Haiti: ‘Baby Doc’ escapes justice for past abuses

Torture technique used in the 1800s ...and the 1980s

Given the Slugger community’s interest in Haiti, I thought it worthwhile to note the regrettable decision by a Haitian court not to charge the country’s former dictator,  Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, over allegations of torture and murder.

Duvalier returned to Haiti this time last year after 25 years in exile in France. Since then, he has been under investigation for serious human rights violations – including torture, disappearances and extrajudicial executions – that took place during his rule from 1971 to 1986.  In September, Amnesty International published You cannot kill the truth: The case against Jean-Claude Duvalier (pdf), a report that revisits the organization’s previous research on widespread human rights abuses committed in Haiti in the 1970s and 1980s.

Despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary, Carves Jean, the judge responsible for investigating the case, has decided: “I did not find enough legal grounds to keep human rights charges and crimes against humanity against him. Now my job is over. The case is no longer in my hands.”

As the UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay has already noted: “The thousands of Haitians who suffered under this regime deserve justice.”

This court ruling cheats them of any such chance.

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  • carl marks

    I’m not in the least bit surprised, apart from the probability that the Judge comes from the class that would have been supporters of this thug we also should be aware of the fact that the good old U.S.A and its junior partner Britain would not want the past dragged up.
    We are now following a long tradition of letting mass murdering Bastards of with it, remember Pinochet, Amin, Noriega, Marcos, need i go on.
    After all they were all our Buddies in the war against communism and what’s wrong with torturing and killing your own people, forcing them into grinding poverty and stealing everything of value, As long he/she support’s the right of big business to make money we will support them, and my god if they go to court they might tell who sold them the cattle prods and sent ” advisors” to teach them how to handle dissent.

  • cynic2

    “‘Baby Doc’ escapes justice”

    …..you tease!!!