Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Spouses of Political Prisoners Call for the Release of Their Husbands and for In-Depth Reform of the Haitian Judicial System

Port-au-Prince, May 25, 2006 (AHP)- Spouses of political prisoners on Thursday once again denounced the illegal and arbitrary imprisonment of their husbands, who have been held for more than two years due to their political opinions.

They denounced the fact that organizations supposedly existing to defend human rights pointed a finger at their husbands because, they said, the leadership of those organizations was politically opposed to the politics of their husbands.

The wife of Jacques Mathelier,� former government delegate in Les Cayes (for the South department), explained that her husband is still behind bars because of his political beliefs and because he fought corruption and drug-trafficking in his region.

In her view, the country has been so close to anarchy over the past two years “because the people was husband was tracking because of suspected corruption and waste are now holding high positions in the judicial system”.

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“It is impossible to say what crime my husband as well as the other political prisoners are guilty of committing,” said �Mme Mathelier, singling out the Group of 184 for criticism. The umbrella group of political organizations led the anti- Aristide campaign.

Mme. Mathelier invited the new government to focus rapidly on the fate of the political prisoners with a view to their release.

The wife of Yvon Antoine, better known as Yvon Zapzap,� deplored the arbitrary arrest of her husband.

The people who have been in power for the past two years are sadists, she said, because they do not hesitate to attack or kill even their own political allies when their interests are at stake.� She was referring in particular to the leader of the demobilized soldiers, Remicinthe Ravix, who had taken up arms during the large GNB campaign and who was killed when he became a problem.

Mme. Antoine appealed for the release of all the political prisoners and for an in-depth reform of the Haitian judicial system.

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