Haiti: Haitian authorities tell Amnesty International they will investigate abuses committed during Duvalier's rule

Press Release
January 21, 2011

Haiti: Haitian authorities tell Amnesty International they will investigate abuses committed during Duvalier's rule

Amnesty International Press Release
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, January 21, 2011

HAITIAN AUTHORITIES TELL AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL THEY WILL INVESTIGATE ABUSES COMMITTED DURING DUVALIER’S RULE

Human Rights Organization Gives Authorities 101 Documents Detailing Dozens of Cases of Torture, Extrajudicial Executions and More Between 1971 and 1986

(Port-au-Prince) -- Haitian authorities have told Amnesty International they are launching an investigation into crimes against humanity committed during Jean-Claude Duvalier’s rule in the 1970s and 80s.

Amnesty International Haiti Researcher Gerardo Ducos met yesterday with Haiti Prosecutor Harycidas Auguste and Minister of Justice Paul Denis to discuss the need for an investigation into the abuses committed during Duvalier’s years in power.

Ducos handed over 101 documents detailing dozens of cases of detention without trial, systematic torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions which took place in Haiti between 1971 and 1986.

“Investigating Jean Claude Duvalier for the human rights crimes committed during his time in power is a massive step forward,” said Ducos. “What we need to see now is a swift and impartial process, in line with international standards, that truly brings justice for those who have been waiting for too long.”

Amnesty International also urged the Haitian authorities to ensure that all victims and survivors of abuses committed during Duvalier’s rule – including those living outside Haiti -- have an opportunity to provide evidence in the process.

“We are also calling on the United Nations to offer technical support to the Haitian authorities to ensure the trial against Jean Claude Duvalier meets the expectations of the Haitian people and the international community,” said Ducos.

Note to Editors
Gerardo Ducos will be available for interviews today between 9.30 and 11:00 am Local Time (14:30Hs GMT) at Hotel Le Plaza, Salle Therese 2, 10 Rue Capois, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Amnesty International’s Senior Advisor and Haiti expert, Javier Zuñiga, is available for interviews and analysis in London.

For more information, please contact:

In Port-au-Prince: Carolina Roman, +509 3784 4619.

In London: Josefina Salomon, +44 7778 472 116, jsalomon@amnesty.org

In New York:    Wende Gozan Brown, 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
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