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a473: BBC: Haiti: Signal FM accuses security forces of threateningreporters (fwd)




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

Haiti: Signal FM accuses security forces of threatening reporters
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jan 24, 2002
A private Haitian radio station, Signal FM, has accused government security
forces of threatening its journalists while they were travelling in a car in
the south of the country.
"A National Palace agent who was driving a white four-wheel drive vehicle...
attacked our journalists who were in the vehicle near the Saint-Pierre
Church, Ti Saint-Pierre in Petion-Ville where the car usually picks up
journalists to take them to various points," Signal FM reported in a news
bulletin on 23 January.
The station said security agents had threatened reporters Carl Dieudonne,
Roosevelt Benjamin, Evelyne Dacilus, Carl Dieudonne, Jean-Claudy Saint-Cyr,
and the car's driver, with a machine-gun.
"We think it is something premeditated and that he was waiting for us in the
area where he was. He did not succeed in his provocation," a spokesman for
the reporters told Signal FM.
Signal FM Director Anne-Marie Issa then went on the air saying the station
would not be cowed by threats. "Everyday, they are threatening us through
e-mails, but we disregard these threats. This impunity has gone too far."
"As all of us say in Signal, if they want us to close the radio station, we
will do so. We have a vision for our country and love our country. We are
doing our job objectively. We are doing balanced reporting to keep the
people informed, we are doing educational work. So, if we cannot do our job
properly, we had better close down," Issa added.
The National Palace Press Service issued a communique calling the alleged
attack on the reporters "pure invention" by Signal FM, the station reported.
Guyler C. Delva, secretary general of the Association of Haitian
Journalists, AJH, condemned the alleged attack on the Signal FM vehicle and
called the current situation "unspeakable".
"This is an extremely serious threat against freedom of speech in Haiti,
against the right of journalists to work freely in Haiti," Delva told Signal
FM.
Source: Signal FM Radio, Port-au-Prince, in Creole 1230 gmt 23 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.