Freezing the Swiss Assets of “Baby Doc” Duvalier

In the spring of 2008, CJA was contacted by TRIAL: Track Impunity Always, an NGO in Switzerland who was concerned that Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former Haitian dictator known as “Baby Doc”, would be successful in his efforts to release more than $6 million of his funds from a Swiss bank account.  The account was frozen in 1986 at the request of the Haitian government, which promised to produce evidence of Duvalier’s crimes, but never did, and the Swiss planned to release the money in August.  We were asked to help identify victims of Baby Doc’s regime that could testify to his role as a human rights abuser.

In July 2008, the Swiss government decided to keep the account frozen based, in part, on the Haitian government’s charge that the Duvalier family is a criminal enterprise. We continue to support efforts by a group of Swiss NGOs to bring suit against Duvalier in Switzerland, for extrajudicial killings and crimes against humanity.