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Haiti - Justice : Pretrial detention, Small improvement...
24/02/2014 09:32:17

Haiti - Justice : Pretrial detention, Small improvement...
Me Jean Renel Sanon, the Minister of Justice, inspiring of the penal government policy implemented by the various parquet of the 18 jurisdictions, leads a struggle without thank you against prolonged pretrial detention, considered as a real scourge gnawing the judicial system for many years. Thus, the Minister indicated that the struggle against preventive detention in Haiti, began to bear fruit stressing that results "quite encouraging" had been registered in many jurisdictions in the country.

According to the information provided by the Ministry of Justice (mid-February 2014), an improvement of the situation has been observed in several detention centers in the country :

"Within the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Fort Liberté, the rate of pretrial detention is now at its lowest level: 27%. The current prison population in Fort-Liberté, is 418 inmates, including 111 defendants (pretrial detainees) and 307 convicts.

Within the jurisdiction of the CFI of Hinche only 35% of the prison population is now living in preventive detention. It has a total of 215 inmates or 75 defendants and 140 convicted.

Within the jurisdiction of the CFI of Saint-Marc, of a total of 401 detainees, they are 143 defendants and 258 convicted a rate of prolonged preventive detention of 36%. This is a major effort in this important city in the Artibonite.

In the commune of Carrefour, the prison population is 212 inmates, 81 defendants and 131 convicts, which corresponds to a rate of 38% of people in pretrial detention.

It is particularly important to note the case of the municipality of Arcahaie. There have 0% of pretrial detention and 109 convicted."

These figures are undoubtedly a first step in the right direction, however, they remain very marginal at the national level. For information, recall that out of a total prison population of 9,904 (March 2013) in penitentiaries Centre in Haiti, 7,188 (72.57% national average) are on pretrial detention, awaiting judgment http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-8898-haiti-justice-95-of-inmates-atnational-penitentiary-are-incarcerated-without-trial.html

Also recall that Gustavo Gallon, the Independent Expert of the United Nations at the end of his first mission in Haiti (September 23 to October 1, 2013) which
consisted of analyzing the situation of human rights in the country had declared "The vast majority of prisoners (around 80% on average) is in a situation of prolonged pretrial detention. They are deprived of freedom without having been tried and this for a long time, ranging in most cases beyond the time allotted for the maximum sentence that could be attributed to them in the event of conviction." http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-9496-haiti-justice-first-mission-of-the-new-un-independent-expert.html

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