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9735: Reporters Without Borders ask world financial institutions to cut off foreign aid to Haiti (fwd)

From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Nov 23 (Reuters) - An international press freedom group sharply criticized the Haitian government on Friday, accusing it of impeding an investigation into the ambush killing of a prominent journalist.
     Secretary-General Robert Menard of Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said the group would ask world financial institutions to cut off foreign aid to Haiti unless progress was made in the investigation by May 3, 2002, World Press Freedom Day.
     Haiti's most prominent news broadcaster, Jean Leopold Dominique, 69, was gunned down by unknown attackers on April 3, 2000, as he entered the courtyard of the private radio station he owned. A security guard was also shot and killed.
     Dominique was a longtime democracy activist and had received death threats before he was killed.
     Although more than 80 people have been questioned in the killing, the probe has been hampered by the political influence of some of those sought for questioning.
     Three months after Examining Judge Claudy Gassant submitted a request to have the immunity of a high-profile senator waived for questioning, the request has still not been answered.
     Senate President Yvon Neptune has said that studying Gassant's request will take time.
     The press group, known by its French acronym, RSF, asked the government to provide resources and security for the judge and to lift the senator's immunity.
     Menard told reporters that if those steps were not taken by May 3, the group would add Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's name to its list of "Predators of Press Freedom," to be distributed to international donor institutions.