By, Amnesty International
Sep 23, 2011
Jean-Claude Duvalier’s lawyers and a dozen of his supporters tried to gag Amnesty International and Haitian journalists during the presentation of the organization’s report ‘You cannot kill the truth’: The case against Jean-Claude Duvalier, on 22 September in Port au- Prince.
The press conference organized by Amnesty International was interrupted several times and took place in a tense atmosphere with Duvalier’s supporters refusing to enter into a genuine dialogue with the organization’s delegates once the event had finished.
The journalists who were present at the press conference were prevented from carrying out their work in acceptable conditions and the victims of Duvalier who were present were intimidated and harassed by the supporters of the former dictator; most felt forced to leave the room due to fear for their security.
Amnesty International deplores these events which the organization considers to be an attack on freedom of expression and assembly. This type of pressure and intimidation which has been exerted on victims and the judicial authorities since the start of the criminal investigation against Jean-Claude Duvalier is totally unacceptable.
Amnesty International calls on supporters of Jean-Claude Duvalier and the persons supposedly representing him to respect the rights of those who are demanding justice and the end of impunity in Haiti.
Amnesty International has denounced human rights violations throughout the Duvalier regime and will continue to do so until victims obtain justice and reparation. The organization reminds the Haitian government of its obligations under international law to lead a serious investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity perpetrated in Haiti under Jean-Claude Duvalier and bring those responsible to justice.