November 20, 1996 in Nation/World

Haitian Attorneys Strike For Back Pay

Compiled From Wire Services

Provincial district attorneys demanding back pay and salary increases began a three-day strike Tuesday, halting criminal trials outside the Haitian capital.

“As of today, criminal proceedings stop, and the entire judicial … system is blocked,” said Gary Lissade, a former president of Haiti’s bar association.

The government has not responded to the demands, which include guarantees of job security and monthly salaries of $1,350. District attorneys now earn $470 a month.

Haiti’s 14 provincial district attorneys and their staff complain that they are treated like poor relations of the district attorney in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Court cases are backlogged, contributing to prison overcrowding. About 80 percent of prison detainees have yet to be tried.

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