Suspect in Guiteau Toussaint Case Dead After Being Beaten by Police
- Tuesday, June 21, 2011 12:05 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The Commissioner of Port-au-Prince, Harrycydas Auguste, on Monday, denied information by a human rights organization that Serge Desmosthenes, alias Isuzu, had died at the police station in Petion-ville, in his presence.
The suspect, Desmothenes was arrested on the morning of June 14 and Commissioner Auguste said he was informed of the arrest of Demosthenes on that evening.
Mr Harrycydas Auguste says that when he arrived at the Petion-ville Police Station, Serge Desmothenes had already endured a first interrogation during which he allegedly confessed to having information on the assassination of the Chairman of the National Bank of Credit, Guiteau Toussaint. Auguste said he found Desmothenes in a very bad state to which he could not even sit alone.
Harrycydas says acknowledges that time was still taken to interrogate further Desmosthenes, before allowing him to be taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Commissioner has called for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Apprehended on the morning of June 14 by a team of police for the Petion-ville station, Serge Desmothenes' death, the night of this arrest is said to be caused by a savage beating from the police, in the presence of the Commissioner, according to the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH).
Spokeswoman for the RNDDH, Marie Yolaine Gilles, said that these are common practices in police stations throughout the country and has called the General Inspector to take action against the misconduct.
The Head of the Lawyers Committee for the Respect of Individual Liberties (CARLI), Mr. Renan Hedouville has denounced the mistreatment of suspects in police stations and says that these practices are outside of the principles of the presumption of innocence.
Hedouville likens these abuses to the practices of Fort Dimanche, during the Duvalier Dictatorship, which are infamous for their torture and murders.
The General Inspector of the Police Nationale d'Haiti has placed in isolation five of the police officers who participated in the arrest of Demothenes on June 14.
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Source: Agence HaÃ¯tienne de Press