|Dear Friend,The return of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier to Haiti provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for justice. But we need your help to make sure that Duvalier’s victims obtain the day in court they deserve.Jean-Claude Duvalier was one of the last century’s most notorious despots. For fifteen years, from 1971-1986, he terrorized Haiti. His army and the dreaded Tonton Macoutes death squad systematically beat, imprisoned, tortured and killed Duvalier’s political opponents and anyone who challenged his thugs’ authority. He looted hundreds of millions of dollars while the Haitian people starved.The Haitian justice system is trying hard to prosecute Duvalier, but it needs help. The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and our Haitian partner, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) will provide this help. |
We know how to do these cases. For fifteen years BAI and IJDH have represented victims of large scale human rights violations in Haitian courts. Our most successful case, the Raboteau Massacre case, used the command responsibility principles that apply to Jean-Claude Duvalier to convict the top leaders of the 1991-1994 de facto dictatorship. We obtained the deportation of a Major-General, still the highest ranked officer ever deported from the U.S. on human rights grounds, and over $400,000 in compensation for the victims.
We know this case. Ira Kurzban, IJDH’s Board Chair, won a $500 million verdict against Duvalier from a U.S. Court in 1988, and BAI and IJDH lawyers have worked on cases against Duvalier over the past 15 years.
But we need your help! We have been working hard, and successfully, on our gender-based violence, IDP camp evictions, immigration advocacy, election rights, and prisons projects. In order to maintain this vital work while we take on Jean-Claude Duvalier, we need to expand our legal staff.
We are already working. The day after Jean-Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti, the BAI’s Mario Joseph promised that the office would file complaints on behalf of any Duvalier victims who needed our help. Mario did this knowing it would stretch our capacity, but trusting that our supporters would help us meet the challenge.
Please help us ensure justice for victims of Jean-Claude Duvalier’s terror. Donate today to keep BAI and IJDH on the front lines!
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Baby Doc to Justice