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Canada: The case of Albert Duterville

Canada: The case of Albert Duterville - Canada must investigate allegations of racially-motivated abuse in a federal penitentiary

Following recent reports of further violence against Albert Duterville at the Port-Cartier penitentiary, Amnesty International calls upon Canada's Solicitor General to launch without delay a full inquiry into allegations of abuse against Mr. Duterville.

Amnesty International has written the Solicitor General on two occasions about Mr. Duterville's case, asking him to convene an inquiry and to guarantee Mr. Duterville's security.

There are credible reports that Mr. Duterville has been beaten more than twenty times since his incarceration began in 1990.

Albert Duterville is a Haitian national and a former member of the Haitian police. He arrived in Montreal in 1981, and was granted refugee status. In 1990, Albert Duterville was sentenced for life with no parole before 15 years in jail for murder.

Correctional authorities transferred Albert Duterville from one detention centre to another due to violence he regularly suffered at the hands of other prisoners. Since 1997, he has been kept segregated from other prisoners for his protection. Eight prisoners received additional sentences of six-months following an incident in August 1996, when it is alleged that fifty prisoners attacked Mr. Duterville with iron bars and baseball bats.

It is alleged that on 18 and 27 June of this year, Mr Duterville, whose mobility is impaired and who usually moves around using crutches or a wheelchair, was gassed and hit by guards in the Port-Cartier penitentiary, and left without care for several days.

Amnesty International is deeply concerned about allegations by Mr. Duterville's lawyer that Mr. Duterville believes the recent violence he has experienced is due to the fact that Amnesty International made representations in his case and that there was television coverage of his situation.

The organization calls upon Canadian authorities to ensure that Albert Duterville is adequately protected from any future violent attacks and that his basic rights are upheld. Anyone who may have been responsible for abusing Mr. Duterville's basic rights must be held legally accountable.

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