[News] Haiti - Jean-Juste In Solitary -- New Charges

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Mon Jul 25 11:37:27 EDT 2005

From: bill quigley
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 12:57 PM
Subject: Jean-Juste in Isolation and New Charges

"My body is in prison, but my soul is free."
     Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste from prison

      Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste is being held in isolation
in the Haitian National Penitentiary.  I tried twice
to visit but was not allowed.  Likewise his Bishop
tried to visit him but was not allowed.
     I was able to deliver his prayer book and some
clothes and send a note in to him.  He sent a note
back that included the following:
     "Avoka Bill, Thanks a lot to everyone for
everything.  I am in isolation section room I-05.  I
am really isolated but not from God.  In spirit I
remain together with you all.  Keep the food program
running.  Justice shall prevail.  God's blessings,
     The newest reported charges against Fr. Gerry are
"public denunciation" and "inciting to violence."  The
second charge is the same one that the unelected
government has had pending against the former prime
minister of Haiti, Yvon Neptune, who has been in
prison for over a year with no trial in sight.  These
charges are as groundless as the prior ones - but are
still not in writing and will probably change again.
     Attorney Mario Joseph will try to visit him face
to face this week.
     Mario and other haitian lawyers say there is no
basis at all in law for the charges against Fr.
jean-Juste. All think the government will hold him in
jail at least until after the scheduled elections in
the fall unless international pressure forces them to
act otherwise.
     Fr. Jean-Juste has been described by insiders as
"the most dangerous man in Haiti" because of his
uncompromising advoacy for the poor, for human rights,
for the release of all political prisoners and for the
return of the elected president of Haiti,
Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
     People here also thinks the "hand of the US is
behind this prosecution."
     International pressure is needed on the US, the
Haitian Minister of Justice and the UN.
     For their addresses and how Fr. Jean-Juste was
attacked at church and arrested see:

      Some are calling for protection of Fr. Jean-Juste
in prison, but that is not the right call.
      The call of people devoted to human rights and
democracy is for the IMMEDIATE RELEASE of Fr.
     Sorry about the delays in getting this information
out - but computer access is difficult and electricity
is not always on.
     Bill Quigley

[Attorney for Fr Jean-Juste, writing Sunday from Port-au-Prince]

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