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Haiti - Justice : A Truth Commission for Duvalier
07/07/2011 12:04:04

Haiti - Justice : A Truth Commission for Duvalier
"...in January of this year, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, reminded the Haitian authorities of their obligation to investigate the serious human rights violations that took place during the rule of Jean Claude Duvalier, and for which no statute of limitations exists under international law" reiterating "the High Commissioner’s offer of support and technical assistance to the authorities of Haiti and I hope to work with the new authorities in this regard. In addition to the judicial process, I fully support the initiative to establish a Truth Commission" had indicated Wednesday, Kyung-wha Kang, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at a press conference.

"I hope it will thoroughly examine this period of Haitian history as well as others, promote memory and reconciliation, and raise awareness of the need to protect and promote human rights, particularly among young persons" she added.

Since the return of former President Jean-Claude Duvalier in Haiti after 25 years of exile, on January 16, 2011, more than 20 lawsuits have been filed against him before the Haitian justice.

"We do not think that this (Duvalier) case and a truth commission are necessarily exclusive" Kang told AP, adding "We do believe that there is a need for a broader coming to terms with the past. And a truth commission would serve that broader purpose whereas the Duvalier case would focus specifically on the accountability of the leader of what was a very brutal period."

Ms. Kang has specified that the case Duvalier was not discussed during his meeting with President Martelly. For his part Bobby Duval, a former football player and complainant against Mr. Duvalier, declared concerning this eventual Commission for Truth "we'll take whatever we can get" adding that "It's a great idea because it will finally bring the truth out against the Duvalier regime..."

For his part Reynold Georges, one of the lawyer of Mr. Duvalier said "the statute of limitations had expired and that he opposed the creation of a truth commission [...] I totally disapprove" adding "we have our own legal system, and we're going to stick to it..."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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