Haiti calm after protests over lawyer arrest

Law enforcement and demonstrators clashed on the streets of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince on Wednesday following protests over the arrest of a lawyer who had criticized President Michel Martelly.

Several streets were blocked by burning barricades and piles of rocks erected by angry protesters calling for the release of lawyer Andre Michel, who had accused Martelly's wife and son of corruption.

Michel was later released on Wednesday. The protests eased following Michel's release.

Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of protesters chanting slogans against the current government called for Martelly to step down, accusing him of wanting to reinstate a dictatorship.

"Whether he likes it or not, Martelly must leave. There is no place for him in Haiti," chanted students who threw stones at police officers, who responded with tear gas.

At Haiti's School of Ethnology near the presidential palace, students were trapped in classrooms bombarded by tear gas.

"Twenty or so of our friends were in the classrooms. They couldn't leave. Some are in very bad shape," a student witness said.

Gunfire was heard in some districts in the capital, where tension was palpable in the city's downtown.