Haiti: Jean-Juste in Isolation & New Charges
July 24, 2005
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Photo: ©2005 Haiti Information Project - Father Jean-Juste performs funeral ceremony for Sanel Joseph in Cite Soleil on June 2, 2005. Sanel Joseph's son is passed over his father's casket during the funeral.

Haiti: Father Jean-Juste in Isolation & New Charges

Update from Father Jean Juste's co-counsel Bill Quigley

"My body is in prison, but my soul is free." Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste from prison

Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste is being held in isolation in the Haitian National Penitentiary. I tried twice to visit but was not allowed. Likewise his Bishop tried to visit him but was not allowed.

I was able to deliver his prayer book and some clothes and send a note in to him. He sent a note back that included the following:

"Avoka Bill, Thanks a lot to everyone for everything. I am in isolation section room I-05. I am really isolated but not from God. In spirit I remain together with you all. Keep the food program running. Justice shall prevail. God's blessings, GJJ."

The newest reported charges against Fr. Gerry are "public denunciation" and "inciting to violence." The second charge is the same one that the unelected government has had pending against the former prime minister of Haiti, Yvon Neptune, who has been in prison for over a year with no trial in sight. These charges are as groundless as the prior ones - but are still not in writing and will probably change again.

Attorney Mario Joseph will try to visit him face to face this week.

Mario and other Haitian lawyers say there is no basis at all in law for the charges against Fr. Jean-Juste. All think the government will hold him in jail at least until after the scheduled elections in the fall unless international pressure forces them to act otherwise.

Fr. Jean-Juste has been described by insiders as "the most dangerous man in Haiti" because of his uncompromising advocacy for the poor, for human rights, for the release of all political prisoners and for the return of the elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. People here also thinks the "hand of the US is behind this prosecution."

International pressure is needed on the US, the Haitian Minister of Justice and the UN.

To see my report on how Fr. Jean-Juste was attacked at church and arrested see: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0722-08.htm

Some are calling for protection of Fr. Jean-Juste in prison, but that is not the right call.

The call of people devoted to human rights and democracy is for the IMMEDIATE RELEASE of Fr. Jean-Juste.

Sorry about the delays in getting this information out - but computer access is difficult and electricity is not always on.


Bill Quigley

Bill Quigley, is in Port au Prince. Bill Quigley is a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans and is co-counsel with Mario Joseph and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

See Also:

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Haiti Action Alert - Father Jean Juste Imprisoned
Father JEAN-JUSTE seriously beat and abused at funeral for Jaques Roches and imprisoned since, July 21, 2005 Thursday morning, Father Gerard Jean-Juste went to St. Pierre Church in Petionville. He was part of a group of priests who were participating in the funeral service of well-known journalist and kidnap victim Jacques Roches. July 21

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