[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

8478: HAITI : Radio Haïti Inter journalist assaulted (fwd)

From: "[iso-8859-1] Régis BOURGEAT" <ameriques@rsf.fr>


Press freedom

</fontfamily></bold><fontfamily><param>Geneva</param>22 June 2001


<italic>Radio Haïti Inter</italic> journalist assaulted

</bold>In a letter to Eric Dubreuil, junior minister for public
security, RSF expressed its concern following the assault on
<bold>Fritson Orius</bold>, journalist from <italic>Radio Haïti
Inter</italic>. RSF asked that an inquiry be launched in order to
identify and punish the authors of the attack. "It may be that the
radio station was in fact targeted through the journalist, because of
its follow-up on the inquiry into Jean Dominique's assassination," said
RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard.

According to information collected by RSF, on 20 June 2001, Orius, host
of <italic>Radio Haïti Inter</italic>'s 8:00 p.m. news programme, was
threatened and assaulted by two armed men, a short time after he left
the station. The two unidentified individuals first unsuccessfully
attempted to block his vehicle in a Port-au-Prince supermarket parking
lot. Then they followed Orius into a gas station, where they forced him
out of his vehicle and aimed a weapon at him for fifteen minutes before
several witnesses. According to the journalist, the two men, who
claimed to be police officers, stated that they had identified his
vehicle as Jean Dominique's. The police services have since denied that
the attackers were police officers.

On 3 April 2000, Dominique, the best-known journalist and political
analyst in the country, was killed in the courtyard of his station,
<italic>Radio Haïti Inter</italic>. On several occasions, the radio
station has denounced the barriers faced by the inquiry and the death
threats against the judge leading the inquiry. Dany Toussaint, a Fanmi
Lavalas (ruling party) senator, was recently informed of the charges
weighing against him in the case. Since then, his supporters have held
numerous demonstrations and events denouncing a supposed "plot" against
him and called for the arrest of the judge leading the inquiry. On 12
June, during a press conference, Toussaint personally presented the
minutes written by a magistrate following the illegal interrogation in
prison of three of the six persons accused of the crime, with the aim
of obtaining testimony that would discredit the inquiry. The minister
of justice announced that the magistrate would be punished.

Known for his independent tone, Dominique was critical of former
Duvalier officials and supporters, the military, powerful families of
the bourgeoisie and, more recently, those he suspected within the Fanmi
Lavalas, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party, of seeking to
"divert this movement from itsprinciples." In a report published on 2
April, RSF denounced the fact that the inquiry was nearly cut short
several times. The assassination of Dominique, the most famous
journalist in the country, has been interpreted as a warning by
journalists in the country.


</bold><italic>Reporters Sans Frontières defends jailed journalists and
press freedom throughout the world, that is, the right to inform and be
informed, in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Reporters Sans Frontières has nine sections (Austria,
Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland and
United Kingdom), representatives in Abidjan, Bangkok, Montréal, Tokyo
and Washington, and about a hundred correspondents worldwide.

Régis Bourgeat

Despacho Américas / Americas desk

Reporters sans frontières

5, rue Geoffroy-Marie

75009 Paris - France

tél. : +33 (0) 1 44 83 84 57

fax : +33 (0) 1 45 23 11 51

e-mail : ameriques@rsf.org

	/ americas@rsf.org