In Haiti's overcrowded prisons the constitutional Prime Minister Yvon Neptune lies on his deathbed as hundreds of other political prisoners languish behind bars without charges. |
Neptune's sacrifice has cast a light into the shadows of Haiti's prisons and thousands of people around the world have felt compelled to speak out, unable to forget the injustices illuminated by Neptune's courageous and tragic hunger strike.
Neptune's case is a microcosm of a much larger problem that has plagued Haiti since the overthrow of the democratically elected government in February 2004. Since that time Haiti's justice system has been hijacked by an interim government intent on silencing dissent and there is no semblance of due process for those identified as Aristide supporters.
Yvon Neptune Nears Death: Clearing the Fences in HaitiYvon Neptune's last meal may have been on April 17. Haiti's most recent constitutional Prime Minister, now its most prominent political prisoner, stopped eating over eighteen days ago to protest ten months of illegal imprisonment.
He is weak, emaciated and near death-his internal organs are failing. He has vowed not to eat until the Interim Government of Haiti (IGH) drops the charges against him; charges that it has refused to pursue. The IGH, coming under increasing pressure and looking for a compromise, offered to fly Neptune out of the country for medical treatment and exile last weekend. But the government would not drop the charges, so Neptune refused to leave.
The IGH has chosen a precarious place to take this stand.