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U.N. official calls for Duvalier prosecution in torture, killings


This news story was published on January 31, 2012.
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(MCT) –

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations human rights arm on Tuesday expressed dismay at a proposal to try former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier for corruption instead of the more serious charges of rape, torture and killings committed under his rule.

“Very serious human rights violations, including torture, rape, and extra-judicial killings have been extensively documented by Haitian and international human rights organizations to have occurred in Haiti during the regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said in a statement.

“The High Commissioner has consistently reminded Haiti of its absolute obligation to investigate these well-documented serious human rights violations and to prosecute those responsible for them,” he added.

He was reacting to a Haitian Supreme Court prosecutor who on Monday decided that Duvalier would only face charges of corruption.

“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,” Colville added.

Duvalier ruled for 15 years before going into exile in France in 1986. He returned to Haiti last year.

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