Haiti archbishop
Haiti's Roman Catholic Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor.

The catholic church in Haiti has demanded the release of 10 worshippers who were kidnapped Sunday. 

Five priests, two nuns and three members of a priest’s family were kidnapped by alleged gang members around the Saint Jacques Catholic church in Croix-des-Bouquets, a commune near Port-au-Prince. In a public statement Monday, officials with the church made the plea.

“We demand security and peace for all missionaries and all people,” said Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor in the statement. “We demand the immediate and unconditional release of our detained brothers and sisters.”

Also Monday, Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe told reporters that the police force has neglected the areas outside of Port-au-Prince as one reason kidnappers target locations such as Croix-des-Bouquets.

“It’s those neglected areas, without the control of the police, that have these cases of kidnapping,” Jouthe said. “The police don’t have a presence in every corner of the republic. Where there should be 10 police officers, there are two.”

Jouthe is also the head of the Superior Council of the National Police. Source

Majority of inmates face prolonged pre-detention

An ailing prisoner stands in a cell designated for sick prisoners near the infirmary in the National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo credit: Dieu Nalio Chery

The rate of prolonged preventive detention has increased from 76 percent in June 2021 to 85 percent in March 2021, according to the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH).

Preventive detention is the detention of a defendant awaiting trial for the purpose of preventing further misconduct, according to Merriam-Webster. Or in other countries, preventive detention is when a criminal finished serving his sentence but is still imprisoned because authorities consider him too dangerous to be released.

“BINUH alerts the concerned authorities and urges them to do everything possible to reduce prison overcrowding while respecting human rights,” BINUH tweeted. Source

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