Three churchgoers were abducted in Haiti by gangs after Mass

On January 31, 2023, police attended the funeral of three police officers who had been killed by armed gangs at th...

Three worshipers were abducted by gang members in Port-au-Prince, the country's capital, as they were leaving a church after attending Sunday Mass.

According to local media, the kidnappers are demanding a hefty ransom.

In Haiti, kidnappings for ransom have increased dramatically in recent years, and places of worship and the clergy are increasingly being targeted.

The situation has been called "a living nightmare" by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Witnesses reported that on Sunday morning local time, gang members kidnapped a couple and another person who regularly attends services at the First Baptist Church in the city's center.

Five days had passed since the kidnapping of a priest who was en route to a missionary community 27 kilometers (17 miles) north of the national center.

BELOW GROUND: brutal gangs have taken hostages inside the capital.

Father Antoine Macaire Christian Noah, a priest from Cameroon, was abducted after a year of serving as a parish priest in the mountain village of Casale, which is located north of the capital.

His religious organization, the Claretian Missionaries, claimed that the gang had contacted them and demanded a ransom.

In Haiti in 2022, there were more than 1,200 kidnappings that were reported, which is twice as many as in 2021.

However, crime in Haiti has increased across the board, not just kidnapping.

In Brooklyn, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, gang violence has sharply increased, according to a new UN report released last week.

In order to instill fear in areas under gang control, it is described how one gang uses snipers to kill anyone who enters its territory and how women are gang raped in front of their families.

Volker Türk, one of the UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, called the results "horrifying.".

"It paints a picture of how people are harassed and terrorized for months by criminal gangs without the state being able to stop it," Mr. Türk said.

After President Jovenel Mose was assassinated in July 2021, Haiti descended into anarchy.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been in charge of the nation ever since, but he has failed to control the gangs, which now reportedly control 60% of the capital. .

Mr. Henry has urged the deployment of an international force to support police in their fight against criminal gangs on numerous occasions.

No nation has stepped forward to take the helm of such a force, but Mr. Henry claims it is essential to ensuring security so that long-delayed elections can be held.

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