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6534: Three radio stations threatened (fwd)

From: Charles Arthur <charlesarthur@hotmail.com>

ALERT: Three radio stations threatened

Originator: Reporters sans frontières (RSF)
Date: 2001-01-03
Country: HAITI

(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior 
Jacques Edouard Alexis, RSF protested the threats received by Caraïbes FM, 
Radio Kiskeya and Rotation FM radio stations. The organisation asked the 
prime minister to "do everything possible to guarantee the safety of 
journalists and radio stations". RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard 
expressed his concern that "this intimidation represents a new decline in 
the press freedom situation since the 3 April 2000 assassination of Radio 
Haïti Inter Director Jean Dominique." Ménard recalled that "Jean Dominique 
also received threats before he was assassinated."

According to information collected by RSF, on 23 December, Caraïbes FM, a 
Port-au-Prince radio station, suspended its news programmes after having 
received telephone threats from mass organisations close to the Lavalas 
Family Party (currently in power). "We are always targeted by these 
organisations...when they invite us to their press conferences," explained 
newsroom director Carlo Sainristil. The station also decided to suspend the 
programme "ranmase" (summary), a weekly political news programme which has 
also been the target of threats. Sainristil also said that he and several 
journalists received disturbing telephone calls in recent months. A manager 
for Radio Kiskeya, another Port-au-Prince station, also claimed that his 
station received anonymous telephone threats in recent months.

Moreover, on 28 December, Amos Duboirant, the director of Rotation FM radio 
station, which broadcasts from the town of Lascahobas (in central Haiti), 
denounced the threats and intimidation against his station. Speaking on the 
air on another radio station, he reported that armed men connected to the 
municipality had surrounded Rotation FM's premises on 27 December, after the 
station denounced the unhealthiness in the city during the end of year 

Dominique, director of the Radio Haïti Inter private station, was killed on 
3 April as he was arriving at his station, located in the Delmas 
neighbourhood (in Port-au-Prince's north-east). The station's guard was also 
killed in the attack (see IFEX alerts of 18, 7, 5 and 4 April 2000). A 
well-known political commentator in Haiti because of his constant commitment 
to democracy, Dominique had received death threats on several occasions. 
Radio Haïti Inter's director had disclosed several cases in which he 
implicated politicians and business people on his programme "Inter 
Actualités". On 3 October, Radio Haïti Inter's personnel demonstrated 
against the slow progress of the investigation. At the time, the 
journalist's wife, Michelle Montas, said: "I do not know the source of the 
barrier, but one clearly exists".

More Information
For further information, contact Régis Bourgeat at RSF, 5, rue Geoffroy 
Marie, Paris 75009, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 84, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, 
e-mail: ameriques@rsf.fr Internet: http://www.rsf.fr
This email is forwarded as a service of the Haiti Support Group.
WEB SITE:  http://www.gn.apc.org/haitisupport

The Haiti Support Group - solidarity with the Haitian people's struggle for 
justice, participatory democracy and equitable development, since 1992.

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