Everything You Need To Know About The #FreeHaiti Movement
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Everything You Need To Know About The #FreeHaiti Movement

Haiti , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Mar 14, 2021

The hashtag #FreeHaiti is trending on social media to raise awareness of Haiti’s current political, economic, and social crisis.

The country is in the midst of a political crisis and at the same time, crimes led by armed gangs and for-ransom kidnappings have drastically increased. Protesters have taken to the streets demanding President Jovenel Moïse resign.

He took office Feb. 2016, for what was supposed to be a 5-year term. Political and human rights activists say his term ended last month, but Moïse says he has one year left in office and that his term actually began in 2017.

Moïse has failed to organize parliamentary elections leaving many Haitians unrepresented, which opponents claim is the reason for the increase in crime— including women and girls being kidnapped and gang raped at alarming rates.

The United Nations is currently demanding answers from Haitian officials surrounding the deaths of several police officers following a deadly police operation in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood known for harboring kidnapped victims and a notorious gang, the Miami Herald first reported.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed worry about the nation’s worsening climate after answering questions during a U.S. foreign policy hearing about Moïse’s abuse of power.

“It’s something that we are very actively looking at,” Blinken told Rep. Andy Levin, D-MI, who asked what Haiti policy could be expected to look like under President Joe Biden. “I share your concern about some of the authoritarian and undemocratic actions that we have seen, particularly this irregular rule by decree.”

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Local activists are now leaning on other countries, including the US, to use their influence to put pressure on Moïse to execute his duties properly. The failed anti-gang attempt from police combined with Moïse’s refusal to step down triggered the #FreeHaiti movement.

Over the weekend, #FreeHaiti has been retweeted more than 250,000 times by Haitians and influencers, including well-known celebrities like rapper Cardi B, Bobby Shmurda, actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, and more.

See some of their messages below:

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