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a522: BBC: A number of media associationsin Haiti have called forthe government to retract a denial made by President Aristide's chief ofstaff Jean-Claude Desgranges (fwd)




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

Haitian Journalists' Association demands government retract denial
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jan 28, 2002
A number of media associationsin Haiti have called for the government to
retract a denial made by President Aristide's chief of staff Jean-Claude
Desgranges on 22 January. In the statement, Desgranges said that a National
Palace security guard driving National Palace car number 31 had not attacked
a group of Signal FM reporters. Subsequently, Jacques Maurice, spokesman for
the Presidency, "confirmed that the vehicle existed" and that the government
is trying to find out whether there really was a National Palace agent
driving it at the time. The following is an excerpt from report from the
"0730 Appointment" newscast, broadcast by Haitian Signal FM radio on 28
January:
[Announcer] The National Association of Haitian Media [ANMH] continues to
express its concern over attacks against the press and journalists,
including death threats uttered directly against Joseph Guyler C. Delva,
secretary-general of the Association of Haitian Journalists [AJH], by Rene
Civil of the Youth for People's Power [JPP], the ultimatum or the death
threat issued against Delva by Figaro Desir of the Clean-Up Organization in
Saint-Marc, the attack on journalist Mathieu Prud'Homme of the Haitian Press
Network in Cite Soleil on 21 January, and the 22 January incident involving
Signal FM journalists and an individual who was driving a clearly identified
National Palace vehicle...
It should be noted that in spite of the ANMH's call, in spite of the
repeated calls of the Presidency press service to the information management
of Signal FM, which confirmed the veracity of the fact reported by the
Signal FM journalists, no press release has been issued to rectify the
denial made by Jean-Claude Desgranges [President Aristide's chief of staff]
on 22 January.
The editorial room of Signal FM, the ANMH and AJH Secretary-General Delva
think that only a rectifying note from the Presidency can shed light on this
matter and comfort the journalists of this radio station. Therefore, we
invite you to listen to the statement of AJH Secretary General Delva:
[Delva - recording] Well, I can say that we have reached a critical phase
where we need to draw a conclusion that is even catastrophic, I can say,
that is, the government has decided to back up the death threats, pressures,
attacks, acts of intimidation and all the things that are being done against
journalists in Haiti. We say this is unacceptable and we will not accept it.
We say the authorities are accomplices, given their silence before people
who claim to be close to the government, to be working for the government
and who are perpetrating attacks on journalists and who uttered public
threats. These are not just rumours. The authorities heard them. They are
aware of them, but they have said nothing yet. However, they hastened and
even exaggerated in hastening to declare that the incident that happened to
the Signal FM journalists who said that a National Palace security guard
driving National Palace car No 31 had attacked them. The president's staff
said quickly that it was not true, as if the Signal FM journalists were
liars. However, afterwards, Jacques Maurice, spokesman for the presidency,
confirmed that the vehicle existed, that it is really there and that they
are trying to understand whether there was really a National Palace agent in
it, whereas they previously said that it was not true. I think that they
need to make up for this also. They should issue a rectifying statement.
[End of recording]
Source: Signal FM Radio, Port-au-Prince, in Creole 1230 gmt 28 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.