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7830: 50 prisoners released (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Fifty Haitian prisoners ordered released

Haitian prime minister Jean-Marie Cherestal on Wednesday ordered that about 
50 men being held in the Penitentier National be released. The men, accused 
of minor crimes, have served more than two years and likely would have been 
in jail for less time if their cases had gone to trial.

Today, more than 3,000 men are jailed in the Penitentier National, the 
country's largest facility that was built more than 75 years ago to 
accommodate fewer than a thousand prisoners.

Cherestal's release order, a traditional gesture by officials, came during a 
Tuesday visit to the Penitentier National and Fort National, which houses 
women and children. Cherestal also promised to accelerate the cases of 
prisoners, some of whom are held for years without ever being charged.

He said he would place three judges in the Penitentier National to hold 
trials without juries in order to speed up cases that have been languishing 
in the system.

Justice minister Gary Lissade also announced a plan to improve conditions in 
the country's jails. Last month, The Herald reported their abysmal 
conditions, and the difficulties facing Haitian officials struggling -- 
without much money -- to improve them.

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