December 8, 2016
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Groups Call For Arrest For Ex- Haitian President


PORT-AU-PRINCE - The ­Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avo­cats Inter­na­tionaux (BAI) call on the Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of Haiti to com­ply with Hait­ian law and arrest ex-President Jean-Claude Duva­lier, who has returned to Haiti on a com­mer­cial flight.

IJDH and the BAI note that the exten­sive legal doc­u­men­ta­tion of Mr. Duvalier’s crimes includes:

A July 3, 2009 order from the First Court of Pub­lic Law, of the Fed­eral Court of Switzer­land, which notes that the Hait­ian gov­ern­ment had informed it of cur­rent crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings against Mr. Duva­lier as late as June 2008;

The Deci­sion of the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the South­ern Dis­trict of Florida, Jean-Juste v. Duva­lier, No. 86–0459, dated Jan­u­ary 8, 1988, find­ing Mr. Duva­lier liable for over $500,000,000 for his mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of pub­lic monies for his per­sonal use; and

An exten­sive account­ing of Mr. Duvalier’s mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of pub­lic funds con­ducted for the Hait­ian gov­ern­ment by a U.S. account­ing firm between 1986 and 1990, estab­lish­ing the theft of over $300,000,000 U.S.D. of pub­lic funds.

This legal doc­u­men­ta­tion is sup­ple­mented by an exten­sive pub­lic record of Mr. Duvalier’s human rights vio­la­tions, includ­ing the tor­ture and dis­ap­pear­ances of polit­i­cal dis­si­dents at the Fort Dimanche prison and other crimes com­mit­ted by orga­ni­za­tions under his con­trol, includ­ing the Armed Forces of Haiti and the Vol­un­teers for National Secu­rity.

Mr. Duva­lier is not pro­tected against pros­e­cu­tion by any statutes of lim­i­ta­tions. Accord­ing to Arti­cle 466 of the Hait­ian Code of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure, the pro­ceed­ings for mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds are not pro­scribed because of the con­tin­u­ing pros­e­cu­tion of the case from 1986 to 2008. The polit­i­cal killings and tor­ture are not pro­scribed because they are crimes against human­ity, which are impre­scriptible under inter­na­tional law.

The BAI and IJDH believe that if there are not any arrest war­rants out­stand­ing against Mr. Duva­lier, that the infor­ma­tion avail­able in exist­ing legal pro­ceed­ings and Mr. Duvalier’s 25-year flight from Hait­ian jus­tice clearly jus­tify the imme­di­ate issuance and exe­cu­tion of an arrest war­rant. The BAI and IJDH offer their assis­tance, includ­ing their exten­sive doc­u­men­ta­tion of Mr. Duvalier’s crimes, to Hait­ian author­i­ties con­duct­ing a seri­ous investigation.

 

 

UPDATE - Duvalier has since been arrested:

 

 

In response to the arrest of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier in Haiti, Amnesty International’s Senior Advisor and Haiti expert, Javier Zuñiga, said:  

“The arrest of Jean-Claude Duvalier is a positive step but it is not enough to charge him only with corruption.”  

“If true justice is to be done in Haiti, the Haitian authorities need to open a criminal investigation into Duvalier’s responsibility for the multitude of human rights abuses that were committed under his rule including torture, arbitrary detentions, rape, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions.”  
 
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Javier Zuñiga, Special Advisor at Amnesty International, currently in London, and Gerardo Ducos, Haiti researcher at Amnesty International, currently in Port-au-Prince, are available for comment.

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We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.

 


STORY TAGS: BLACK NEWS, AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS NEWS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, AFRO AMERICAN NEWS



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