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Haiti: Authorities commit to investigate Baby Doc human rights violations

Spokespeople available in Haiti and London

Haitian authorities have told Amnesty International they are launching an investigation into crimes against humanity committed during Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s rule in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Amnesty International’s researcher on Haiti, Gerardo Ducos, yesterday met the country’s Prosecutor, Harycidas Auguste, and Minister of Justice, Paul Denis, to discuss the need for an investigation into the abuses committed during Duvalier’s years in power.

Ducos handed over 100 documents detailing dozens of cases of detention without trial, systematic torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions which took place in Haiti between 1971 and 1986.

Gerardo Ducos, said:

“Investigating Jean Claude Duvalier for the human rights crimes committed during his time in power is a massive step forward.

“What we need to see now is a swift and impartial process, in line with international standards, that truly brings justice for those who have been waiting for too long.

“Torture, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution are crimes under international law. Justice must be done if Haiti is to move forward.”

Amnesty International also urged the Haitian authorities to ensure that all victims and survivors of abuses committed during Duvalier’s rule - including those living outside Haiti - have an opportunity to provide evidence in the process.

Gerardo Ducos added:

“We are also calling on the UN to offer technical support to the Haitian authorities to ensure the trial against Jean Claude Duvalier meets the expectations of the Haitian people and the international community.”

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