Haiti to probe Duvalier abuses: Amnesty

Haiti to probe Duvalier abuses: Amnesty Port-Au-Prince: Haiti will probe crimes against humanity committed during the 15-year rule of ousted strongman Jean-Claude Duvalier, who recently returned from exile, Amnesty International said Friday.

"We welcome with satisfaction the beginning of investigations on crimes against humanity," Gerardo Ducos, Haiti researcher for the London-based rights group, told a press conference in Haiti.

"It's an important moment for fighting impunity."

Amnesty handed over to Haitian prosecutors yesterday more than 100 documents and files relating to abuses and violations, which had been published by the group from 1976 to 1986, he said.

Amnesty highlighted cases of torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial crimes committed during the 15-year rule of the ousted dictator, known as "Baby Doc" Duvalier.

"Victims have a right to reparations, not only financial reparation but also the revival of collective memory," Ducos added. "Bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice is one of the state's obligations."

Ducos also warned: "Impunity breeds a climate where human rights abuses carry on. We have to break this cycle of impunity."

Duvalier, ousted in a popular uprising that ended his 1971-1986 rule, shocked many Haitians by returning to his homeland last weekend after a quarter-century in exile.