[News] Urgent - Father Jean Juste arrested, charged with murder

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 22 08:22:55 EDT 2005

Haiti Action Committee

This morning, Father Gerard Jean Juste went to St. Pierre Church in 
Petionville. He was part of a group of priests who were participating in 
the funeral service of well-known journalist and kidnap victim Jacques Roches.

While attending the service he was verbally and physically assaulted by 
members of the pro-coup Group 184.  His attorney, Bill Quigly, who was with 
him at the time, said "they shoved him, spit on him, and cursed him. He was 
assaulted in the church while in full priest clothing."

Police then removed him from the service, ostensibly for his own 
protection. He was held and intermittantly interrogated in the police 
station in Petionville for twelve hours. He was then placed in prison for 
alleged involvement in the murder of Jacques Roche.

We have very little information at this point regarding his well being and 
legal status.  It is clear, though, that this latest attack on Father Jean 
Juste is an attempt by the coup regime and their patrons to accomplish the 
following objectives:

    * To silence one of Haiti‚s most outspoken, influential and popular 
progressive leaders prior to the sham elections.

2.   To further justify the massive systematic repression of Haiti’s poor by
scapegoating Lavalas for the kidnapping and murder of Jacques Roche.

       3.   To divert national and international attention away from the 
July 6 massacre by
UN troops in Cite Soleil, as well as the ongoing human rights abuses 
perpetrated by the Haitian police and UN forces.

Now more than ever, Father Jean Juste and the Haitian people need
international support.

PLEASE FAX, CALL E-MAIL the following authorities and demand that they
respect the life and liberty of Father Gerard Jean Juste.  Demand his 
immediate release from prison.

Condoleeza Rice

State Department Main Switchboard : 202-647-4000
To send an email message to the Secretary of State go to:

James B. Foley

Ambassador to Haiti
phone: 011-509-222-0200, 222-0354, 222-0269, 222-0327
fax: 011-509-223-9038

Juan Gabriel Valdes

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Haiti
phone: 011-509-244-9650 or 9660
fax 011-509 244 3512.

David Beer

Commissioner of CIVPOL the UN Civilian Police in Haiti
phone: 011-509-525-5279
email: beer at un.org
fax: 011-509-244-9366.

UN Human rights officers:
Mahamane Cissé-Gouro - cisse-gouro at un.org 011-509-403-4012
Thierry Fagart - <mailto:fagart at un.org>fagart at un.org

For more information, contact:
Haiti Action Committee (510)483-7481 or haitiaction at yahoo.com

Father Jean Juste has been arrested, charged with the murder of Jacques Roche*.

A close mutual friend, who spoke to Father Jean Juste after he had been 
accused and put under arrest and before his transport to prison just told me:

"I think this time they are about to kill him. Today I talked to him 20 to 
30 times, ever since he was taken out of the Church by the police. I called 
him from 10:00 am until I think probably like 10:00 or so tonight. The last 
time I talked to him, he had just come out of the interrogation. He said he 
couldn't believe it. They were charging him with the killing Jacques Roche. 
Roche was killed by his kidnappers on July 14, 2005. When he was killed, 
father Jean Juste was in Miami to lead a demonstration against the Coup 
D'etat at the Brazilian Embassy in Miami. And you know the history of how 
Jacques Roche got killed. Jack Roche was killed by his kidnappers. His own 
negotiator, the one who was trying to get Roche released said that group 
184 was complicit in the death because Roche worked for them and they 
wouldn't help with the ransom. According to news reports, Roche's family 
and work colleagues tried but couldn't raise the $250,000, just $10,000, 
and he was murdered. How can they blame that on father Jean Juste? This is 
such a big lie. It's incredible. This time they will kill him while he is 
in jail. We need to mobilize more now, seriously. Father Jean Juste was 
also saddled with a second charge, he was accused of "not returning State 

As I was about to write this horrible news to the network list, I found two 
new e-mails in my box on the matter.

One from an anonymous writer. I truly think, the man is either CIA or some 
sort of intelligence agent, or, a group 184 Coup D'etat person. That's not 
based on any real fact. Just the nature of our correspondences to date. 
Either way, my guess is, this guy may be very close to what's going on with 
MINUSTHA, the U.S. Embassy, upper echelon of the morally repugnant elites 
and the Haiti's Coup D'etat regime. You judge. Here is what he wrote to me 
(Thu, 21 Jul 2005 18:18:01 -0700 (PDT)) This will be the Coup D’etat spin 
about why Pere Jean Juste was arrested. Below I forward the full text that 
this anonymous writer wrote me this evening in glee:

"This afternoon Jean-Juste was formally arrested in Petion-Ville.

He attempted to disrupt the funeral services of Jacques Roche who was 
kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the Lavalasse gangs.

Contrary to church rules, Jean-Juste presented himself at he church and 
decided he would officiate the ceremony. The thousands of people who were 
attending the ceremony were revolted and the police had to take Jean-Juste 
away to a nearby station for his protection.

Late this afternoon he as placed under arrest.

What is Bill Quigley's version of the story?"

So that the deal folks.

We've got work to do!!!!!  Here is the second e-mail. It is from a great 
friend of Haiti. Jack Leiberman wrote:

"I have just gotten off the phone with Bill Quigley. Father Jean-Juste is 
under arrest and is charged with "participation in the murder of Jacques 
Roche." A second charge will probably be "failure to return state 
property". According to the Haitian police, Father Jean-Juste was given 
guns for security by the Aristide government that have never been returned 
to the government. This second charge might be the one that they hope will 
stick since the first charge is totally absurd.  If you wish to call me I 
can be reached at.....
The Internet is down at St. Claire Church so Bill will probably not be able 
to send an email on this until tomorrow.

Best Regards,
Jack Lieberman"

Action Requested. Demand the immediate release of father Gerald Jean 
Juste.Ask UN to stop the continuous police harassment of father Jean Juste, 
to safeguard his life and release him from prison immediately.

Write, fax, call UN authorities, who just recently expanded (UN Security
Council Res. 1698) their authority in Haiti and now supervise and control the
Haitian police, ask the UN to stop the officially sanctioned harassement of
father Jean Juste and that he be released from the police custody
immediately. (MINUSTHA and other contact info is on our website:

Thank you.

Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
July 21, 2005

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(415) 863-9977
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