Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

17 January 2011

Jean-Claude Duvalier must face justice for Haiti rights violations

Jean-Claude Duvalier must face justice for Haiti rights violations

Amnesty International today urged the Haitian authorities to bring former president Jean-Claude Duvalier – also known as 'Baby Doc' – to justice for human rights abuses committed during his regime in the 1970s and 80s.

“The widespread and systematic human rights violations committed in Haiti during Duvalier’s rule amount to crimes against humanity. Haiti is under the obligation to prosecute him and anyone else responsible for such crimes," said Javier Zuñiga, Special Advisor at Amnesty International.

Jean-Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti on 16 January after nearly 25 years in exile in France. He fled Haiti in 1986 after a popular uprising which was violently repressed by the former Haitian Armed Forces and a local militia known as the “tonton macoutes”.

Throughout his 15 years in power (1971-1986) systematic torture and other ill-treatment were widespread across Haiti.

Hundreds of people "disappeared" or were executed. Members of Haiti’s armed forces and the militia National Security Volunteers – also known as the "tonton macoutes" -- played a primary role in repressing pro-democracy and human rights activists. The “tonton macoutes” were disbanded in 1986 after Jean-Claude Duvalier went into exile.

"The Haitian authorities must break the cycle of impunity that prevailed for decades in Haiti,” said Javier Zuñiga. “Failing to bring to justice those responsible will only lead to further human rights abuses.”

Issue

Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes 

Country

Haiti 

Region

Americas 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

16 October 2014

Repressive and discriminatory legislation enacted over the last 18 months in Uganda has led to increasing state repression, violence and homophobic and gender-based... Read more »

17 October 2014

Prisoner of conscience and torture victim Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo has been released from prison after five years in pre-trial detention, in a move that is welcome but... Read more »

20 October 2014

A politically motivated ban imposed on a Pakistani TV channel critical of the government constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression, said Amnesty... Read more »

20 October 2014

An Amnesty International investigation into allegations of execution-style and other deliberate killings by pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kyiv forces has found evidence... Read more »

17 October 2014

Testimonies gathered by Amnesty International indicate that Egyptian security forces used excessive force to crack down on recent student demonstrations at Alexandria... Read more »