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Published on Apr 20, 2011
The prosecution of the former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier represents a landmark opportunity for the Haitian justice system to address some of the worst crimes in Haiti's past. Duvalier returned to Haiti on January 16, 2011, after nearly 25 years in exile, and was charged with financial and human rights crimes. The investigation is under way. Duvalier's rule, from 1971 to 1986, was marked by systematic human rights violations. Hundreds of political prisoners held in a network of prisons known as the "triangle of death" died from mistreatment or were victims of extrajudicial killings. Duvalier's government repeatedly closed independent newspapers and radio stations. Journalists were beaten, in some cases tortured, jailed, and forced to leave the country.