[News] Amnesty International calls for international action for Fr. Jean-Juste

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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>

Dear Friends:

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!


Bill Quigley


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 
force, CIVPOL.

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.


Prime Minister
Gérard Latortue
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
Mario Andresol
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
Thierry Fagart
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.


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
(415) 863-9977
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