corruption, Court of Appeals, Crimes against Humanity, cronyism, death squads, Dechukaj, democracy, Dictatorship, Duvalier, Duvalierism, Francois Duvalier, Haiti, Human Rights abuses, Human Rights Abuses Haiti, impunity, independence of judiciary, intimidation, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Judge Jean Serge Joseph, Judge Jean Serge Joseph death, judiciary, justice, Lamothe, Michel Martelly, misappropriation of funds, paramilitary, President Martelly, Prime Minister Lamothe, regime, revisionism, Rule of law, statute of limitations, Switzerland, Tontons Macoutes, victims
28 Years Ago this Friday, Duvalier was chased from Haiti by a popular uprising…He has returned, only to run free, and be treated like royalty, by Pres. Martelly and PM Lamothe. Impunity Still Rules Haiti. There can be no statute of limitations on Human Rights Abuses. The International Community letting Known Human Rights Violators run free sets a bad example the world over. It sends the message that human rights abuses are ok. But, they are not ok. There also needs to be an International Investigation into the sudden death of Judge Jean Serge Joseph, who was investigating corruption allegations, and who witnesses say was threatened and intimidated by Martelly and Lamothe. Since Judge Joseph’s death, the corruption investigation has reportedly not moved forward. These two cases appear very much related.
Guinea Fowl (Pintade), symbol of the Haitian Revolution, stolen by Duvalier, Sr., as his symbol. Hence, symbol of the infamous Tontons Macoutes, the Duvaliers’ notorious paramilitary dead squads.
January 16, 2014 Press Release By:
“Collective Against Impunity
Platform for legal action against ex dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier et al. with support from human rights organizations; Centre oecumenlque des droits humains (CEDH) – KayFanm (Women’s house) Haitian women’s movement for education and development (MOUFHED) – National human rights network (RNDDH)
Communication, (CEDH) – firstname.lastname@example.org
The judgment of Duvalier, still a challenge for Haitian democracy
It has now been three years since former dictator Jean Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti, apparently convinced that he would not face any judicial action for the crimes against humanity and the financial crimes committed during the “Presidency-for-life” he inherited from his father Dictator Francois Duvalier.
Haitian citizens, women and men, aware of the profound damage to our country brought by the absolute power of the Duvaliers and refusing an unacceptable reconciliation, without justice, have mobilized to demand the judgment of Jean-Claude Duvalier and of his accomplices.
On January 19, 2011, the Haitian State reactivated the prosecution initiated against Duvalier in April 2008. Some thirty victims of the regime have also filed complaints. The botched investigation that followed led on January 27, 2012 to a judicial order, riddled with errors of law and fact, exonerating Duvalier of massive violations of human rights and crimes against humanity and charging him only with misappropriation of public funds to be tried in a lower court. While the victims have challenged this shameful ordinance, the State did not appeal this decision.
From December 13,2012 to May 16, 2013, the Appellate Court heard 8 of the victims and Duvalier himself. The following facts have characterized the hearings: acts of intimidation on the part of the Duvalierist; attitude of the public prosecutor openly defending Duvalier and not serving in the name of society; the dictator’s lawyers systematically attacking the victims and attempting to turn them into the accused party; judges failing to restore the context of the hearings; and absolute silence about the charge of misappropriation of funds. Eight months after the end of the hearings, the Court of Appeal still has not taken a decision.
In December 2013, the Swiss courts definitively ruled for the restitution to Haiti of the funds misappropriated by Duvalier and deposited in Swiss banks. The government has had no official reaction. Instead, it has seen fit to invite Duvalier on 1 January 2014, to our official Independence Day celebration, ignoring his status as a defendant, thus persisting in its support of impunity and of the trivialization of the dictatorship. In his speech of 13 January to the National Assembly, the President of the Republic declared that forgiveness and reconciliation do not mean forgetting and rehabilitating. Acts must follow such a statement to attest of a real political will. Will the government withdraw Duvalier’s diplomatic passport? Will it stop returning his properties to Duvalier,or stop paying him a presidential pension? Will it formally notify the Haitian courts of the results of the long and painstaking work done in Switzerland and establishing the illicitorigin of Duvalier’s funds?
Duvalierism without Duvalier and the subjugation of the justice system are heavy legacies of the dictatorship. The challenge is considerable for the Collective, but it will continue to mobilize to highlight the crimes of the dictatorship, to demand that Duvalier and his cronies be tried and to thwart the dangerous current trend towards revisionism.
The Collective requests that the Court of Appeal stop violating the rights of citizens and set a deadline for a decision on the case. It urges the government to bend to the demands of democratic rule of law, by pursuing the prosecution against Duvalier et al.
No to Duvalierist ignominy! No to impunity! Yes to the truth! Yes to Justice!
Port-au-Prince; January 16,2014
Daniele Magloire, coordinator” http://rnddh.org/content/uploads/2014/01/Communiqué-16-janvier-14-English.pdf (bold added for emphasis)
Postscript: Most frightening, bizarre, and insane are rumours that Duvalier or his son might run for President in the next elections! This could not happen if Jean-Claude Duvalier were put in prison where he belongs. Why is he still running lose? Does he have some dirt on some countries or world leaders? Something embarrassing which would come out in court? Very, very strange indeed.