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9759: Impunity Is Back in Haiti, say Reporters Without Borders, Referring to the Investigation of Jean Leopold Dominiques Assassination. (fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

 Impunity Is Back in Haiti, say Reporters Without Borders, Referring to the
Investigation of Jean Leopold Dominique’s Assassination.
November 26, 2001
The Press Freedom group Reporters Without Borders expressed doubts about the
willingness of the Haitian authorities to elucidate the assassination of
Jean Leopold Dominique, Director of Radio Haiti Inter. The General Secretary
of the organization, who ended his 48-hour mission in Haiti on November 23,
pointed to the obstacles faced by the investigating judge, Claudy Gassant.
Robert Menard states that impunity is the rule in Haiti, backed by the
complicity of the authorities.
The two (2) day mission of this delegation of Reporters Without Borders was
motivated by concerns. These were about the investigation on the
assassination of Jean Leopold Dominique, Director of Radio Haiti Inter,
which, according to Reporters Without Borders, has taken too long. Following
several facts finding meeting, Robert Menard concludes, in his mission
report: Several individuals are trying very hard to stall the investigation.
And the main persons behind the stalling, says Mr. Menard, are members of
the Haitian Parliament, those senators who refuse to lift Dany Toussaint’s
parliamentary immunity. Next, according to Reporters Without Borders, is the
National Haitian Police (PNH), an auxiliary to the Judiciary, but the
organization alleged that the PNH represents a threat for Judge Claudy
Gassant. The Police is doing all it can, so that the suspects cannot be
brought to justice, adds Robert Menard. RWB’s General Secretary points, as
evidence, to the cases of Gassant/Saintune and Paul Raymond/Rene Civil, as
well as the lynching of a man named Tipanel in Léogâne.
The Judiciary and the Executive are also implicated by the report of
Reporters Without Borders, saying that the judges are trying to tarnish
Judge Claudy Gassant’s image and that of his family, while his children are
threatened. It is a chain of irresponsibility, explains RWB in its report.
And, going up the ladder of those responsible for the stalling of the
investigation on Jean Dominique’s assassination, Robert Menard puts the
Chief of State, Jean Bertrand Aristide, at the top of the pyramid. To make
his point, the RWB General Secretary uses a comparison. He mentions the high
number of security agents affected to the investigating judge under
President Rene Preval, while there are just a few left under Aristide’s
Haiti has become a banana republic where impunity is the rule, declare
Reporters Without Borders, saying that in any country where the law is
applied, this investigation would have succeeded. Jean Bertrand Aristide
must take a stand for or against Jean Dominique, and the president only has
a few months to do so, otherwise the former priest of Saint-Jean Bosco will
be the fourth violator of the freedom of the press, warns Robert Menard.
Reporters Without Borders also plan to send an individual letter to every
senator, to ask them formally to lift the parliamentary immunity of Dany
Toussaint, Number One suspect in the assassination of Mr. Dominique on April
3, 2000, say RWB. The Press Freedom group also intends to participate in the
civil lawsuit and, at the international level, plans to ask the donors to
add the name of Jean L. Dominique to the reasons why international aid to
Haiti should be put on hold.
The Minister of Culture and Communication condemns the efforts of the
Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, Robert Menard. While
admitting that some of Mr. Menards statements are true, Guy Paul blames the
arrogant approach of the RWB’s head and warns against mixing the issue of
international aid with investigating the assassination of Jean Leopold