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Haiti | International

Tue Aug 1 2006 After 15 Months of Hunger Strike in Protest of Detention, Former Haitian PM Released
After more than two years in prison and a fifteen month intermittent hunger strike, former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune was freed in order to seek medical treatment on Thursday, July 27th. Neptune is one of the most high-profile political prisoners who have been detained by the U.S.-backed interim government in Haiti. He was jailed shortly after the 2004 coup that ousted Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide. Attorney Mario Joseph has been quoted as saying that when Neptune is released from the hospital, he will be allowed to go home. There are varying reports as to the status of charges against Neptune, but they likely still stand. "Half-Hour for Haiti" organizers credit activists in Haiti, as well as people all over the world who have written letters in support of Neptune's release.

When he was released from prison, Neptune walked out of the National Penitentiary. Two UN peacekeepers then helped him into an ambulance that took him to a hospital. He was frail and barely able to speak, after having spent much of the last 15 months on a hunger strike. The release came less than two weeks after more than 3,000 people marched in Port-Au-Prince, calling for the return of Aristide and the release of all political prisoners, and celebrating Aristide's birthday.

Democracy Now report | Half Hour a Week for Haiti

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