Haiti - Justice : Imprisoned at 15 on a false accusation, he spent 3 years in prison without trial - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7
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Haiti - Justice : Imprisoned at 15 on a false accusation, he spent 3 years in prison without trial
28/02/2022 10:01:46

Haiti - Justice : Imprisoned at 15 on a false accusation, he spent 3 years in prison without trial
At 15, "Renel" (fictitious name to preserve anonymity) was detained without trial for 3 years, wrongly accused of having stolen two ducks from a small seller.

"One day, when I was 15, I decided to attend a festival in my town after school to have fun with my friends. Once there, a local seller that I knew by sight suddenly arrived and he started shouting at me very angry [...] Someone had stolen two ducks from him and he thought it was me. I tried to explain to him that it was a misunderstanding, but he suddenly slapped me in the face [...] and dragged me by the wrist to the police station of Les Cayes [..] After hearing the theft charges against Renel [...] They put me behind bars in a cell full of men," said "Renel".

After 3 years in detention without any trial, the case of "Renel" was taken up by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) "It was easy to see the seriousness of the case of "Renel". He had been imprisoned for a minor offense when he was still a child. He was about to spend his youth behind the bars of a cell without anyone taking care of his legal defense," said Wegbert Chery, evaluation manager at UNDP.

"I knew from experience that extended pretrial detention existed in Haiti, but this child was so incredibly vulnerable to flaws in the system that I decided to bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Bureau d'Assistance Légale (BAL) a initiative of the UNDP, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and the Haitian Ministry of Justice"

"Renel" was released several months after UNDP intervention and is now struggling to readjust to his old life.

Read also about pre-trial detention in Haiti :

HL/ S/ HaitiLibre

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