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Thu Jan 26 2006Jean-Juste Released From Jail
Thu Jan 26 2006Jean-Juste Update
1/29/2006: Haitian political prisoner Gerard-Jean-Juste has been released from prison. He arrived in Miami on Sunday after Haiti's government granted him a temporary release from jail to be treated for leukemia and pneumonia. He is undergoing tests and treatment at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. Reverend Jesse Jackson warned Gerard Latortue that he would be on the next plane to Haiti if the seriously ill Father Gerard Jean Juste was not released immediately for medical care. Jean-Juste's lawyers at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) have filed an appeal, asking for the charges to be dismissed. The appeals court can rule on the appeal without Fr. Gerry’s presence, so it is possible that the case will be dismissed without requiring him to return to court.
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On January 25, Dr. Jennifer Furin of Harvard Medical School examined Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience Fr. Jean-Juste. Dr Furin reports that the condition of the activist priest, jailed on trumped up charges since July 2005, is worsening. She writes, "Over the last four days [Fr. Jean-Juste] has had a fever and cough, and was diagnosed with pneumonia. His blood cell counts have dropped markedly due to the leukemia, and he appears extremely pale, fatigued, and with visible skin bruises due to his rapidly advancing disease." Father Jean-Juste requires immediate hospital-level care for this deteriorating condition. Further, given his precipitously low blood cell counts‹significantly worse than two weeks ago‹it is imperative that he also receives immediate treatment for his leukemia. Without this treatment he will die in prison.
Also on January 25, international human rights lawyer Brian Concannon called the State Department to demand Fr. Jean-Juste¹s release. Concannon reports he ³was told that they continue to believe that the Haitian justice system is following its normal course. They deny that Fr. Jean-Juste is a victim of persecution. They do not intend to do anything different than what they have been doing, which is to urge that the justice system process his case and give him medical treatment.
Half-Hour for Haiti: Enough is Enough, Release Fr. Gerry Now | Haiti's invisible "Big Boss" is keeping Father Jean-Juste in Prison | Letter from a Haitian Prison | Previous Coverage Of Jean-Juste