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a122: Haitian journalists said ready to quit country (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - At least 11 Haitian journalists
rattled by revenge attacks or threats after last week's apparent coup
attempt were hiding in foreign embassies or readying to flee the country,
colleagues said on Sunday.
Reporters for independent Radio Vision 2000, Radio Caraibes, Radio
Galaxy and Radio Signal FM, as well as the administrative secretary for the
Association of Haitian Journalists, Robert Philome, were preparing to flee
Haiti after receiving threats, according to colleagues who did not want to
One reporter said some journalists had entered the French and Japanese
embassies for their own protection. Officials at those embassies declined
"Several of these individuals had people pointing guns at them on the
day of the coup. They were stopped, cornered, and forced to yell 'Long Live
Aristide'," said Guy Delva, president of the Association of Haitian
Journalists. "It has become a situation of intolerance against the press."
Last Monday, more than 30 heavily armed men stormed Haiti's National
Palace in an apparent attempt to oust Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president
of the impoverished nation of 8 million people.
At least 13 people died in the attack and subsequent mob violence.
Government partisans burned down the headquarters of several opposition
parties, homes of some party leaders, and threw rocks and bottles at some
journalists covering the attack at the National Palace.
Aristide, who was toppled in a 1991 coup, has urged Haitians to
"mobilize peacefully, respect the rights of political parties, respect the
rights of journalists, (and) respect the rights of all people without