UN demands human rights trial for former Haiti president

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The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has expressed concern over reports from Haiti that former President Jean-Claude Duvalier may not tried for human rights violations that took place during his time in office.

OHCHR says the former President may only face charges of financial corruption.

UN Human Rights Chief ,Navi Pillay, says there was extensive documentation of human rights violations, including torture, rape, and extra-judicial killings that occurred in Haiti during the regime of Mr Duvalier.

Rupert Colville is the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights office.

"We are extremely disappointed at reports that Mr. Duvalier may not be charged with any human rights crimes, despite numerous complaints by victims to the prosecutor. Impunity for such serious crimes cannot be allowed to prevail and we urge the relevant authorities to ensure that justice is, belatedly, delivered to the many victims of human rights abuses committed under the government of Mr. Duvalier. There can be no true reconciliation and forgiveness without justice. It is clear under international law that there is no statute of limitations for such crimes.”

Jean-Claude Duvalier was the President of Haiti from 1971 until his overthrow in 1986.

He returned to Haiti in January last year after two decades in self-imposed exile in France.

Ms Pillay said the Haiti government would be failing in its duty to protect its citizens if those responsible for the violations were not brought to justice.

Duration 35″

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