Ensure Ex-Haitian Dictator Sees Justice


Target: Jean Joseph Lebrun, Head of Haiti Court of Appeals

Goal: Issue a ruling and sentence for the human rights violations of Jean-Claude Duvalier

Jean-Claude Duvalier carried out illegal detention and torture of activists and journalists during his regime. He systematically violated his people’s human rights as “President for Life”. Yet, the case deciding the former dictator’s guilt and punishment has delayed issuing a verdict for over a year.

Although Duvalier’s reign ended after 15 years in 1986, his victims and Haiti have waited to see justice for almost 3 decades. The dictator returned in 2011, after 25 years in exile in France, but his first trial ended with his human rights violations being dismissed on the grounds that the statute of limitations has expired. The initial verdict still held him accountable for the embezzlement of between $300 million and $800 million during his presidency.

Duvalier and the human rights victims appealed the decision. However, Haiti’s Court of Appeals has delayed giving a verdict since the end of testimony in May 2013.

The delay of a verdict and sentencing is doing an injustice to those who were already victims of Duvalier’s regime. Under the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Haiti has a responsibility to bring Duvalier to trial for his human rights violation.

For Haiti to reconcile its past and move forward there must be official recognition and reparations for the thousands of human rights violations committed by Duvalier’s regime. To do that, the Court of Appeals must issue a verdict and move to sentencing. Sign this petition to encourage the Court of Appeals to do so.


Dear Jean Joseph Lebrun,

The thousands of human rights victims of Jean-Claude Duvalier’s oppressive dictatorship deserve to see justice. To reconcile its past, Haiti needs to see official recognition of the truth about Duvalier’s regime and reparations for his actions. Moreover, Haiti is responsible for seeing Duvalier tried for his human rights violations under the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Instead of justice, his victims have seen Duvalier at public events and continue to wait for a verdict from the Court of Appeals. It has been more than half a year and still the Court has not issued a verdict. I urge you to issue a verdict and move to sentencing as soon as possible so that Duvalier’s victims can see justice done.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Toby Hudson via Wikimedia Commons

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78 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
  • sheila childs
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • James Thrailkill
  • Mal Gaff
  • Holly Hall
  • Nancy Petersen
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