted with the latest in a series of violent threats. 

A man, who witnesses indicate was armed, stationed himself outside the KOFAVIV Center. He accosted a KOFAVIV activist on her way in, demanding that Malya Villard Appolon, the General Coordinator of KOFAVIV, appear before him. On that same day, workers at the KOFAVIV Call Center received a threatening phone call. 

MADRE was able to maintain constant contact with Malya over Skype during the hours that she and her staff were unable to leave the KOFAVIV Center. We reached out to our allies on the ground in Haiti and internationally to provide support and protection. The man escaped before the police were able to detain him. Fortunately, he was never able to enter the KOFAVIV Center. 

This incident reveals a clear escalation in a pattern of intimidation and harassment against the leadership and staff of KOFAVIV, targeted as prominent voices calling for women’s human rights protections in Haiti. 

These threats and acts of violence follow a wave of recent violent attacks.
  • On August 23, armed men arrived at Malya’s home. They fired several rounds of bullets into her front gate.
  • On September 4, three other KOFAVIV staff members were held at gunpoint near the KOFAVIV Center. The assailants sped away with the staff members’ wallets, cell phones, and the keys to the KOFAVIV car which the organization uses to transport rape survivors to the hospitals and to the courts.
  • On September 15, Malya came back to her house to find that both of her dogs had been poisoned.
MADRE condemns these attacks against KOFAVIV and all women’s human rights defenders in Haiti and globally. We call on the international community to address the threats to women’s human rights defenders and to provide the necessary resources for human rights activists to do their work safely and sustainably.
Update: MADRE has been coordinating an urgent response, reaching out to allied organizations to mobilize emergency funds and assistance with security planning. We were able to help secure Malya's home and the safety of the shelter residents and the staff at the KOFAVIV Center. We have been working with a coalition of international organizations to maximize the safety and well-being of the staff and shelter residents at the KOFAVIV Center.


« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »



Article Tools
Increase Font Decrease Font Reset Font Print Page Email Page


Archives

"Press Room" Home April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001

Contact

Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
EMAIL: media@madre.org

Bring MADRE to You