Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti: Hundreds attend 'Baby Doc' Duvalier's funeral

JC Duvalier's coffin draped with the Haitian flag Image copyright AP
Image caption Duvalier's coffin was draped with the Haitian flag, but he was not given a state funeral

Hundreds of people in Haiti have attended the funeral of the country's former ruler, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.

Duvalier was accused of corruption and widespread human rights abuses during his 15-year rule.

He was not given a state funeral, but the Haitian government sent representatives to the service.

Duvalier died of a heart attack in the capital Port-au-Prince last Saturday aged 63.

Some of those who served under him - including retired military officers - friends and family members paid their last respects at the chapel of his former school.

"Long live Duvalier! He's not dead!" they chanted during the service.

President Michel Martelly wrote on Twitter last week that Duvalier was "an authentic son of Haiti".

'Not guilty'

Duvalier was just 19 when in 1971 he inherited the title of "president-for-life" from his father, the notorious Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

During "Baby Doc" Duvalier's repressive regime, tens of thousands of people were tortured and killed, human rights groups say.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption For some time, Jean-Claude Duvalier was the youngest president in the world
Image copyright AP
Image caption Supporters said the impoverished Caribbean nation was better off under Duvalier's rule
Image copyright AP
Image caption The son of "Baby Doc," Francois-Nicolas Duvalier, was at the religious ceremony

"Baby Doc" Duvalier was forced to flee Haiti following a popular rebellion in 1986.

He lived in great luxury in France during exile, but returned home in 2011, a year after Haiti was devastated by a major earthquake.

Duvalier described his return to Haiti as a gesture of solidarity to the nation.

He was arrested and charged, but released shortly afterwards.

When he finally appeared in court in February 2013, he denied responsibility for abuses carried out during his time as president.

Judges ruled he could face crimes against humanity charges, but the case had stalled some time before he died.

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