UN Accuses Haiti of Massive Illegal Detentions

“The head of the U.N. mission’s human rights unit in Haiti accused judicial officials and the U.S.-backed interim government on Thursday of illegally detaining most of the 4,000 people behind bars in the country.Thierry Fagart said most of the inmates had not been formally charged or put on trial by the interim authorities who replaced ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide two years ago.

“Most of the people in jail in Haiti are being detained illegally. The legal procedures have been systematically violated,” said Fagart.

Fagart said many of the detainees, particularly high-profile prisoners, should be released immediately while investigations and other judicial proceedings continue.

He said the decision by authorities in the impoverished Caribbean country to hold people “preventively” behind bars, for months or years, often without charges filed against them, was unacceptable.” [Read more]