Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Caricom welcomes release of Haiti’s former leader, criticizes ‘arbitrary’ detentions

Caricom welcomes release of Haiti’s former leader, criticizes ‘arbitrary’ detentions The Associated Press

July 30, 2006, 11:16 AM EDT

GEORGETOWN, Guyana–The Caribbean Community regional group has welcomed former Haitian prime minister Yvon Neptune’s release from jail but criticized the� “arbitrary” detentions of other prisoners in the troubled country, the group said in a statement.

Neptune was released from a Haitian jail Thursday, more than two years after he was arrested on charges of orchestrating the killing of opponents of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the start of a rebellion that engulfed the country.

But Neptune’s release “should not obscure the fact that a large number of persons supportive of former President Aristide arrested arbitrarily for what appeared to be political reasons under the interim administration have also been denied justice,” the 15-member group, known as Caricom, said. It did not disclose further details.

Still, the group praised Haiti’s new President Rene Preval, who took power in May, for efforts in strengthening the nation’s judicial system.

Neptune’s release came a day after the regional alliance announced plans to give Haiti US$17 million (euro13 million) as part of an international effort to aid the impoverished nation of some 8 million people.

Copyright � 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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