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

    January 21, 2011

    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,” said Gerardo Ducos.

    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.

    Note to Editors
    Gerardo Ducos will be available for interviews today between 9.30 and 11:00 am Local Time (one hour behind) at Hotel Le Plaza, Salle Therese 2, 10 Rue Capois, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Amnesty International’s Senior Advisor and Haiti expert, Javier Zuñiga, is available for interviews and analysis in London.

    In Port-au-Prince: Carolina Roman, +509 3784 4619.

    In London: Josefina Salomon, +44 7778 472 116, jsalomon@amnesty.org

    In Toronto: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, 416-363-9933 ext 332

    Beth Berton-Hunter,
    Media Relations,
    Amnesty International Canada
    416-363-9933, ext. 332

    In Port-au-Prince: Carolina Roman, +509 3784 4619.

    In London: Josefina Salomon, +44 7778 472 116, jsalomon@amnesty.org

    Amnesty International’s Senior Advisor and Haiti expert, Javier Zuñiga, is available for interviews and analysis in London.

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