NEW YORK — Relatives of several deported men being held in Haiti’s National Penitentiary visited the General Consulate of Haiti in New York City Aug. 23 to hand in a petition demanding the release of their loved ones. The men jailed in Port-au-Prince had been deported after being convicted and serving prison sentences in the United States, a practice many have called unjust and shocking to experience.

"These men endure severe conditions in the National Penitentiary, including the lack of food, water and critical medicine. In late July 2022, widespread gun violence erupted near the prison, making it impossible for friends a family to deliver food and clean water. As a result, several of the men went for five days without any food," read the petition.

About 30 supporters later joined the relatives in front of the Consulate’s building in midtown Manhattan for a rally to raise public awareness. Organizers Haydi Torres of Cosecha NJ and Eleni Baskt of CAIR Coalition are advocates for immigrant rights in the United States. 

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Leonardo March is Brooklyn-based visual journalist from Puerto Rico and a Report for America corps member

Leonardo can be reached at Leonardo@haitiantimes.com