14, 2006/Bwa Kayiman 2006 - The
Day Sò Ann Was Liberated
Release of All the Other (over 3000) Political Prisoners in Haiti
Letter of Prisoner Annette August (Sò Ann) To all Authorities
Concerned. Jan. 29, 2005 (in English & French)
Auguste, known as Sò Anne (Sister Anne) to her millions
of fans both in Haiti and the U.S., is led to her arraignment
May 13 while demonstrators protest nearby demanding her
release. Sò Anne, who returned to Haiti in 1994 when
President Aristide returned to office after the first coup
against him, had lived for over 20 years in New York City.
There she organized huge rallies urging Aristide's return,
once drawing an audience of 25,000 to a rally in Central
Photo: ©2004 Haiti Information Project
So Ann is finally RELEASED
from prison in Haiti
So Ann (Annette August) who has been in prison for over
two years (since May 10, 2004) is in the process of being RELEASED.
Apparently the Haitian police are escorting her home as I write
this (8:21pm) This is the latest information we've received from
Haiti. We are on the phone with Haiti righ now. Our Haiti contact
was at the Palè Jistis, at a hearing where So Ann, along
with others, including Yvon Zap Zap, Paul Raymond, and George
Honore have had their cases examined by the judicial authorities.
The hearing has been going on most of the day. According to our
Haiti contact, who knows that HLLN was the first to report and
write about So Ann's
arrest and has been very anxious to see her release, the Haitian
judge in charge has found that there is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever
to hold So Ann in
report on the arrest of Sò Ann and the May
12, 2004 Urgent Action Alert: Defenseless Haitian Children hooded
and manacled (ala Iraqi prisoner/terrorists treatment) by US Marines
in the dead of night in
Haiti and See
Conspiracy of Not, by Ezili Danto, May 13, 2004
According to all the inquiries and investigations presented by
the prosecuting folks in Haiti, the determination is that there
was no legal reason for So Ann to have been put in jail in the
first place. For instance, our Haiti contact explains that no
one showed up to testify against these defendants. For example,
our contact who was in the courtroom reports that Charles Henri
Baker was one of the folks who had filed a complaint against So
Ann for the Dec. 5, 2003 University incident. Apparently all those
who signed complaints against So Ann, including Charles Henri
Baker, and all those who filed complaints for the other three
in court today, simply did not show up
in court to prove their claims when their names where called up
and allegations read.
Apparently Haitian defense attorney Mario Joseph was well prepared
and showed medical records to show where So Ann was on December
5, 2003 and other evidence that exonerated all the wrongfully
and illegally held detainees. According to our latest report,
the only folks who showed up in court where the supporters of
the detainees. Again, none of the folks who signed complaints
against So Ann and the others showed up to litigate their claims.
After hearing all of Mario Joseph evidence, the government prosecutor
(Commissaire Gouvernment) asked that So Ann and all the prisoners
be immediately released to go to their homes and be with their
Our Haiti contact's understanding is that the prisoners will go
to their homes directly and not back to prison to be processed
out. Apparently the necessary documents have been all signed.
Tomorrow apparently is Yvon Zap Zap's wife's birthday and many
Haitian folks are finally starting to feel today was a good day
Stay tuned for further HLLN details on this developing story.
friends know a glimmer of hope came through today for Haitian
Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
August 14, 2006, 8:21 p.m.
HLLN BACKGROUND INFORMATION
from Jail, Annette (Sò Ann) Auguste May 10, 2005
Action Alert/Campaign One: Stop U.S. military and brutal political
repression of unarmed Lavalas civilians and systematic de-mobilization
of the mass electorate by big U.S. and Haitian business and their
Western militray forces in Haiti, May 13, 2004
Haitian Children hooded and manacled (ala Iraqi prisoner/terrorists
treatment) by US Marines in the dead of night in
Haiti by Marguerite Laurent
of Not May 13, 2004 by
4 . See
article on the Mother's Day midnight "show of force"
in Haiti by U.S.
soldiers reported to be terrorizing our poor neighborhoods in
letting the rich, armed and ever sadistic Ninjas, the Guy Philippe
bands, run free. http://www.sfbayview.com/051204/soanne051204.shtml
5 . Statement
from prison of Annette (Sò Ann) August, Haitian folksinger
and champion of the poor, May 23, 2004 (in English & Kreyol)
Letter of Prisoner Annette August (Sò Ann) To all Authorities
Concerned. Jan. 29, 2005 (in English & French)
Bwa Kayiman 2006 - The Day So Ann Was Liberated
The artist in me wonders Is this a cosmic message or simple coincidence?
Today, we were the first to report So Ann's release because we
bowed down to
the magic of today in Haitian history. By chance, HLLN was in
the right place, at the right time in Haiti and understood So
Ann's release would come today and released the info even before
many close to her knew it was imminent. Our meditations and prayers
have been answered and we are humbled. Hurray! "Ezili ohh,
Ezili sa a...si pa te Bondye nou tout ta neye....!!!"
That's Sò Ann's song, blasting from the stereo as I write
this piece. Check
out her CD. Yeah, yeah yeah! For some unkown reason, I played
that Ezili cut
on Sò Ann's CD all this Bwa Kayiman weekend... for
every HLLN/Ezili Dantò
interview and presentation!.
Anne and her choir
Then, lo and behold, we get the
miracle. Lo and behold, August 14, 2006 on Ezili Dantò
day, our beloved So Ann is released. I
am a poet who hasn't been able to write anything remotely
poetic since this darn coup d'etat started. Now I am beginning
to feel something writing itself, begining to feel imaginative
again. Thank you Ezili! Thank you Sò Ann!
By now you all know
August 14, 1791 began the Haitian Revolution at Bwa Kayiman, right!
That Sò Ann is released, after 27-months in prison, on
August 14, 2006 couldn't be of any greater significance. The liberated
female energy that began the Haitian revolution was not contained
this August 14, 2006! Chapo ba So Ann, chapo ba fanm lakay-nou,
fanm zantray nou. Nou salye Mamman Ayiti. San ou se san nou. Chèn
sa pap janm kase! Sa se vre.
PS. I apologize in advance. I may not be able to stop myself making
all sorts of associations. Either way, you all know you may just
NEVER hear the last of this from me. Yeah! On the sacred day of
August 14, 2006, an innocent Haitian artist, a well known folksinger,
a revered grandmother, is home with her children and family after
27 months of illegal and tortuous imprisonment.
It's not justice. No. This is a long way from justice. But it's
progress we didn't have yesterday. It's progress I'm feeling deep
in my soul.
Thank you to all of you who have hung in there pushing for So
all this time. Thank you so very much.
August 14, 2006
("She moves not by might, nor power but by spirit!")
sa pap janm kase!: Ezili Dantò Performance ritual ending
Kayiman celebrations (in Kreyol)
Danto's Note to the HLL Network on August 15, 2006:
Thank you to all of you who have written, sharing in HLLN’s
happiness for the release of So Ann. Sharing in the pleasure of
Haitian women like Madanm Yvon Zap Zap, Madanm Paul Raymond, Madanm
Jacques Mathelier and all the Haitian wifes, mothers, sisters,
daughters, aunts and grandmothers who have stood outside the prisons,
day in and day out for over two years in Haiti, some like Madanm
Yvon Zap Zap with a megaphone in their mouths yelling away their
pain, grief and feelings of alienation. Thank you all for supporting
these women and the men -Haitian brothers, uncles, husbands and
fathers who have fought this fight. The Haitian Lawyers Leadership
cannot thank everyone directly, but we thank our people on the
ground in Haiti. We thank Jean Ristil and all the others whose
names, for safety purposes, cannot be revealed.
Thank you everyone on the Ezili Danto Listserve for circulating
HLLN's work and being gracious enough to read our work.
We thank all of you who have written to shout hurray! and celebrate
that So Ann was released. We can't name all of you. But we thank
Hazel Robinson, John Maxwell, Mike Levy, George Hamilton, Ivan
in California, Harriette Ternipsede, Euchariste Pierre, Georgette
Delinois, Leonard Celestin, Nadege Volcy, Janie LaFleur, Lavarice
Gaudin, Christian Heynes, Peter Barus, Amelia Vidas and Rudy Barthelemy.......and
all of you who have written letters and called Haitian radio these
last two yours.
The work continues, over 3,000 political prisoners remain in prison.
But thank you all for your feedback, last night and this morning.
It means the world to us.
To all those Haitians whose names I've not and cannot mention,
I know you're reading this: thank you for always being there to
blunt the incessant blows, coup d'etat hostilities, fearmongering
and oppressive compliances of the authoritarian followers.
Below I share this one feedback (in Kreyol) from Rudy Barthelemy.
Thank you all for hanging in there with Ezili's Haitian Lawyers
Leadership Network (HLLN). We are grateful to have your respect.
We are appreciative of all your support these last two interminable
years since February 29, 2004.
Here's the sample of two e-mails HLLN got in response to our post
last night, "Bwa
Kayiman 2006-The Day So Ann was Liberated!"
August 14, 2006 on Ezili Dantò day (August 14, 1791 begin
the Haitian Revolution at Bwa K ayiman) our beloved So Ann is
released. The liberated female energy that began the Haitian revolution
was not contained this August 14, 2006! Cha po ba So Ann, fanm
zantray nou. Chapo ba Ti Do. HLLN salye rasin nou jodi sa 14 Out
2006 ki se fèt Bwa Kayiman! Nou salye Ezili!
Mr. Barthelemy wrote:
Jodi a kè m kontan tou!
Mèsi anpil pou tout sa w fè
Sa w di ak sa w ekri!
Ou merite yon gwo mèsi nan men nou tout pèp la.
Se pa pou granmesi jodi a,
Si w resi gen yon ti kè kontan satisfaksyon
nan lokazyon liberasyon Sò Àn.
Ou merite sa wi!
Paske ou gen lontan vre kè w pa kontan
Nou gen lontan tou kè nou pa kontan,
Men jodi a, malgre sa poko fini toujou,
nou pran tit tan sa a
Pou di w Mèsi.
Siw pa t la,
Nou ta kab febli deja.
Ayibobo pou ou ak tout Sò Àn!
Nou pa p pèdi sa! "
From: "Amalia Vidas"
Subject: re: thankyous
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 20:33:00 -0700
A good reason to celebrate, indeed!
Thank you for sharing the good news
about So-Ann and the other defendants.
(Would that) all the political prisoners be freed soon.
And thank you for your poetry,
MORE VISCERALLY HAITIAN:
Released Not by Might, Nor Power, but by Spirit
The release of Sò Ann, Yvon Zap Zap Antoine, Georges Honore
and Paul Raymond on August 14, 2006 were different than the releases
of Father Jean Juste and Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. It was more
viscerally Haitian. More satisfying to the Haitian commonfolk
for several reasons.
There was no pretense that the law had anything to do with these
commonfolks' imprisonment. No conditional releases as in the case
of Father Jean Juste, or, "for humanitarian reasons"
as in the case of Prime Minister Neptune. And more critically,
the Internationals, unlike in the cases of Yvon Neptune and Father
Jean Juste where fairly non-shows at the proceedings. In contrast,
MINUSTHA took Father Jean Juste to the airport and Minister Neptune
to the hospital. But MINUSTHA did not take Sò Ann home,
the Haitian police did. Perhaps MINUSTHA was embarrassed that
it was the US Marines that had arbitrarily arrested So Ann in
the first place and didn't want the embarrassment of a public
record/photo of their escorting So Ann and the other three released
Lavalas activists from prison. Or, perhaps these prisoners simply
didn't rank in the eyes of the Internationals.
Either way, the most important difference was that, in contrast
to the release of father Jean Juste and Yvon Neptune, Sò
Ann and the others were released DIRECTLY from the courthouse.
There was no US Embassy and other International envoy visibly
present, as in the cases of Father Jean Juste and Yvon Neptune
appearing to be pulling strings, controlling each step of the
release, and insisting So Ann go back to prison, prolonging the
nightmare on the pretext of getting a procedurally proper prison
release - no pretext that the system was fair and had procedures
to be followed in this case. The Haitian judge, left to his own
good judgment, ruled, without a jury or trial, that there was
NO EVIDENCE to hold So Ann, Yvon Zap Zap Antoine, George Honore
or Paul Raymond. Thus, it would seem the Haitian system, in effect,
for the first time since the coup d’etat, working visibly
without International interference, publicly acknowledged these
were POLITICAL PRISONERS illegally detained with
no evidence to substantiate the claims made against them. Therefore,
they need not go back to prison to be procedurally released.
The Haitian message here is that the “procedure” that
got them in prison for over two years was arbitrary, capricious
and illegal in the first place! This, is what makes these recent
liberations of the four Lavalas activists vastly different from
the conditional liberations of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and
Father Jean Juste for “humanitarian reasons.”
The wives and relatives in Haiti, all Haitians, along with some
decent folks from abroad, demanded immediate release of the political
prisoners and the Internationals were relatively not showing their
"force and control" over the country as they had with
the coup d'etat's partisan and conditional releases of Father
Jean Juste and Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, nor the international
fanfare and escort they afforded, Yvon Neptune and Jean Juste,
as the more celebrity prisoners.
The release of Sò Ann, Yvon Zap Zap, George Honore and
Paul Raymond on Bwa Kayiman day was more an exercise of Haitian
sovereignty, uninfluenced by the corruptible hand of the Internationals
“bringing human rights, justice and democracy” to
Haiti since Feb. 29, 2004. It was an exercise in Haitian self-reliance,
judgment and of a Haitian common folk spirit. It’s a victory
won not by connections to the Internationals, not by might, nor
power but by spirit - a Haitian indomitable spirit to live free.
We don't expect, as with Yvon Neptune's release for the OAS to
put out a press release "welcoming So Ann's release."
But we do underline CARICOM's concerns, expressed, on the occasion
of the release of Yvon Neptune that the releases ``should not
obscure the fact that a large number of persons supportive of
former President Aristide arrested arbitrarily for what appeared
to be political reasons under the interim administration have
also been denied justice...''
For, in Haiti today, there are over 4,000 Haitian prisoners indefinitely
detained, with only 10% convicted of any crime. Over 3,000 Haitian
prisoners who were duly convicted were summarily released during
the foreign-supported-bicentennial-coup-d'etat. These convicted
felons, along with CIA-trained Guy Phillip, Jean Tatoune and Louis
Jodel Chamblain, are roaming Haiti freely since the coup d’etat,
while Bush’s regime change in Haiti bought a witch-hunt
for innocent Lavalas voters. Most of the 4,000 Haitians currently
in “preventive detention” in Haiti were put there
after the 2004 coup d'etat simply for voting or otherwise supporting
Lavalas and President Aristide. These innocent Haitians are political
prisoners suffering under terrible prison conditions and must
also be set free immediately.
If we take the recent example of So Ann's Haitian-release, it's
clear that without the corruptible influence and pressures of
the Internationals along with their Duvalierist/Macoute economic
minority in Haiti, the doors to the prisons of injustice holding
Haiti's people hostage and the almost 4,000 prisoners in "preventive
detention," without charge, or trial, would open immediately.
All the enslaved Haitians currently in prison for political reasons
would go home DIRECTLY, without pretext of trial, just like the
recently released four Lavalas activists.
August 21, 2006
Sò Anne freed in
Daily uprising demanding freedom
for political prisoners gets results
“Lo and behold, Aug. 14, 2006, on Ezili Dantò day,
our beloved Sò Ann is released,” Haitian attorney
and freedom fighter Marguerite Laurent wrote jubilantly in a widely
distributed email late Monday. “I am a poet who hasn’t
been able to write anything remotely poetic since this darn coup
d’état started. Now I am beginning to feel something
writing itself, beginning to feel imaginative again. Thank you,
Ezili! Thank you, Sò Ann! “By now you all know Aug.
14, 1791, began the Haitian Revolution at Bwa Kayiman, right!
That Sò Ann is released, after 27 months in prison, on
Aug. 14, 2006, couldn’t be of any greater significance.
The liberated female energy that began the Haitian revolution
was not contained this Aug. 14!” The Haitian revolution
was the only successful slave rebellion in history and created
the first Black independent country in the world.
“On the sacred day of Aug. 14, 2006, an innocent Haitian
artist, a well known folksinger, a revered grandmother, is home
with her children after 27 months of illegal imprisonment. It’s
not justice. No. This is a long way from justice. But it’s
progress we didn’t have yesterday. It’s progress I’m
feeling deep in my soul. “Thank you to all of you who have
hung in there pushing for Sò Ann’s release all this
time. Thank you so very much.”
“The determination is that there was no legal reason for
Sò Anne to have been put in jail in the first place,”
Laurent explained early the next morning. “Haitian defense
attorney Mario Joseph was well prepared and showed medical records
to show where Sò Anne was on Dec. 5, 2003, and other evidence
that exonerated all the wrongfully and illegally held detainees.
According to our latest report, the only folks who showed up in
court were the supporters of the detainees. None of the folks
who signed complaints against Sò Anne and the others showed
up to litigate their claims.
“After hearing all of Mario Joseph’s evidence, the
government prosecutor asked that Sò Anne and all the prisoners
be immediately released to go to their homes and be with their
Tuesday morning, Sò Ann was interviewed by Amy Goodman,
host of Democracy Now! the news magazine heard weekdays on KPFA
and on more than 450 radio and TV stations around the country.
Asked about her ordeal, Sò Ann said: “Everyone is
suffering in the prison. I mean, it was not only me, okay? There
are so many people they arrested, you know. … They call
these people rats.”
“Why do you think they wanted you to remain in prison?”
“Because I was friend of Aristide,” answered Sò
Ann, who lived in New York City for many years and used to draw
crowds as large as 25,000 to her concerts. “They overthrew
Aristide. They sent Aristide to South Africa. And I was in jail.
“We’re also joined by Kim Ives, independent journalist,
former editor of the Haitian newspaper Haiti Progres,” said
Goodman, who asked Ives to describe “the significance of
Sò Anne’s release, coming on the heels of the release
of the former prime minister of Haiti, Yvon Neptune?”
“Yes, Amy,” said Ives, “I think it’s showing
the importance of the popular pressure, which has mobilized now
to primarily get the political prisoners out. It must be said
that a number of other political prisoners were also released
yesterday. There was Zap Zap, who’s Yvon Antoine, a musician
who was also in jail; Paul Raymond, an activist who also had been
in jail for over a year; as well as Georges Honoré, another
activist from Bel Air. So this is showing the power of the movement,
despite the foot dragging of the Préval administration.
There has been just an upsurge, an uprising of people in the streets
every day, demanding for the prisoners to be released, and there
still are hundreds still in jail.”
Harking back to Mother’s Day 2004, when Sò Ann and
her whole family, including small children, were arrested, Goodman
asked Ives, “How unusual was it that Sò Anne was
arrested by U.S. Marines in Haiti?”
“It was extremely unusual. They did this in complete violation
of the Constitution, which doesn’t allow people to be arrested
between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., and the fact that
they did the arresting and it wasn’t the police. They thought
she was involved with Muslims at a local mosque and that she was
going to launch some kind of attack against them, which is so
preposterous. She had just come out of the hospital. She had just
finished a record. She was 60 years old at that time. It was just
absurd, and it was extremely irregular for them to go and arrest
her and kill her dogs and attack her house military-style.”
“Do you think that the former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide,
will be returning to Haiti any time soon from South Africa, where
he is in exile with his family?” was Goodman’s last
Sò Anne responded: “We want them to return, because
the Constitution said that. We do not exile people. It’s
not just Aristide. All the people in exile, you know, have to
Ives added: “This mobilization has such momentum and such
determination that I think it’s inevitable he must come
back in the next few months. He is the symbol that the people
still hold of their struggle, of their demands, and I think there’s
no way, despite the U.S. government’s hostility to that
project, that he cannot come back in the next few months.”
In his announcement of the long-awaited news, attorney Brian Concannon
listed some of those still awaiting freedom and justice: “Some
prominent political prisoners like Ameus Mayette remain in jail,
Yvon Neptune and Fr. Jean-Juste are out of prison but still have
cases against them. No one knows how many lower-profile political
prisoners remain in jail, but they probably number in the hundreds.
But we now know that the system can work, and that we can help
make it work.”
Acknowledging some of the leaders of the movement to free political
prisoners, Concannon said: “Annette Auguste and her co-defendants
deserve our thanks and praise for insisting on justice through
the dark days of Haiti’s brutal Interim Government and the
frustratingly slow transition to democracy. Their perseverance
through such injustice and suffering is a model to us all, and
an inspiration for creating a stable democracy in Haiti so that
political dissidents never again need to worry about becoming
“But those 826 nights (that Sò Ann was in jail) –
90 of them under an elected President – demonstrate that
being persistent and being right is not enough to guarantee justice.
We are only celebrating tonight because top-notch legal representation
in Haitian courts was combined with a persistent campaign, in
Haiti and abroad to pressure the justice system to finally give
the defendants their day in court.
“Ms. Auguste’s supporters fought for justice on the
streets, courageously organizing demonstrations despite the great
risk. Mario Joseph and his BAI (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux)
colleagues were equally courageous and persistent fighting in
the courts. Supporters of justice in Haiti abroad, including Rep.
Maxine Waters and Amnesty International, which twice issued calls
for Annette Auguste’s release, kept the cases on the world’s
radar screen. Finally, all of us who wrote, faxed and called on
behalf of the political prisoners demonstrated that there was
a constituency for justice in Haiti that would not give up.
“We also would not be celebrating if Haiti’s new Constitutional
government and some members of the justice system had not pushed
the system to work democratically.”
In addition, Marguerite Laurent acknowledged “Haitian women
like Madanm Yvon Zap Zap, Madanm Paul Raymond, Madanm Jacques
Mathelier and all the Haitian wives, mothers, sisters, daughters,
aunts and grandmothers who have stood outside the prisons day
in and day out for over two years in Haiti, some like Madanm Yvon
Zap Zap with a megaphone in their mouths yelling away their pain,
grief and feelings of alienation. Thank you all for supporting
these women and the men – Haitian brothers, uncles, husbands
and fathers – who have fought this fight.”
Laurent reprinted a letter Sò Anne had written from her
jail cell on May 10, 2005, the first anniversary of her arrest:
“They accused me of having contact with Haitian Muslims
and planning to attack them. On May 10, 2004, the U.S. Marines
assaulted, brutally, my home in the middle of the night with explosives
and large arms, terrorizing all within, especially the small children
of my family.
“I speak to the world as a prisoner of conscience in Haiti,
held in detention for my political beliefs and convictions. I
can never forget the trauma these men have caused to the youngest
and most vulnerable of our household. I think none of us will
ever be able to forget the inhuman treatment we were subjected
to in the course of this violent action undertaken in the name
of the Bush government for what it calls ‘BUILDING DEMOCRACY’
in my homeland.”
Sò Anne concluded: “They may imprison my body, but
they will never imprison the truth I know in my soul. I will continue
to fight for justice and truth in Haiti until I draw my last breath.”
Marguerite Laurent of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network may
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.margueritelaurent.com,
Brian Concannon of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in
Haiti at email@example.com and www.ijdh.org,
and Democracy Now! at
Singer arrested by US forces
in Haiti freed after two years
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington | The Independent
Published: 16 August 2006
A popular Haitian folk singer and political activist has been
released from jail more than two years after she was seized by
US Marines and incarcerated without charge.
Annette Auguste, better known as So Anne (Sister Anne), was released
after her lawyer persuaded a judge in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that
there was no evidence to hold her. Yesterday, freed after 826
days in a Haitian jail, she spoke of her incarceration, telling
Democracy Now radio in the US: "The conditions in prison
were very bad for everyone. Everybody was suffering." She
added: "They had no evidence to condemn me - that is why
EXCLUSIVE: Haitian Political Prisoner So Anne Released After Over
2 Years in Haitian Jail | Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
Neptune Released, July 27, 2006
Haiti ex-PM released from prison | BBC | July 28, 2006
former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune has been released from prison
after serving more than two years without being convicted of any
had been held on charges relating to the killing of opponents
of ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide shortly before he was ousted
Mr Neptune has always denied the allegations and
held repeated hunger strikes while in jail.
He was taken by ambulance to a UN-run hospital for treatment on
The UN mission in Haiti (Minustah) issued a
statement saying the health of the 59-year-old politician had
declined dramatically in prison.
A lawyer for Mr Neptune - who served as prime minister from 2002
to 2004 - said his client had been released for humanitarian reasons.
"After the hospital, he is free to go home. I'm confident
that charges will be dropped," Mario Joseph said.
The interim administration installed after Mr Aristide's fall
from power, and the recently-elected government, had faced strong
international pressure to free Mr Neptune, whose imprisonment
became a rallying call for Aristide supporters.
President Rene Preval, who was elected earlier this year, is himself
a former ally of Mr Aristide.
Mr Aristide was forced from office in an armed rebellion in February
2004 and is currently living in exile.
Thousands of UN peacekeepers were later deployed to try to quell
the unrest which continues to plague the Caribbean nation.
Caricom welcomes release
of Haiti's former leader, criticizes 'arbitrary' detentions
The Associated Press
Posted July 30 2006, 11:16 AM EDT
GEORGETOWN, Guyana--The Caribbean Community regional group has
welcomed former Haitian prime minister Yvon Neptune's release
from jail but criticized the ``arbitrary'' detentions of other
prisoners in the troubled country, the group said in a statement.
Neptune was released from a Haitian jail Thursday, more than two
years after he was arrested on charges of orchestrating the killing
of opponents of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the
start of a rebellion that engulfed the country.
But Neptune's release ``should not obscure the fact that a large
number of persons supportive of former President Aristide arrested
arbitrarily for what appeared to be political reasons under the
interim administration have also been denied justice,'' the 15-member
group, known as Caricom, said. It did not disclose further details.
Still, the group praised Haiti's new President Rene Preval, who
took power in May, for efforts in strengthening the nation's judicial
Neptune's release came a day after the regional alliance announced
plans to give Haiti US$17 million (euro13 million) as part of
an international effort to aid the impoverished nation of some
8 million people.
OAS WELCOMES RELEASE OF YVON NEPTUNE
July 28, 2006
The Assistant Secretary General
of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert
R. Ramdin, today welcomed the release from prison of former Prime
Minister of Haiti Yvon Neptune.
"This is a very positive development, as Mr. Neptune's imprisonment
has been an issue of concern to the member states for the past
two years," Ramdin said. "During every meeting with
Haitian authorities, we conveyed our concern about his long pre-trial
detention and asked for an immediate resolution to his case."
Ambassador Ramdin, who attended the International Conference for
the Economic and Social Development of Haiti, held in Port-au-Prince
earlier this week, added that the release of the former Prime
Minister "also demonstrates, in my view, an important signal
of the current administration to deal effectively with the issue
of pre-trial detention."
"During the recent donor conference, the OAS reiterated its
support to the Haitian authorities in their efforts to strengthen
and modernize the judicial system," Ramdin noted.
Last month, the OAS General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled
"Strengthening Democracy and Socioeconomic Development in
Haiti," renewing the OAS commitment to support Haiti in such
areas as strengthening electoral institutions, developing and
maintaining a civil registry, providing training for political
parties, helping to strengthen the judiciary and law enforcement
agencies, and fostering economic development.
Taken from the OAS website www.oas.org <http://www.oas.org>
2006 Haiti Resolution
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