Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

CONGRESSWOMAN WATERS URGES PRESIDENT BUSH TO TAKE ACTION TO OBTAIN THE RELEASE OF FR. JEAN-JUSTE BEFORE HE DIES IN PRISON

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release                                           Contact:  Mikael Moore

January 20, 2006                                                        (202) 225-2201

CONGRESSWOMAN WATERS URGES PRESIDENT BUSH TO TAKE ACTION

TO OBTAIN THE RELEASE OF FR. JEAN-JUSTE

BEFORE HE DIES IN PRISON

        Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) sent a letter to President Bush, urging him to take action to obtain the release of Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, a political prisoner in Haiti who is suffering from leukemia.  The letter was signed by Reps. Jan Schakowsky

(IL-09), Barbara Lee (CA-09), Joseph Crowley (NY-07), Donald Payne (NJ-10), John Conyers (MI-14), and Kendrick B. Meek (FL-17).  The text of the letter follows:

        We are deeply concerned by the continuing imprisonment of Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste in Haiti.  As you know, it has been almost six months since Fr. Jean-Juste was arrested on baseless charges, and yet he remains in prison despite his failing health.

        Medical tests have recently confirmed that Fr. Jean-Juste has leukemia.  Doctors believe his condition is treatable, but it is critical that he be released from prison so that he can obtain medical treatment.  It would be a grave injustice if this gentle priest is denied medical care and allowed to die in prison.

        We implore you to take action to seek Fr. Jean-Juste’s immediate release from prison and ensure that he is able to obtain the care he needs.  If you act quickly, you may be able to save his life.

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