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2005-05-13

Ousted Haitian PM Yvon Neptune Enters 25th Day of Hunger Strike

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The Caribbean Community, known as CARICOM, has officially called on the provisional Haitian government to release Neptune immediately. Neptune is now reported to be very near death with a top UN official saying he can barely walk or talk and is in and out of consciousness. [includes rush transcript]

Ousted Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune is now on day 25 of a hunger strike in a Haitian jail. The Caribbean Community, known as CARICOM, has officially called on the provisional Haitian government to release Neptune immediately. It is the group’s second such call in 3 months. CARICOM also called for the release of other officials of the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide. Among them is former Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert, who recently started a hunger strike. CARICOM also urged the interim government to release several Lavalas activists. Neptune is now reported to be very near death with a top UN official saying he can barely walk or talk and is in and out of consciousness.

  • Jean-Jean Pierre, friend of Yvon Neptune

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We are going to turn very briefly now to a quick update on the dire situation of the ousted Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. On day 25 of a hunger strike in Haitian jail. The Caribbean community, CARICOM, has officially called on the government of Haiti to release Neptune immediately. Jean-Jean Pierre is on the line with us, who is a friend of Yvon Neptune, to give us the latest details on his condition. Jean-Jean Pierre, welcome.

JEAN-JEAN PIERRE: I know it sounds like the boy who cries wolf when we say Yvon Neptune remains near death, but it is real. He is still — he is drinking water, but he has been now for over three weeks on a hunger strike. As everybody knows, he was imprisoned last June and has not been formally charged with any crime. And ironically, if you remember, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at her confirmation hearing stated that we must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom, and the time for diplomacy is now.

I would like to urge everybody to call the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at (202) 647-5291. (202) 647-5291. This is revolting that at the dawn of the 20th century right here at the doorsteps of the U.S., the United States will support a regime — installed an illegal illegitimate regime, and support this idea of presenting imprisonment, where someone has been in jail for 11 months and has not been charged. It’s not just Yvon; Jocelerme Pivert, the former Minister of Interior, So Ann, the singer, and there are so many other political prisoners. They must release all political prisoners. But Yvon is really — is dying, and we must do something. We cannot stay idle. We have got to call the State Department, (202) 647-5291, or call James Foley, who is the U.S. ambassador in Haiti. He is the real governor of Haiti, actually. It’s 011-509-222-0354. I think we have to put this at the door of the White House, the State Department because they are the ones who installed this regime in Haiti, and they are the one running the country through this low-intensity warfare, and I think this is unacceptable that this man will die just because for political reasons.

AMY GOODMAN: Jean-Jean Pierre, I want to thank you for being with us. Again the latest news, Yvon Neptune near death. A top U.N. official saying he can barely walk or talk and is in and out of consciousness.

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