The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) invited recently-freed Aristide officials Feuille and Heriveaux to express themselves clearly against the violence nourished by armed militants of the Lavalas Family. The NCHR reaffirms that there are no political prisoners in Haitian prisons at this time. Pierre Esperance of the NCHR hails the release of the Lavalas officials and points out that this demonstrates the independence of the judicial apparatus. His statement follows: “This shows that today things are not how they were under the Lavalas government, because under the Lavalas government a number of people for whom a release order was issued were kept in jail because a political hand stood behind and did not want them to be released.” Esperance goes on to say that “there are no political prisoners in Haiti” and that “a number of people who are blamed for their involvement in common-law crimes have been arrested. These are not people who were arrested for their political opinions”. Esperance says he hopes these Lavalas officials will distance themselves from gangs who have clearly stated that they are defending the return of Lavalas to power while using violent methods.