The return to Haiti of Father Gerard Jean-Juste

Today, Haiti’s most beloved and respected political rights fighter and religious figure, Father Gerard Jean-Juste, returns to the country after a one and a half year convalescence in Miami. He left on January 29, 2006 after he was diagnosed with leukemia and the coup regime grudgingly allowed him to travel there for treatment.
Prior to his diagnosis, Jean Juste was one of the high-profile political prisoners jailed by the Canada/U.S./France-backed coup regime.

Attached is his announcement of his return to the country. Note the third paragraph in which he makes a sharp critique of the human rights situation prevailing in the country, including a call for the release of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. His critique amounts to a stinging rebuke of the “democracy” that the UN and the foreign powers have brought to Haiti.

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Murdering the poor: Canadian tax dollars at work

Imagine if the U.S. were to hold elections after the Republican Party had rounded up Senator John Kerry and other prominent Democrats and thrown them in jail without charges, while waging a campaign of violence and political assassinations in all “blue states.” To hold Haitian elections under present conditions would be comparable to this, according to one of the panelists at the launch of the Toronto Haiti Action Committee (THAC).

For the THAC launch event on August 4, prominent Haiti solidarity activists addressed a crowd of 80 people as Toronto joined the ranks of other Canadian cities (Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Halifax) that are home to active groups calling for an end to the repression being carried out in Haiti by an illegitimate Canadian-backed government.
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Haiti: Arbitrary arrest/prisoner of conscience: Gérard Jean-Juste

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.

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