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Human Rights Groups Call for Immediate Arrest of Jean-Claude Duvalier

Posted on: Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keywords: Haiti

Breaking News: Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has been taken into custody by the Haitian police and waits in a courthouse for the decision on whether he will be arrested and what charges he will face. (Tuesday January 18)

MADRE endorses the call by human rights organizations for the arrest of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.  Nearly 25 years after he was escorted out of the country into exile by the US military, the former Haitian dictator responsible for terrorizing his country and for countless human rights violations has returned to the capital city of Port-au-Prince.  Haitian human rights organizations, such as the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, have long documented evidence of his crimes, and MADRE reaffirms their demands for an end to his impunity.

The statement below was produced by the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avo­cats Inter­na­tionaux (Port-au-Prince, Haiti), mario@ijdh.org, 509‑3701-9879
Brian Con­can­non Jr., Esq., Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (Boston, MA), brian@ijdh.org, 541–263-0029
Ira Kurzban, Esq. IJDH Board Chair and attor­ney in Jean-Juste v. Duva­lier, (Miami, FL) ira@kkwtlaw.com, 305–444-0060

Human Rights Groups Call for Imme­di­ate Arrest of Jean-Claude Duvalier

Jan­u­ary 17, 2011-Port-au-Prince and Boston– Today, 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 returned to Haiti on a com­mer­cial flight yesterday.

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 (Ton­tons Macoutes).

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.

###


 

French

POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE

CONTACTS:
Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avo­cats Inter­na­tionaux (Port-au-Prince, Haïti), mario@ijdh.org, +509‑3701-9879
Brian Con­can­non Jr., Esq., Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haïti (Boston, MA), brian@ijdh.org, 541–263-0029
Kurzban Ira, Esq.  Prési­dent du con­seil de l’IJDH et avo­cat dans le dossier de Jean-Juste c. Duva­lier, (Miami, FL) ira@kkwtlaw.com, 305–444-0060

Organ­i­sa­tions des Droits de l’homme lan­cent un appel pour l’arrestation immé­di­ate de Jean-Claude Duvalier

Le 17 Jan­vier 2011-Port-au-Prince et Boston Aujourd’hui,

l’Institute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (IJDH) et le Bureau des Avo­cats Inter nationaux (BAI) deman­dent  au gou­verne­ment de la République d’Haïti de se con­former à la loi haï­ti­enne en procé­dant immé­di­ate­ment à l’arrestation de l’ex-président Jean-Claude Duva­lier, qui est  ren­tré en Haïti le 16 Jan­vier 2011 par un vol com­mer­cial d’air France.

BAI et IJDH recon­nais­sent le droit con­sti­tu­tion­nel de tous les Haï­tiens de retourner au pays, mais ils pren­nent acte de la doc­u­men­ta­tion juridique éten­due de la crim­i­nal­ité de M. Duva­lier, y compris:

  • Un arrêt de 3 Juil­let 2009 de la Pre­mière Cour de droit pub­lic de la Cour fédérale de la Suisse, qui note que le gou­verne­ment haï­tien l’avait informé d’une procé­dure pénale en cours con­tre M. Duva­lier depuis Juin 2008;
  • Un arrêt du tri­bunal fédéral du dis­trict sud de Floride dans le dossier de Jean-Juste c. Duva­lier, n ° 86–0459, en date du 8 Jan­vier 1988, qui a prononcé une con­damna­tion civile con­tre M. Duva­lier pour plus de $ 500 000 000 (U.S.) pour son détourne­ment de fonds publics à des fins per­son­nels, et
  • Un compte rendu compt­able de détourne­ments M. Duva­lier de fonds publics mené pour le gou­verne­ment haï­tien par un cab­i­net de compt­a­bles des États-Unis entre 1986 et 1990, étab­lis­sant le vol de plus de $ 300 000 000 U.S. de fonds publics.

Cette doc­u­men­ta­tion juridique est com­plétée par un volu­mineux dossier pub­lic des vio­la­tions des droits humains de M. Duva­lier, y com­pris les tor­tures et les dis­pari­tions d’opposants poli­tiques de  la prison de Fort-Dimanche, et les crimes com­mis par les mil­ices sous le con­trôle de M. Duva­lier, y com­pris les Forces Armées d’Haiti et les Volon­taires pour la Sécu­rité Nationale (Ton­ton Macoutes).

Les crimes de M. Duva­lier ne sont pas pre­scrits. D’après l’article 466, du Code d’Instruction Crim­inelle de la République d’Haïti, les pour­suites pour détourne­ment de fonds ne sont pas pre­scrites à cause des actes d’instruction et de pour­suite qui ont été enclenchés de 1986 à 2008. Les assas­si­nats et tor­tures poli­tiques ne sont pas pre­scrits, car ils sont des crimes con­tre l’humanité, qui sont impre­scriptibles selon le droit international.

Le BAI et IJDH croient que s’ il n’y a pas de man­dats d’arrêt con­tre M. Duva­lier, que les infor­ma­tions disponibles dans les procé­dures judi­ci­aires exis­tantes et la fuite de M. Duva­lier depuis 25 ans de la jus­tice haï­ti­enne jus­ti­fient claire­ment la délivrance immé­di­ate et l’exécution d’un man­dat d’arrêt. Le BAI et IJDH offrent leur assis­tance légale et juridique, y com­pris leur doc­u­men­ta­tion exten­sive de crimes de M. Duva­lier, aux autorités haï­ti­ennes si elles veu­lent le pour­suivre réellement.

BAI et IJDH rap­pel­lent à tout le monde que les crimes com­mis sous le règne de la dic­tature des DUVALIERS sont impre­scriptibles, parce que ce sont des crimes con­tre l’humanité. Par con­séquent, ils encour­a­gent toutes les vic­times des DUVALIERS à porter plainte. Les avo­cats du BAI et IJDH sont disponibles pour les assis­ter aider et les accom­pa­g­ner par devant les Tri­bunaux et Cours tant nationaux qu’internationaux.

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