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26170: (news) Chamberlain: Haiti-Aristide (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Sept 2 (AP) -- Haiti's ousted president condemned the
incarceration of a Roman Catholic priest who has been his longtime ally,
saying in a statement Friday that the detention shows conditions for fair
elections do not exist.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who is in exile in South Africa, called on
Haiti's interim government to release the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste and others
loyal to his Lavalas Family party.
"His unlawful detention, alongside the unlawful detention of thousands
of political prisoners in Haiti, demonstrates a clear determination to
exclude Lavalas, or the huge majority of Haitian people, from participating
in free, fair and democratic elections," Aristide said in a statement sent
to The Associated Press by a spokeswoman in New York on Friday.
Jean-Juste, who has been held since July without charge, is considering
a bid for the presidency but has said he will not run unless Aristide gives
The priest was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the kidnapping
and slaying of a prominent Haitian journalist, Jacques Roche. Jean-Juste,
who was in Miami when Roche was kidnapped, has denied involvement.
The Lavalas party is split over whether to participate in November
presidential elections and December local elections -- the first since the
bloody February 2004 uprising that helped topple Aristide.