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Duvalier

29/05/2007

Récemment, le Gouvernement Suisse a fait connaitre sa volonté de dégeler des fonds de l'ex dictateur Jean-Claude Duvalier (jusqu'à présent geler dans des banques Suisses).

La Plate Forme Eurodad (Réseau européen sur la dette et le développement) a réalisé un communiqué de presse de protestation.

Le Collectif Haïti de France s'est associé à la liste des signataires.

Une réflexion est en cours sur les pistes d'action à mettre en oeuvre dans les jours qui viennent pour éviter ce dégel.

Voici ci dessous le communiqué, en anglais.


NGOs call on Swiss Government to repatriate stolen wealth to Haiti

Dear Sir,

We have recently been informed that the Government of Switzerland is to un-freeze 7.6mn Swiss francs (US$6.18mn) held in a Swiss bank account by ex-Haitian dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier. The account will reportedly be un-frozen on 3 June 2007. This is a scandal. Two years ago, the Swiss Government signed an agreement for the repatriation of US$458mn to Nigeria in assets stolen by late Head of State, General Sani Abacha. When the agreement was signed, the Swiss Government stated that “Switzerland is open and committed to conducting an international dialogue at different levels, to developing relevant recommendations to deal with the question of the illegal assets of politically exposed persons, and to making the return of these funds established international practices”. This new development shows that Switzerland is not able to fulfil such a commitment.

The Swiss Government and the international community must act immediately to block this move. It could so do in two ways:
1/ by insisting that the Haitian Government be given more time and more assistance to produce evidence tying the money to corruption or crime;
and
2/ by insisting that all the money (not just 'the majority') is returned to Haiti to spend on critical humanitarian and social expenditures. Haiti’s socio-economic situation is extremely serious with 78% of Haitians living off less than US$2 a day. Switzerland has provided a safe-haven for these funds to the detriment of ordinary citizens in developing nations. The case demonstrates the urgent need to close legislative loop holes in the law in Switzerland to prevent other similar scandals such as these in the future.

Signed:

* Camille Chalmers, Executive Director, PAPDA (Plate-forme Haitienne de Plaidoyer pour un Developpement Alternatif)
* Gail Hurley, Eurodad (European Network on Debt and Development)
* Jean-Claude Huot, Berne Declaration, Switzerland
* Jean Merkaert, Plate-forme Dette et Développement, France
* Colette Lespinasse, Directrice du GARR- Haiti
* Charles Arthur, Director, the Haiti Support Group
* Claire-Lise Zaugg. Deputy Secretary at the Swiss Haitian Platform (PFHS)
* Andrew Croggon, Head of the Latin American and Caribbean Division at Christian Aid
* Nico Roozen, Solidaridad Nederlands
* Christophe Wargny, maître de conférences, auteur de plusieurs ouvrages sur Haïti
* Collectif Haiti de France
* Max Mader, AktionFinanzplatz, Switzerland
* Alessandra Spalletta, Coordinator at the Coordination Europe-Haiti
* Greet Schaumans, Programma officer, Broederlijk Delen
* Neil Watkins, National Coordinator, Jubilee USA Network
* Claude Quémar, CADTM France
* Eric Toussaint, président CADTM Belgique
* Damien Millet, Président CADTM France
* Nicolas Maystre, CADTM-Switzerland
* Els Hortensius, desk officer Haiti at ICCO Nederland



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