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7586: FW: AI press release - Haiti (fwd)

From: Merrie Archer <MArcher@nchr.org>


3 April 2001

AI Index AMR 36/007/2001 - News Service Nr. 61

          Haiti: killing of Jean Dominique must not go unpunished
One  year  on  from  the  killing of prominent Haitian radio journalist and
longtime advocate of human rights, Jean Dominique, the circumstances of his
death  have  yet  to be clarified and those responsible brought to justice,
Amnesty International said today.

     Jean Dominique was shot dead on 3 April 2000 by unknown assailants who
waited  for  him  outside  the  courtyard of his radio station, Radio Haiti
Inter. Station guard Jean Claude Louissaint was killed with him.

     Jean  Dominique,  an  outspoken advocate of change during the Duvalier
period,  had  continued  to  publicly  draw  attention  to  anti-democratic
tendencies  within  diverse  sectors  of  the  Haitian  political scene and

     "The   fact   that   this   well-known  activist  with  unquestionable
credentials  in  the  struggle  to  build a better Haiti was killed under a
democratically-elected  government  raised  questions  about  the  state of
respect   for  the  rule  of  law  and  human  rights  in  Haiti,"  Amnesty
International said.

     "The  Haitian  authorities  must  make  every effort to guarantee that
full,  prompt  and  impartial  justice  is  done  in  the  killings of Jean
Dominique and Jean Claude Louissaint," the organization added.

     A  call  for  the  cycle of impunity overshadowing the Haitian justice
system  to be broken and for those responsible for the deaths to be brought
to  justice  was  made  on 3 March 2001 through an open letter to President
Jean  Bertrand  Aristide broadcast by Radio Haiti Inter, backed by numerous
Haitian  and  international  organizations.   In  a subsequent visit to the
station,  President  Aristide publicly committed his efforts to ensure that
nothing  impede  the  full,  independent  and  impartial functioning of the
justice system in the case.

The  killings  of  Jean Dominique and Jean Claude Louissaint caused a great
deal of fear, tension and self-censorship, especially as they were followed
by  a series of acts of intimidation and threats against other journalists.
At  the  same time, civil society has reacted forcefully, with thousands of
people  throughout  the  country  repeatedly  taking to the streets to show
their  support  for  efforts to bring those responsible for the killings to
justice.    Backed  by  strong  public  concern,  the  investigating  judge
responsible  for  the  case  has overcome several obstacles impeding a full
investigation into the events.


public document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW   web :