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Haiti justice minister presses for release of prisoners held without charge

[JURIST] Haitian Justice Minister Henri Dorlean on Wednesday pressed for the release or expedited trial of hundreds of prisoners being detained without charge. Dorlean said it was a violation of human rights for judges and prosecutors to use their positions to hold individuals in jail in violation of the law and he also called on authorities to only pursue and punish actual criminals. Human rights groups have denounced Haiti's interim government [Amnesty International report], installed with US support after the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide [BBC profile] in February 2004, for jailing members of Aristide's political party, including ex-Prime Minister Yvon Neptune [JURIST report] in violation of Haitian law. Dorlean, who claims 95 percent of the 1,300 prisoners at the national jail had been held for months without being charged or tried, said he had requested that Neptune be released or charged. Reuters has more.

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