MIAMI (AP) – The Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, an influential Haitian Roman Catholic priest who was once jailed in Haiti for his political activities and fought for his countrymen’s rights in the U.S., has died. He was 62.

His longtime attorney said Jean-Juste died Wednesday in a Miami-area hospital.

Haitian officials in 2006 allowed Jean-Juste to be released from jail and return to the U.S. to be treated for leukemia, but the cause of death was not immediately clear.

Jean-Juste founded the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami in the late 1970s.

He returned to Haiti and spoke out against a bloody coup in 2004 that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

He was arrested in 2005 on what international human rights groups called politically motivated charges.

All charges against him were later dropped.


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