Haiti authorities commit to investigation into Jean-Claude Duvalier rights violations

Jean-Claude Duvalier's is to be investigated for crimes committed during his rule    Jean-Claude Duvalier’s is to be investigated for crimes committed during his rule  © Demotix/Hudler Joseph

Haitian authorities have told Amnesty International they are launching an investigation into crimes against humanity committed during Jean-Claude Duvalier’s rule in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Amnesty International’s researcher on Haiti, Gerardo Ducos, yesterday met the country’s Prosecutor, Harycidas Auguste, and Minister of Justice, Paul Denis, to discuss the need for an investigation into the abuses committed during Duvalier’s years in power.

Ducos handed over 100 documents detailing dozens of cases of detention without trial, systematic torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions which took place in Haiti between 1971 and 1986.

“Investigating Jean-Claude Duvalier for the human rights crimes committed during his time in power is a massive step forward,” said Gerardo Ducos. “What we need to see now is a swift and impartial process, in line with international standards, that truly brings justice for those who have been waiting for too long.

“Torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions are crimes under international law and do not prescribe. Justice must be done if Haiti is to move forward.”

Amnesty International also urged the Haitian authorities to ensure that all victims and survivors of abuses committed during Duvalier’s rule – including those living outside Haiti — to have an opportunity to provide evidence in the process.

“We are also calling on the UN to offer technical support to the Haitian authorities to ensure the trial against Jean-Claude Duvalier meets the expectations of the Haitian people and the international community,” said Gerardo Ducos.

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