Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012: Human Rights Court Must Hear Haiti's Victims

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Once again, Haiti's lack of understanding of the rule of law has let down its people and the course of justice.

This time, the fault lies with Investigative Magistrate Carves Jean, who recommended that former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier be tried for corruption, but not for human rights abuses that include murder and torture.

Duvalier ruled from 1971-86, when he was driven from power and into exile in France. In the wake of the chaotic aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that destroyed so much infrastructure and government in Haiti, he returned last year.

The United Nations would like to see a trial for Duvalier. But so far, there has been a disappointing silence from the United States.

While one might suppose the U.S. is interested in Haiti's self-determination on all issues, the matter of the Duvalier regime's murder and abuse of thousands of Haitians transcends that.

If anything, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be taking the lead in calling for an international tribunal on the atrocities committed by the Duvalier regime. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights should hear this.

The victims of "Baby Doc" Duvalier's thuggery deserve their day in court.

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