Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Civil Society Group Calls for Duvalier Victims to Seek Justice (IJDH-BAI, English)

For Immediate Release:

Contact:
Mario Joseph, Av., Man­ag­ing Attor­ney, Bureau des Avo­cats Inter­na­tionaux (BAI), Mario@ijdh.org, 011–509-3701–9879 (Haiti)

Civil Society Group Calls for Duvalier Victims to Seek Justice (IJDH-BAI, English)

(July 20, 2011, Port-au-Prince) – Victims of Jean-Claude Duvalier’s regime established the Citizens’ Collective for Prosecuting Duvalier (Kolektif Sitwayen pou Jije Duvalier (KOSIJID)) to educate Haitian youth about the regime’s grave human rights abuses and advocate for the fair and just prosecution of Duvalier for his crimes.

Represented by the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), KOSIJID’s Director and Duvalier victim, Raymond Davius, filed a complaint against the former dictator on July 18, 2011, latching on to the criminal charges brought against Duvalier by the national prosecutor six months earlier. KOSIJID works with the BAI to encourage all other victims of the Duvalier regime to come forward to seek justice. The BAI, with the support of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, provides free legal representation to victims of the regime’s political crimes.

KOSIJID also works to educate Haiti’s youth – who make up the majority of its population and many of whom were born after the fall of the regime – of Duvalier’s crimes. Despite some twenty complaints that have been filed against him and his official house arrest, Duvalier continues to travel freely throughout the country. Duvalier’s unmitigated disregard for judicial orders undermines Haiti’s rule of law. Efficient and just prosecution is necessary to help end long-standing impunity in Haiti.

As Haiti’s “President for life” from 1971-1986, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier lead a state apparatus notorious for grave violations of human rights, including arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings. Even after his exile in Paris, Duvalier continued to spend money rightfully belonging to the Haitian state, already one of the poorest in the world.

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