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Amnesty urges Haiti to free political prisoners

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] urged Haiti's government Tuesday to release political prisoners being held indefinitely pending trial. According to the human rights group, about 2,000 people are under "prolonged detention," and close to 100 of them could be political prisoners. Amnesty called on Haiti to initiate trial proceedings under legitimate criminal charges or release the political prisoners, including hundreds of supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide [BBC profile] who were been detained [JURIST report] by the transitional government of Gérard Latortue [Wikipedia profile].

Amnesty identified four Aristide proponents - Annette Auguste, Yvon Antoine, Paul Raymond and Georges Honoré - as among those in prolonged detention. The four prisoners were formally charged with criminal conspiracy in April 2006 and have been detained since their arrests between March 2004 and July 2005. Last week, Haitian authorities freed former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune [JURIST report] to await charges on a provisional release after being held [JURIST report] since Aristide was ousted in 2004 [JURIST report] on accusations that he orchestrated a massacre in La Scierie that February. Amnesty International has more.

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