Amnesty International insists that Duvalier’s death must not result in impunity for the crimes committed by his brutal regime. His collaborators must be prosecuted so that the victims can have justice. Amnesty also notes the disrespect for the victims evident in President Martelly’s statements about Duvalier and lack of will to prosecute him.
Part of the press release is below. Click HERE for the full text.
Haiti: The truth must not die with Jean-Claude Duvalier
October 7, 2014
The death of former Haitian ruler Jean-Claude Duvalier must not halt the investigations and prosecutions owed to thousands of people killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and disappeared under his regime, said Amnesty International today.
“The death of Jean-Claude Duvalier must not be used to brush away the crimes committed under his regime. An entire network of volunteer militia and state authorities are also suspected of perpetrating human rights violations under Duvalier’s command. These people too must be investigated and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecuted in fair trials,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
“This is not the final chapter in this horrific episode of Haiti’s recent history. Instead it should be a reminder that there are thousands of victims who still deserve justice, truth and reparation for the human rights violations they suffered.”
In response to news of the death, Haiti’s current President Michel Martelly has spoken of reconciliation and called Jean-Claude Duvalier a “true son of Haiti”. In the past, President Martelly has hinted in several public statements at pardoning the former leader. Despite being investigated for embezzlement charges, Jean-Claude Duvalier was issued with a diplomatic passport in 2013, and participated in several official ceremonies and events.
“Whereas President Martelly could have expressed compassion for the thousands of victims of Duvalierism and participated in forging memories about the crimes committed at that time, he willingly decided to express ‘sadness’ and ’sympathy’ only for Duvalier’s family. This is a slap on the face for human rights and the victims’ struggle to justice,” said Erika Guevara.
Click HERE for the full text.