[News] Amnesty International calls for international action for Fr. Jean-Juste
News at freedomarchives.org
News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 26 12:02:30 EDT 2005
DATE: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 06:23:45 -0700 (PDT)
FROM: bill quigley <duprestars at yahoo.com>
Great news! Amnesty International has designated Fr. Jean-Juste as a
Prisoner of Conscience and asked for international action to be
brought. Here is their
report and request for action.
Please follow up on their requests for action!
PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 36/008/2005
UA 195/05 Arbitrary arrest/prisoner of conscience
25 July 2005
HAITI Gérard Jean-Juste (m), aged 59, Catholic priest
Catholic priest Gérard Jean-Juste was taken into custody at a police
station "for his own protection" on 21 July, after he was assaulted, but
while he was at the police station he was accused of murder.
He was abroad at the time of the murder of which he has been accused, but
he is a prominent opponent of the government. Amnesty International
considers him a
prisoner of conscience, detained solely because he has peacefully exercised
his right to freedom of expression. He risks spending a long time in
custody awaiting trial
on apparently trumped-up charges.
Rev. Jean-Juste has been an outspoken supporter of former president
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and critic of the present government, in his
sermons and in radio broadcasts.
On 21 July he attended the funeral of journalist Jacques Roche, at a church
in the Pétionville suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince. He was assaulted
and threatened by
a mob outside the church, who said he was one of those responsible for the
violence that is sweeping the capital. He was taken to Pétionville police
station by officers from the Haitian police and the UN civilian police
None of his attackers is known to have been detained.
At the police station, officer Jean-Daniel Ulysse, from the Central Command
of the Judicial Police (Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire, DCPJ)
accused him of the murder of the journalist. Although he was supposedly
there simply for his own safety, he was locked up in a cell at the police
station with another 43 detainees. The following day he was transferred to
the National Penitentiary, where he is in solitary confinement. According
to his lawyer, he has reportedly been charged with the murder of Jacques
Roche. However, Rev. Jean-Juste and his lawyers were not shown an arrest
warrant or any other official statement of the charges. He is one of dozens
of Aristide supporters who have been arbitrarily detained in this way.
Journalist Jacques Roche was kidnapped on 10 July, and murdered when the
full ransom demanded was not paid. Rev. Jean-Juste was in the United Sates
at the time,
returning from Miami on 15 July.
Rev. Jean-Juste has been a target for government repression for some time.
On 13 October 2004, he was arrested by police without a warrant at his
church, Saint Claire's, in Port-au-Prince. A warrant issued on 18 October
accused him of plotting against the internal security of the state. He
was released on 29 November, after
six weeks in custody. When he flew in from Miami on 15 July, he was stopped
at Port-au-Prince airport, searched and questioned. He was ordered to
present himself to the judicial police on 18 July, and two days later he
was questioned by the investigating magistrate, regarding the accusation
leading to his October arrest.
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted on 29 February 2004, after an
armed rebellion led by former military officers took control of the whole
country. The same day, a US-led multinational force was deployed in Haiti,
authorized by the UN Security Council. An interim government was put in
place in early March with Gérard Latortue sworn in as Prime Minister. In
June 2004, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was sent to
assist the interim government in securing the country, reforming the
national police and protecting human rights. Since October 2004, the
violence has escalated, particularly in the capital, where armed gangs,
some of which allegedly have political affiliations to Aristide's party,
are responsible for numerous killings and grave human rights abuses.
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in French, English or
your own language:
* expressing concern at the arrest and detention without formal charges
of Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste;
* pointing out that he appears to be a prisoner of conscience, detained
solely for the legitimate expression of his opinions, and urging the
authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally;
* calling on the authorities to put an end to the arbitrary detentions
that are prevalent throughout Haiti.
Ministère de l'Intérieure, Villa d=Accueil, Delmas 60
Musseau, Port-au-Prince, HAITI (W.I.)
Fax: +509 298 3901
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Ministre/Dear Prime Minister
Minister of Justice and Public Security
Me. Henri Dorléans
Ministère de la Justice
19 Ave. Charles Sumner, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)
Fax: +509 245 0474
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Mr. Dorléans
General Director of the Haiti National Police
Directeur Général de la Police Nationale d'Haïti
Grand Quartier Générale la Police
12 rue Oscar Pacot, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)
Fax: +509 245 7374
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Mr. Andresol
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General
Juan Gabriel Valdés
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
385, Ave. John Brown, Bourdon, B.P. 557,
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)
Fax: +509 244 3512
Salutation: Monsieur le Représentant spécial/Dear
Special Representative Valdés
Head of Human Rights Division
Human Rights Division, MINUSTAH
385, Ave. John Brown, Bourdon, B.P. 557
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)
Fax: +509 244 9366
+509 244 9367
and to diplomatic representatives of Haiti accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.
Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if
sending appeals after 5 September 2005.
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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