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Haitian Official Loses Powerful Post After Barring LGBTQ Event

  • Associated Press

A Massimadi festival poster hangs at the Kouraj organization office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sept. 27, 2016.

A Massimadi festival poster hangs at the Kouraj organization office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sept. 27, 2016.

A powerful government commissioner has been transferred from Haiti's capital to a far smaller city shortly after prohibiting the launch of an LGBTQ festival.

Haiti's justice ministry says the jurisdiction of Commissioner Jean Danton Leger has been moved from Port-au-Prince to the south coast town of Jacmel.

Authorities didn't provide a reason for the transfer. But it was announced a day after Leger issued an order to stop a Port-au-Prince cultural festival celebrating Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ, saying it was in part to protect Haiti's "moral and social'' values.

Organizers say the event had to be postponed due to threats of violence and the prohibition by the government commissioner.

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti said Thursday it "deeply regrets the circumstances leading to the postponement'' of the festival and condemns discrimination.

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