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6534: Three radio stations threatened (fwd)
From: Charles Arthur <email@example.com>
ALERT: Three radio stations threatened
Originator: Reporters sans frontières (RSF)
(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".
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: http://www.rsf.fr
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