[News] Haitian political prisoner Rene Civil released!
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 14 18:39:05 EST 2007
Haitian political prisoner Rene Civil released!
Haitian political prisoner Rene Civil had a court appearance
yesterday - December 13th - where he was released from prison after
being held on phony charges for 16 months. His attorney, Mario
Joseph, had expressed optimism about the outcome of the hearing. Mr.
Civil has been detained in notoriously bad conditions in an isolated
jail far from his family after a transfer from the main penitentiary
in Port-au-Prince. His release is a tremendous victory for Haiti's
grassroots movement which has maintained a powerful, unrelenting and
visible mobilization for the release of all Haiti's political prisoners.
Rene Civil is a member of Fanmi Lavalas, and a leader of Jeunesse
Pouvoir Populaire or JPP (Youth/People's Power), a youth movement
founded after the 1991-94 coup when President Aristide returned to
Haiti. The JPP organized young people in the struggle for democracy,
mainly in the poor neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince. The JPP provided
financial support to encourage the youth to pursue their studies in
school or learn a trade, and set up centers where young people could
get a hot meal and political education.
Two days before his arrest in August 2006, Rene Civil addressed the
3rd Solidarity Encounter with the Haitian People, at the Aristide
Foundation in Port-au-Prince. He denounced the system "which causes
economic, political, military and social war on the people of the
world", and which is preventing poor nations like Haiti from
exercising their independence. "The people of Haiti," he said, "who
believe in freedom, who have tasted freedom, will never accept this
criminal, slaving system."
A Haiti Action Committee-initiated delegation was able to visit Mr.
Civil in late July 2007 in the jail where he was housed over an
hour's drive from Port-au-Prince. We saw terrible jail conditions
which included lack of clean water, adequate food, sanitation, and
health care. Mr. Civil was in poor health, but strong spirits. A
member of the delegation, Professor Akinyele Umoja of Malcolm X
Grassroots Organization, shared news of political prisoners in the
United States with him, and brought greetings from the San Francisco
Black Panther 8. Mr. Civil returned the greeting, and sent a message
of solidarity to people of Afrikan descent in the US. He expressed
his concern for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
Haiti Action Committee sends our solidarity and warmest regards to
Rene Civil and his family. Your freedom gives a boost to the work to
free all Haiti's political prisoners.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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