On February 7, 1986, Former Haitian president Jean-Claude Duvalier departed from Haiti. To mark the 25th anniversary of his departure, Amnesty International has released video testimony from victims of human rights abuses committed during Duvalier’s rule. The video features testimonies gathered by Amnesty International in 1985, when Duvalier was still in power.
Testimonies include that of Yves Médard, who was arbitrarily arrested in 1983, Evans Paul, detained and tortured in 1980, Mark Roumain, unfairly detained for three years and Sylvio Claude, arbitrarily arrested and ill treated in several occasions.
During Duvalier’s fifteen-year rule (1971-1986), Amnesty documented dozens of cases of arbitrary detentions, torture and disappearances. The former president is now in Port-au-Prince and is being investigated by local authorities on charges of corruption and human rights abuses. The fact that Haiti is investigating abuses committed during Duvalier’s rule is a great step forward, but it is important that the process remains swift and fair.