Amnesty International demands justice for Duvalier “victims”
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Friday September 23, 2011 – Amnesty International says political will is needed from Haiti's new administration to bring former President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier to justice for human rights abuses committed under his regime.
Special Advisor Javier Zúñiga told a media conference here on Thursday that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Duvalier for the widespread arbitrary detentions, torture, deaths in custody, killings and disappearances that took place during his 1971 and 1986 rule.
As the report was being released at a media conference, dozens of pro-Duvalier supporters marched in, accusing the organization of divisiveness and lacking credibility.
The human rights group had provided Port-au-Prince's Public Prosecutor with documented evidence of human rights abuses committed during the former president’s rule, following his return to Haiti in January this year, after 25 years in exile in France.
Duvalier has been indicted by Haitian authorities for embezzlement, theft of public funds and crimes against humanity committed during his presidency.
"The cases of human rights abuses we documented in Haiti are likely to be only a small proportion of what really happened during Duvalier's rule. We will probably never know the true extent of the horror, but carrying out effective investigations will go a long way towards delivering justice," Zúñiga stated.
"Investigating crimes against humanity after Duvalier's return is not only the first step towards justice and reparation for the victims of human rights violations, but it is also a historical opportunity to start building a Haitian state that once and for all protects and upholds human rights in Haiti."