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Haiti - Duvalier : Amnesty International's concerns
25/02/2013 09:59:38

Haiti - Duvalier : Amnesty International's concerns
Following the postponement to February 28, 2013, of the hearing of the Courts of Appeal of 21 February, which was expected to examine an appeal brought by victims of human rights violations against the January 30, 2012 decision of investigating judge Jean Carvès responsible for the case of former President Jean-Claude Duvalier in his closing order, to not prosecute, for alleged violations of human rights committed during his years in power ; Amnesty International shows concerns about the possibility that former President leaves the country, after having recently received a diplomatic passport.

"Jean-Claude Duvalier cannot be beyond the reach of justice," according to Béatrice Vaugrante, an Amnesty International delegate who was present at the hearing of February 21 "The authorities in Haiti have the duty to do all they can to ensure he faces the courts for the systematic abuses that took place during his time in office. If he continues to avoid the hearing, he must be arrested," adding that "As the Public Prosecutor’s Office falls under the executive, there are risks that the court’s warrant might not be implemented."

Besides the delays and the lack of independence of the Public Prosecutor’s office, Amnesty International is concerned that the Court of Appeal does not seem to be in possession of the complete file which had been previously in the hands of the investigative judge Carvès Jean and is also expressed "worrying that the families of victims of extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances and the survivors of torture committed during Duvalier’s time in power have not yet had a chance to be heard by the Court of Appeal."

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