Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti: Fr. Jean-Juste Medical Emergency

December 13, 2005

Half-Hour for Haiti : Fr. Jean-Juste Medical Emergency

Thanks to everyone who responded to our evaluation request. We got lots of good advice on improving the alerts. Knowing that so many dedicated people think we are on the right track.keeps us going. Please continue to send your ideas.

Many respondents wanted to see more criticism of the U.S. government and its policy in Haiti. So:

This weeks’action targets the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. It was issued by Professor Bill Quigley of Loyola University New Orleans Law School, who has been representing Fr. Jean-Juste. Dr. John Carroll recently examined Fr. Jean-Juste, and issued a medical report warning that he may have an extremely serious health problem, and needs a full examination immediately. Bill is asking everyone to contact the U.S. Embassy and demand that the Embassy do everything in its power to free Fr. Jean-Juste.

Bill is in Haiti right now, to see Fr. Jean-Juste and to talk to U.S. officials about the case. A lot of telephone calls and faxes right now would make a big difference.

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Fr. Jean-Juste Must Be Released Immediately:
Diagnosed with Life-Threatening Medical Problems

By Bill Quigley.  Bill, a professor at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, is a volunteer lawyer for Pere Jean-Juste with the Institute for Justice and Democracy (www.ijdh.org) assisting Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Advocats Internationaux. He
can be reached at duprestars@yahoo.com.

[Please forward as widely as possible]

There is new urgency to the calls for the freedom of Haitian political prisoner Pere Jean-Juste, he is now facing very serious medical problems.

Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, sometimes called the Martin Luther King Jr of Haiti for his outspoken advocacy for the poor, for human rights, and for democracy, has been in jail in Haiti without charges since July 21. He was arrested after being attacked by a mob in a church – none of the mob were charged.

Amnesty International, Human Rights First, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and experts from the UN Commission on Human Rights have
called for his release and the release of all political prisoners in Haiti.  People in the poorer areas of Haiti and others across the world have campaigned and demonstrated for Fr. Jean-Juste’s release.

Unelected Haitian authorities, who took and have held power unconstitutionally after democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide was forced out, have resisted national and international calls for the release of Fr. Jean-Juste.  The unelected appear to want to keep Fr. Jean-Juste and others in jail without trial until at least until after the
oft-postponed and highly controversial Haitian elections are concluded.

The first public medical report on Fr. Jean-Juste has just been released.  US physician Dr. John Carroll MD examined Pere Jean-Juste in September and again in December. The full report is attached.  To summarize, Dr. Carroll, board certified in internal medicine, observed increased swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck and under the arms, intermittent hearing loss, and elevated white blood counts. Dr. Carroll concluded that “causes for these findings are numerous including hematological [blood] cancers, metastatic [spreading] cancer, and a host of infectious diseases.”

Dr. Carroll says “Fr. Jean-Juste needs an extensive medical workup, CAT scan, and surgical biopsy…and to begin appropriate treatment immediately.  Many cancers of the blood have a good prognosis when treated early by specialists.”  Note the word immediately.

Contact the US Embassy in Haiti and demand they take every step necessary to secure the immediate release of Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste.  The unelected government of Haiti serves only at the pleasure of the US.   If the US wants Fr. Jean-Juste freed, he will be
free.

You can call the US Embassy in Haiti through the switchboard at 011.509.222.0200 or fax them at 011.509.223.9038 or 011.509.223.1641.  You can email human rights officers Dana Banks or Kevin Higgins at banksd@state.gov and higginshkp@state.gov.

Fr. Jean-Juste advises people interested in justice in Haiti that no matter the setbacks “keep up the struggle, freedom is coming!”   Recently he told disheartened Haitians and those in solidarity with him, “Don’t cry too much, there’s work to do.  Let’s do it.”

This is urgent. Haiti does not need another martyr for democracy and human rights.  Let’s do it.

Attachment:
Medical Report on Fr. Jean-Juste

John A. Carroll, M.D.
Medical Exam of Father Gerard Jean-Juste
Date of Exam: 12-1-05

I had the opportunity to examine Father Gerard Jean-Juste in September, 2005 and again on December 1, 2005 in the Pacot penitentiary annex where Father is imprisoned. Father’s chief complaints are neck pain and back pain. Father complains of intermittent hearing difficulty which he blames on the swelling in his neck. His past history includes
hypertension.

Medications: none.

Physical exam (related to chief complaints and positive findings) reveal the following:

Neck: Multiple enlarged lymph nodes that are mobile and have a rubbery consistency. The nodes are bilateral (both sides of the neck), in the anterior and posterior triangles, and above the clavicles (collarbones). The nodes are nontender and are not draining.

Axillary regions (armpits): Very enlarged 10 centimeter nodes in both axillary regions with same consistency as above.

Back: Mild tenderness on percussion over thoracic spine.

Labs and Chest X Ray: Complete Blood Count (CBC) drawn on 11/3/2005 revealed an abnormal increased percentage of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). A chest x ray was performed in November, however Father has no access to this and thus I could not review it.

Assessment: Father Jean-Juste has massive lymphadenopathy in the cervical and axillary regions along with an abnormal complete blood count. The lymph nodes have increased in size since my exam in September, 2005. Causes for these findings are numerous including hematologic cancers, metastacic cancer, and a host of infectious diseases.

Plan: Father Jean-Juste needs an extensive medical work up, CAT scan, and surgical biopsy of the cervical and/or axillary lymph nodes to determine their etiology (cause) and to begin appropriate treatment immediately. Many cancers of the blood have a good
prognosis when treated early by specialists.

John A. Carroll, M.D.

Qualifications:

The Chicago Medical School, 1980, M.D.
Board Certified Internal Medicine
Associate Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine and Surgery, University of Illinois School of Medicine Peoria, 1989-2001
Emergency Department Attending Physician Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, Illinois, 1989-2001
Founder and Medical Director of Haitian Hearts

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For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti or human rights in Haiti, see www.ijdh.org. For more information about Fr. Jean-Juste’s case, see Persecution of Rev Gerard-Jean Juste and http://www.freejeanjuste.com/.

 

 

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury St
Boston, MA

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
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