Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

CCR Urges International Scrutiny of Repression and Persecution of Human Rights Attorneys in Haiti

Center for Constitutional Rights 
October 5, 2012

Chief Prosecutor Fired Because He Refused to Arrest Human Rights Defender Mario Joseph, 35 Others

October 5, 2012, New York – Amid increasing threats against Mario Joseph, a prominent human rights lawyer in Haiti, a recent article in the Miami Herald reported that a Port-au-Prince Chief Prosecutor was fired because he refused to execute an order to arrest Joseph and 35 others considered government opponents. The Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

We are very alarmed at the news that Haiti’s Minister of Justice ordered the arrest of our esteemed colleague, the committed human rights lawyer Mario Joseph, and the closure of his human rights organization, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux.

The Minister’s order appears to be politically-motivated persecution of Joseph and one of his colleagues who have brought corruption complaints against the family of President Michel Martelly and other members of Haiti’s government. We agree with the concern expressed by the now-former prosecutor, Jean Renel Senatus, that the orders are “illegal” and that such action is “not democracy.”

We urge the international community to take notice of and denounce this repression against these tireless human rights defenders. We look forward to continuing to work with Mario Joseph and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux for many years to come.

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