Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Parliamentarians denounce sub-human conditions facing detainees incarcerated in Port-au-Prince’s prisons, AHP, July 6, 2006

Parliamentarians denounce sub-human conditions facing detainees incarcerated in Port-au-Prince’s prisons

Port-au-Prince, 6 July 2006 (AHP) – The Chamber of Deputies’ Commission on Public Justice and Security denounced on Thursday the conditions of��those being held in Port-au-Prince’s National Penitentiary and its annex��located in the Pacot quarter of the city.

Following a visit on Wednesday to the detention centers, the Vice-President of the Commission, Deputy Emmanuel Fritz G�rald��Bourjolly, judged the conditions facing the prisoners intolerable.

The conditions are sub-human given that most detainees haven’ t appeared before a judge, must go to the toilet in the same rooms where they eat��and are left for days without being able to wash.

The investigative arms of the courts have waited up to 10 or 11 months just to return an ordinance contrary to the prescribed law fixing the deadline at 3 months, he��stated.

Mr. Bourjolly called on the judicial authorities to assume their responsibilities in order to process the files of all detainees while at the same time suggesting that Haitian authorities build more prisons throughout the country.

For his part, Deputy Sorel Fran�ois drew particular attention to the physical state of the former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune,��incarcerated for more than 24 months by the interim authorities for an alleged massacre that is said to have taken place at la Scierie in the locality of St-Marc (27 km north of the capital).

According to Sorel Fran�ois, Mr. Neptune�s case is extremely�preoccupying and that as a result there is no more time for delay.

He said that for political abuses political solutions must be found. He therefore called on President Ren� Pr�val to make a political�decision to free all political prisoners since it was a matter of citizens who were arrested simply for being political adversaries [of the previous government].

The parliamentarian let it be known that steps were being taken to approach a number of international organizations so that they could intervene in the cases of certain special prisoners.

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