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As Aristide Lands in Haiti, MADRE Upholds His International Right to Return

Posted on: Friday, March 18, 2011

Keywords: Haiti, Latin America and Caribbean, US Foreign Policy

Today, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti after seven years of exile in South Africa. Aristide, the nation’s first democratically elected president, was twice ousted from power with support from the United States. MADRE calls for all members of the international community, including the US, to respect Aristide’s right to return.

News of Aristide’s return comes as the country prepares for run-off presidential elections to be held on Sunday. The United States had tried to prevent Aristide’s return, unsuccessfully pressuring the South African government to keep him from leaving.

MADRE affirms Aristide’s right to return to Haiti, as well as his freedom of movement and expression, which are guaranteed by international law. As stated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), “no one should be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.”

Our partners in Haiti report that opponents to Aristide may use his return as a pretext for violent attacks. MADRE echoes the calls of the women of Haiti as they demand an end to the use of political violence, and we stand with their work to promote peace.

Relevant links:

Aristide’s Return to Haiti: Prominent Lawyers and Law Professors Urge U.S. to Respect Human Rights, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The International Community Should Recognize Reality in Haiti, by Mark Weisbrot


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