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Haiti - Justice : A justice, slow and inefficient
31/10/2011 11:35:00

Haiti - Justice : A justice, slow and inefficient
The NGO Citizen Action for the Respect of Human Rights (ACREDH) denounced Friday in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that the "slowness" and the "inefficiency" of the Haitian justice maintains in jail 4.217 persons in custody, on a total of 5.600 prisoners in the country, only 1,324 were convicted of having committed a crime.

Mr. Le Cruerre, one of the directors of the organization, lamented that despite the financial and technical support from the international community, received by Haitian government, the changes necessary to improve the judicial and penal system have not been made.

"The judicial system is not effective, is extremely slow and continues to suffer from fundamental weaknesses: corruption, poor enforcement of laws and agreements..."

The cases of abuse from bodies and members of security forces, arbitrary detentions with "excessive" use of force and the prolonged detention of "alleged accused", "are not a new thing in Haiti", he laments.

Regarding the situation in prisons and police stations, "the whole system is a failure." The ACREDH found that the conditions are "degrading", there is not enough food or clean water, sanitation facilities and access to medical care is inadequate, and there are difficulties to access to health care...

"Prosecutors take several months before to present to the prisoners the causes," there are cases awaiting trial since 2009.

Mr. Le Cruerre also denounced the "complicity, the corruption and lack of effective" to conduct a proper prison policy, because among the 4,217 persons awaiting trial, most are incarcerated for minor offenses.

He also discussed the situation of children who under Haitian law should "in no case" be imprisoned, the law provides rehabilitation centers.

For his part, the Permanent Representative of Haiti to the OAS, Duly Brutus, declared that the new government has just be installed, and that there are no guidelines, but said it was aware of the "weakness" and "needs" of the Haitian justice, adding that "the establishment of the rule of law is one of the pillars of the policy of President Martelly."

Yesterday on the occasion of World Day of prisoners, Yanick Mézil, the new Minister for the Status of Women and Women's Rights together with the Dean of the Civil Court, Jocelyne Casimir, the Senator and President of the Commission justice and sécurity of Senate Youri Latortue and a representative of the Minustah visited the women's prison of Pétion-ville. The Minister has promised to intervene to ensure that prisoners who have already served their sentences can regain freedom.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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