Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Ask New Prosecutor to Free Remaining Political Prisoners

February 28, 2006
Half-Hour for Haiti: Ask New Prosecutor to Free Remaining Political Prisoners
Upcoming Event: International Tribunal On Haiti, March 11 in Miami.

A new Commissaire du Gouvernement (chief prosecutor), Leny Fredd’Herck has been named in Port-au-Prince. He has jurisdiction over several political prisoner cases, including the cases of  Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, (who is currently required to return to prison after treatment), Annette Auguste (“So Anne”) and Bob Moliere. He also has jurisdiction over complaints of police killings, including the cases of Jimmy Charles, Abdias Jean, and the Grande Ravine massacre that his predecessors have ignored.

Me. Leny has a good reputation and his nomination provides an opportunity for a break from his predecessors’ abuse of the justice system, but not a guarantee. He will be under significant pressure from Haiti’s Interim Government and its supporters to keep political prisoners in jail and to block prosecutions of prominent police killings. We can counter that pressure by demonstrating to Me. Leny that people all over the world care about justice in Haiti.

This Week’s Action:  Write Me. Leny to urge him to free the political prisoners and prosecute human rights cases. Sample letters in English and French are below, feel free to modify it, especially if you would like to highlight a case that is particularly important to you. You can send the letters by regular mail, or email them to avokahaiti@aol.com, and we will ensure that they are printed out and delivered.  

Me. Leny Fredd’Herck
Commissaire du Gouvernement
Ministère de la Justice
18 Avenue Charles Sumner
Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Dear Me. Leny:

I would like to congratulate you on your nomination as Commissaire du Gouvernement of the Tribunal de Premiere Instance of Port-au-Prince. I hope that your installation heralds a new era of respect for the rights of prisoners and fairness for the victims of crime.

As you know, in the last two years many people have been arrested illegally in Haiti without a warrant because of their political activities. Many political prisoners have been held in prison for long periods of time without legal justification, or beyond the time limits allowed by law. I encourage you to do everything in your power to release the political prisoners in your jurisdiction, such as Annette Auguste, Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste and Bob Moliere, by informing the appropriate juge d’instruction that your office renounces further prosecution of the cases, and by ordering the release of political prisoners in your control or who are being held illegally.

I also urge you to demonstrate that justice is possible in Haiti by pursing the complaints on behalf of people killed by police, including the cases of Jimmy Charles, Abdias Jean, Ederson Joseph and the victims of the Grande Ravine Massacre.

Please accept my best wishes, and my hopes that justice will soon be established for all Haitians.
Sincerely,
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Cher Me. Leny,

Je désire vous féliciter pour votre nomination au titre de Commissaire du Gouvernement au Tribunal de Première Instance de Port-au-Prince. J’espère que votre entrée en fonction entraînera un nouveau climat de respect envers les droits des détenus et de justice pour les victimes de crimes.

Comme vous le savez, au cours des deux dernières années en Haiti, plusieurs personnes ont été arrêtées illégalement, sans mandat, et en raison de leurs activités politiques. Plusieurs prisonniers politiques ont été emprisonnés pendant de longues périodes sans justification légale, et souvent au-delà des délais prescrits par la loi. Je vous encourage à faire tout ce qui est en votre pouvoir pour faire libérer les prisonniers politiques sous votre juridiction, tels que Annette Auguste, Père Gérard Jean-Juste et Bob Molière : le juge d’instruction qui traite leurs dossiers doit être informé que votre bureau renonce à poursuivre ces personnes, et qu’elles doivent être libérées immédiatement.

De plus, je vous enjoins de démontrer que la justice est possible en Haiti, en traitant les plaintes portées au nom de personnes tuées par la police ; je pense ici entre autres aux cas de Jimmy Charles, Abdias Jean, Ederson Joseph et des victimes du massacre de Grande Ravine.
Veuillez accepter l’expression de mes meilleurs voeux, ainsi que mes souhaits de justice pour tous les Haïtiens.

_______________________________________________________
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. To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts once per week, send an email to info@ijdh.org.

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
General Inquiries: info@ijdh.org
Media Inquiries: media@ijdh.org

Givva
Use Giving Assistant to save money and support Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti Inc.