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Haitian Refugees

February 16, 1992

In "First Haitian Refugees Returned to Homeland" (Feb. 4), your reporter said: "Most of them say they are unafraid, happy to be back." But later he quotes a foreign official saying "many of these people say what they think will do them the most good."

The reporter further comments ". . . but the fear showed through when several of the refugees asked reporters if it was true that soldier were waiting to kill them." This fear was generated by the media, not by the reality of the Haitian situation.

Amnesty International's executive director, Jack Healey, made a hysterical appearance on CNN recently in which he stated that Haitians being sent back can look forward to a deathtrap, killing fields, torture, execution, Tontons Macoutes.

When I contacted the Washington, Los Angeles and New York offices of Amnesty, I could find no one who had ever been to Haiti. They told me the American end is simply a lobbying service. All information comes from London. They could not give me a documented case in which any returning Haitian had been abused since 1981 when the Interdiction Agreement was signed.

Ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, an uncontrolled manic-depressive who urged the adoption of the necklace as an instrument of national policy, was removed in accordance with Haiti's constitution. Why can't we keep our noses out of other people's business when we are unwilling to learn all of the facts before acting stupidly.

LYNN GARRISON

Santa Monica

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