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Haiti: Police told to respect human rights of people detained


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(CMC) –The National Police of Haiti (PNH) has been told to respect the rights and dignity of detained people and that there must be a mandatory registration of all persons detained by police.

Newly appointed Government Commissioner, Paul Eronce Villard, in a January 8 letter to the PNH Director General, Michel Ange Gédéon, noted that more than 80 per cent of the country’s prison population is in prolonged pre-trial detention.

Villard, who is also head of the Prosecution of Port au Prince, said that this “is not only the result of inaction and non-treatment of files by some magistrates and prosecutors within the time limits, but sometimes depends on the incredible arrests orchestrated by the police, in particular, ‘the stowage’ where people are arrested without worrying about their real involvement in the alleged acts”.

In his letter he said that in order to combat prolonged pre-trial detention he intends to insist on several measures including the respect for the rights and dignity of the people during arrests, strengthening the police intelligence system to arrest the real culprits, as well as the mandatory registration of the police stations of all persons apprehended.

He is also advocating that the removal from the public prosecutor’s office of persons held in custody from 11:30 a.m. (local time) on a daily basis, to facilitate their hearing in accordance with the procedure of immediate appearance, as well as the regular drafting of reports on the order, the security situation and the prosecution of offenders related to serious crime in the jurisdiction.

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