Saturday, December 31, 2011


(Haiti Libre) -

If the concerns of Senator Steven Benoît, President of the Commission of Human Rights in the Senate of the Republic, are legitimate concerning the presidential pardon of some prisoners on December 31, it is difficult to understand, that he falsely claims that there will be release 200 prisoners. A statement all the more surprising, that he said he has discussed this with the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice. If this were the case, Mr. Michel Pierre Brunache, the Minister of Justice, would certainly not fail to remind him of his public statement this week where he said very clearly that from "a preselected list of nearly 200 detainees; ... it will belong to the President of the Republic to decide if it's only 10 or 20 who will get through this... [.The number of prisoners to pardon is left to the discretion of the President." The statements of Senator Benoît can only contribute to create confusion in the minds of citizens, who are already struggling to be properly informed and may cause unpredictable reactions in the population.

Senator Steven Benoît declared "...When I heard the news I was a little worried [...] we will release 200 persons. This may be a good thing, but I would not like it that in the rush [...] errors creep into the list and that the President himself, animated by good intentions, as he has no time and that he must do this before December 31 [...] if 10 known criminals or assassins goes go on the list [...] notorious criminals who deserve to spend their entire lives behind bars [...] when I heard the news I took care to call the Prime Minister, and I also took care to converse with Minister Brunache. I explained to him that I understood the gestures of the President [...] I told him, ... be careful, .... we should not go too fast, because there is a network of human rights. I am the President of the Human Rights Commission in the Senate [...]

There is an ombudsman [...] It is important that the list is filtered through these bodies, [...] to be sure that there have been no errors made on the list for the President [...] We commend the President for the initiative, but we say, that we must do things properly. It is better to release them on January 4-5, and take the necessary time to study 200 cases; ... when they were sentenced,.... why they have been convicted, ... does the society have no problem with people who are on the list? In this case, I say Bravo to the President,... let's do it. But myself, as head of the Commission on Human Rights in the Senate, I have an obligation to my colleagues and to the Haitian people, and to the victims; to ensure that justice is done [...] it is not an attack against the President, or the Minister of Justice,... far from it [...] I just want to make sure that this decision is a conscious decision and that there is no error in the decision..."

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