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UN rights official calls detention of former Haiti PM illegal

[JURIST] Thierry Fagart, human rights head of the UN stabilization mission in Haiti [MINUSTAH website], has called the 10-month detention of former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune [Wikipedia profile] without an appearance before a judge illegal under the Haitian constitution [text], which mandates that prisoners be arraigned within 48 hours of arrest. Neptune and former Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert, who also has been imprisoned nearly a year, were both arrested after the uprising in the Caribbean nation last year that overthrew the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide [BBC profile], and stand accused of masterminding a massacre on Feb. 11, 2004, in the village of La Syrie. Neptune began a hunger strike on April 17 and has refused the interim government’s offers to take him to the neighboring Dominican Republic for medical care. On Wednesday, Acting OAS Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi [profile], called [press release] for a mixed Haitian-international commission to help “break the impasse” in Haiti over the Neptune’s imprisonment, and suggested that a commission made up of a Haitian jurist, an international jurist and an international forensic expert could examine the case and recommend action. Reuters has more.

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