Haiti: Educators Condemn Duvalier as Model for Law School Graduates

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Thursday, 22 December 2011 16:40

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) – More and more voices are raising to condemn the choice of former dictator and human rights offender, Jean-Claude Duvalier, standing as a model for law school graduates in Gonaives, Haiti, delivering their commencement address.

The Executive Board of the State University of Haiti "strongly condemns" the presence of the former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier as a "guest" at a graduation ceremony for graduates of a promotion the School of Law, Economics and Management (EDSEG) of Gonaives (north).

The direction of this teaching unit within the State University (UEH) is called for December 28 at 11 am in front of the Executive Council, following a letter from the Executive Board of the State University dated December 19 and addressed to the Director of the School.

Signing the letter, the President of State University, Henri Vernet, noted that it is "totally inconceivable that a law school has endorsed the participation of this character such a ceremony."

The former dictator was involved in the city of Gonaives, as a "sponsor promotion" at the graduation ceremony of the graduating class of Law School in Gonaives on December 16.

Duvalier Speech

Moreover, Father Jean Hansen of the National Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace (JILAP) and the delegate of the students of the Faculty of Humanities, James Belts, expressed their indignation against the choice of the dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier as the "godfather of promotion "of students graduating from law school in Gonaives (north).

"We are surprised and indignant at the attitude of these future lawyers to be advocates of human rights," said the father Hansens in a phone interview with Alterpresse.

"These students and the Dean will return to history under a cloak of shame and ignominy. For history, justice and morality, we must denounce them, "responds on the other hand Beltis James, in a note.

Dismayed, the Secretary General of JILAP, wonders about the real reasons that led to the dictator to enjoy impunity in defiance of the victims.

"Is this a policy based on the macabre lack of memory of the people or a strategy to make us forget the sad years of the Duvalier regime? "asks the priest.

Several organizations and individuals including the Lawyers Committee for the Respect of Individual Liberties (CARLI) and the Ecumenical Center for Human Rights (ECHR) condemned behavior "outrageous" and the dean of students graduating from law school in Gonaives.