Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Hundreds of people call for the release of hundreds of political prisoners

Port-au-Prince, March 13, 2006� (AHP)- Several hundred people including family and friends of the Haitian political prisoners held a demonstration Friday in Port-au-Prince to demand the release, before the March 29 anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution of 1987, of hundreds of Haitians� incarcerated due to their political beliefs.

Most of these detainees have been in prison since the sudden departure of President Aristide on February 29, 2004 despite the fact that no formal charges have been filed against them.

Some of the prisoners were arrested because they held office under the Aristide government. Others were imprisoned because they took part in pro-Lavalas demonstrations during demonstrations at the time of the anti-Aristide GNB campaign.

Still others, such as former Prime Minister� were incarcerated to prevent them from becoming presidential candidates, according to their families.

The demonstrators shouted slogans hostile to the transition government, accusing the regime of freeing criminals while keeping innocent people in prison.

They also denounced what they called maneuvers orchestrated by interim Prime Minister to place Haiti under international trusteeship.

They called for the arrest of Mr.� Latortue, whom they accused of having encouraged many murders during the past two years.

At the same time, protesters pursued Latortue during his visit to Ottawa and Montreal, Canada, seeking his arrest for “crimes against humanity”.

AHP� March 13, 2006 11:20 AM

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