Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Crimes Against Humanity Under Duvalier, According to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Jean-Claude Duvalier should be held accountable for crimes against humanity perpetrated in Haiti when he was the country's dictator, according to a statement issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. here are the concluding paragraphs:
41. According to the documentation available, the government of Jean-Claude Duvalier was characterized by systematic violations of human rights such as extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and torture.  Under international law, such acts constitute crimes against humanity. The prohibition of such crimes, the fact that they are not subject to any statutory limitations, the obligation to investigate and punish them, and the absolute prohibition of torture, are now part of the jus cogens.  In other words, these are imperative norms that States cannot fail to comply with.  Accordingly, amnesty for such crimes is prohibited and the State must remove all obstacles that stand in the way of its compliance with its international obligation. 40.              Haiti now has a unique opportunity.  The investigation and punishment of these crimes could become a fundamental step in strengthening the rule of law and restoring confidence in the Haitian justice system, and an example of good faith compliance with international commitments.  The Inter-American Commission is aware of the significant challenges faced by the Haitian judiciary considering the unprecedented magnitude of these crimes, the fact that they happened three decades ago, and the overall weakness of the judicial system, particularly in the difficult context of a reconstruction process.
Thanks to Bill O'Neill. 

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