[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#3885: Police Free Arrested Haiti Opposition Ex-Senator (fwd)


WIRE:05/26/2000 15:57:00 ET
 Police Free Arrested Haiti  Opposition Ex-Senator
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haitian authorities freed former            
opposition senator Paul Denis on Friday, three days after he became   
one of many opposition politicians to be arrested since  Sunday's
elections, local radio reported.  In the five days since the Caribbean
nation held  legislative and municipal elections,Haitian police have 
arrested dozens of opposition politicians, many of them  candidates, and
scores of others have gone into hiding. "They abducted and kidnapped me
for three days.After three  days they brought me back to Les Cayes.   
They don't even have a  police report," Denis told reporters at his
party headquarters  in Les Cayes, 120 miles southwest of the capital.  
Denis, a one-time supporter of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide,
is now one of his outspoken critics and had  run for re-election on
Sunday.  He was arrested by police on Tuesday, witnesses said,        
and  held at a police station outside the Haitian capital. No 
explanation was given for his sudden release.Police had charged  Denis
with illegal weapons possession, charges which Denis had  denied.     
Official election results have not yet been announced,though Aristide's
Lavalas Family has claimed a landslide victory  after the voting to fill
7,500 vacant posts nationwide,  including parliament.  Since the
elections, some 30 members of Denis' Organization  of People in Struggle
Party have been arrested across Haiti. At  least 15 members of another
 opposition group, the Espace de  Concertation coalition party,
including parliament deputy  candidate Limongy Jean, were arrested in
the southwestern  town  of Petit-Goave. But Prime Minister
Jacques-Edouard Alexis said on Friday, "We haven't arrested only people
in the opposition; we have  arrested members of Lavalas  Family as
well." "While election results were being prepared, we were forced  to
take security measures to make sure that the sore losers  don't create
problems," Alexis told local radio.  Polling was marred by several hours
of delay due to lack of  ballots or poll workers, and some polling sites
never opened.Witnesses reported that in some cases poll workers or
Aristide's Lavalas Family party observers pressured voters to  vote for
Lavalas. In dozens of cases, gunmen stormed voting  stations across
Haiti and stole ballot boxes, witnesses said.