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9244: Radio Haiti Inter Journalist Brutalized by Haitian National Police (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>

O N È - R E S P È
Ecumenical Human Rights Center

Radio Haiti Inter Journalist Brutalized by Haitian National Police

Jean Robert Delciné, a reporter at Radio-Haiti Inter, was violently attacked
and mistreated by members of the Haitian National Police, on Friday October
12, 2001, at Cité Boston, a neighborhood of Cité Soleil, while he was
investigating the death of Mackenson Fleurimond, aged 16, apparently
killed -- a practice forbidden in aricle 24-3, par. 5 of the
Constitution --by
the police in lieu and place of his brother whom they were seeking,
An inspector first took aim at the young reporter, then slapped him and
seized his tape recorder in spite of the fact that the reporter had
his professional ID card. Identified as being a member of the Jean Dominique
group "moun Jan Dominique yo", Jean Robert Delciné was once again hit by
the new police commissioner in Cité Soleil. Inhabitants of the neighborhood,
fearing for the reporter's life, and witnessing a forceful operation by the
had in the meantime called Radio-Haiti Inter. Apparently, many people had
already been wounded by bullets.

In an editorial broadcast on Saturday October 13, 2001, Michèle Montas of
Radio-Haiti Inter made the following comments on this new and grave
perpetrated by the police on a member of the press, duly identified as such:
"What was the young student killed yesterday guilty of? Of being the brother
of an alledged gang member? Does the control over gang activities
the shooting of their members without warning? Are courts of law obsolete?"

Jean Dominique's widow asked  if the matter did not involve the
elimination of bothersome witnesses and  the intimidation of reporters to
silence them. The director of Radio-Haiti Inter concluded by noting that
"high level police officers on duty were involved."

This case must be added to a long list of reporters victimized by members
of the police who then managed to protect their anonymity. Another
Inter, Fritzson Orius, was abducted on June 20, 2001, by two former police
officers who had treathened to kill him.

The Ecumenical Center for Human Rights (CEDH in French) has been struggling
for more than 30 years to end such violations. Reporters Without Borders in
a letter
sent to President Aristide on October 6, 2001, had highlighted that since
beginning of the year, more than 10 reporters had received threats and been
mistreated by members of Fanmi Lavalas, the party in power.

With the reemergence of the Association of Haitian Journalists, it is to be
hoped that that institution will engage the necessary legal action, as
by Haiti's laws and international conventions. It is high time that the
of the 1987 Constitution be effectively applied with regard to freedom of
speech, freedom of association, freedom of the press and respect for truth.

 Jean-Claude Bajeux,
Centre œcuménique des Droits Humains
Saturday, 13 octobre 2001> O-R