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Pro-Aristide politicians arrested in Haiti

[JURIST] In Haiti, three politicians associated with exiled president Aristide have been arrested after appearing on Radio Caraibes to comment on pro-Aristide Lavalas Family Party demonstrations that have erupted in violence in recent days, culminating in the murder of at least three policemen and the apparent decision by some police to fire on unarmed demonstrators. During a radio show Saturday, units of the Haitian National Police (PNH) sealed off the neighborhood around the station and announced their intention to arrest the trio. As he was led away in handcuffs, Senate president Yvon Feuille said, "They are kidnapping me. They have no reason to arrest me." A judge told reporters that the politicians were being held on illegal weapons charges.

The Haitian Embassy's report (in French) on human rights violations in the country states that Lavalas party members have been the targets of arbitrary arrests and murders since 1992. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti offers this detailed report. AP has more on the story, and the UK's Press Association has more on the country's latest descent into violence, which flared up in the wake of the deaths of at least 1500 people in Tropical Storm Jeanne.

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