Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Father Gerard Jean Juste speaks from Jail, Sept. 27, 2005
Your work has been having results - keep up the pressure! The cause of justice in Haiti is moving forward.
Today in Port au Prince Condoleeza Rice made a point to challenge the unjust legal system in Haiti. She held up Yvon Neptune and myself as examples of how the system continues to work injustices for the people of our country.
There is no doubt that your pressure is making the US and the UN face the injustices in Haiti. Every one of you who has demonstrated, written a letter, made a phone call, stood up for justice in Haiti - I thank you.
You have uplifted my spirits and the spirits of all who struggle against the ma
chinery of injustice.
I am holding on to the log of hope in the swirling waters of injustice. The church tried to knock my hands off the log when they suspended my priestly duties when someone tried to register me as a candidate for president. I am appealing the decision to suspend me from priestly duties. Since I am not a candidate for the election for president I should be able to continue my service as a priest. But I cannot do that until I have the canon law books to defend myself. But I will do it when I can.
Contrast how the church treated me with the recent case of two white belgian priests who were being deported by the Dominican Republic for standing with the Haitian poor in that country. I salute my brothers for taking that action. There the church stood with them and even the papal nuncio came to their defense. Why is it different when I try to stand with the poor of Haiti? I too am a friend of the poor, why is there no church support.
That is why I was so
happy to see all the church leaders from many faiths sign onto a letter asking for my release - your courage helps me and will hopefully help our sisters and brothers of faith in haiti
struggle for justice and peace.
I want to hold on to the log of hope and cross over the waters of injustice to freedom and to continue serving the people of Haiti.
I am very sensitive about the people in the St. Claire's community. As you know, the church serves hundreds of meals to hungry children several times a week. We are only able to do this with the help of the What If Foundation and Margaret Trost and all those who join in helping the poor. Please support this work and help continue our program of feeding the poor.
Punish me but do not punish the poor people. Even though I am currently under suspension, the people should not suffer.
Thank you for uplifting my spirits and keep up the pressure for human rights and justice for all the people of Haiti!
Pere Gerard Jean-Juste
Pacot Annex Haitian National Penitentiary[/quote]
Dictated to Bill Quigley, September 27, 2005 in prison.
Bill Quigley is a professor of law at Loyola University New Orleans and is assisting Mario Joseph of BAI in his representation of Fr. Jean-Juste.
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