Sit-in in front of the Ministry of Justice to demand the release of all political prisoners
On Friday, November 11, 2006, human rights and grassroots groups – GDP (Groupe defenseur des droits des prisonniers Politiques) , BAI (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux), Fondation 30 Septembre, and Kolektif Fanmy Prizonye— organized a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Justice to ask Minister René Magloire to assume his responsibilities regarding political prisoners in Haitian jails. More than 2 years after his imprisonment for political reasons, the ex-parliamentarian from the Fanmi Lavalas party, Amanus Maette, is still waiting for a decision on his appeal in the La Scierie Case. Most political prisoners, were arrested by the de facto government Gerard Latortue in the popular neighborhoods known as bastions of ex-President Jean Bertrand Aristide.
Ronald Saint-Jean, a GDP leader, said: “It is unacceptable to have political prisoners under the reign of a democratic government such as Preval/Alexis government, which the Haitian people elected in a landslide in order to free the country from the dictatorial reign that the government of Gerard Latortue with the support of the International Community wanted to impose. By their vote the Haitian people said no to injustice, yes to justice, and demanded the release of all political prisoners.”
Ketia Maette, the wife of Amanus Maette, said that her main demand is the release of her husband and all political prisoners. She declared that Amanus’children are suffering from the absence of their father. She asks President René Preval, who has the ultimate authority over all institutions in the country, to resolve the problems with the justice system.
As part of the ongoing mobilization to obtain the release of all political prisoners, another sit-in is planned for next Wednesday, November 15.
Wadner Pierre, BAI