Truth must not die’ with Duvalier – Amnesty International
The London-based human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, says the death of former Haitian ruler Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier must not halt the investigations and prosecutions owed to thousands of people killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and disappeared under his regime.
“The death of Jean-Claude Duvalier must not be used to brush away the crimes committed under his regime,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
Duvalier died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday.
An entire network of volunteer militia and state authorities are suspected of perpetrating human rights violations under Duvalier.
“These people too must be investigated and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecuted in fair trials.”
“This is not the final chapter in this horrific episode of Haiti’s recent history. Instead it should be a reminder that there are thousands of victims who still deserve justice, truth and reparation for the human rights violations they suffered.” In response to news of the death, Haiti’s current President Michel Martelly has spoken of reconciliation and called Jean-Claude Duvalier a “true son of Haiti”.
Despite being investigated for embezzlement charges, Duvalier was issued a diplomatic passport in 2013, and participated in several official ceremonies and events. “Whereas President Martelly could have expressed compassion for the thousands of victims of Duvalierism and participated in forging memories about the crimes committed at that time, he willingly decided to express ‘sadness’ and ’sympathy’ only for Duvalier’s family. This is a slap on the face for human rights and the victims’ struggle to justice,” Guevara said. During Duvalier’s presidency– between 1971 and 1986 – prisons and torture centres claimed the lives of hundreds of victims, according to Amnesty International.
Former Haitian ruler Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier
died Saturday October 4