Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

A Dangerous Precedent: Why Haiti Must Try Jean Claude Duvalier for Human Rights Abuses

The Other Side of Paradise By Kevin Edmonds The recent announcement by Judge Carves Jean that former Haitian dictator Jean Claude Duvalier will stand trial for corruption charges related to his embezzling of millions of dollars, but not for his role in the murder, disappearance and torture of thousands during his presidency has sparked outrage throughout Haiti and from human rights advocates across the world. Without question the announcement sends the wrong message to a nation looking to rebuild and restore confidence not only in its public institutions, but also to demonstrate that the rule of law does indeed stand for something, signalling that no individual is beyond justice—no matter how powerful. If Haiti is to move forward, and have a chance to overcome the injustices of history, the prosecution of Duvalier for the many horrific human rights abuses against the Haitian […]

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