Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hunger strike in second week to protest detention of 101 Haitians

Photo by Michelle Karshan*

Haitian-American Army veteran enters second week of hunger strike
Associated Press, April 18. 2007

MIAMI - A Haitian-American U.S. Army veteran entered the second week of a hunger strike Tuesday to protest the detention of 101 Haitian migrants who landed in South Florida in a dilapidated sailboat.Henri Petithomme, 32, is only drinking water and Gatorade and spoke in barely audible sentences as he described his goals.He wants the migrants released to their families as they await their deportation hearings so they can work closely with their attorneys to prepare their cases. Ultimately, he hopes the U.S. will give temporary legal status to Haitians already in the country, as it has done in the past for citizens of several Central American nations.
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*Photo of town in Haiti where many political refugees took off by boat from during the first coup d'etat against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide 1991-1994 (Photo copyright by Michelle Karshan). PHOTO NOT CONNECTED TO ABOVE AP STORY.