Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Haiti31 March 2006

On the sixth anniversary of Jean Dominique’s murder, Haiti’s new president urged to reopen the case

On the eve of the sixth anniversary of radio Haïti Inter director and political commentator Jean Dominique’s murder on 3 April 2000 in Port-au-Prince, Reporters Without Borders today added its voice to all the tributes being paid to Dominique and urged President-elect René Préval, who will be sworn in on 14 May, to give a solemn undertaking to reopen the case.

“The scandal about the way the Dominique murder case has been handled for the past six years is all the greater as his suspected killers have been identified but none of them has been brought to trial and three of the alleged hit-men are currently on the run,” the press freedom organisation said.

“This case highlights the scale of the police and judicial reforms that will have to be tackled by the government that emerges from the second round of the parliamentary elections on 21 April,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “Meanwhile, we call on Préval to pledge to reopen the case, especially as he was a personal friend of Dominique. The victory of justice over impunity is at stake.”

The investigation into Dominique’s murder concluded on 21 March 2003, three years after he and Haïti Inter caretaker Jean-Claude Louissaint were gunned down in the radio station’s courtyard . It resulted in six men being charged and arrested: Dymsley “Ti Lou” Milien, Jeudi “Guimy” Jean-Daniel, Philippe Markington, Ralph Léger, Freud Junior Demarattes and Ralph Joseph. The charges against the last three were dropped on 4 August 2003, after they appealed against the indictment.

Former Port-au-Prince deputy mayor Harold Sévère and Ostide “Douze” Pétion were arrested on 14 March 2004 as the suspected instigators of the murder. Annette Auguste, who was already being held in connection with other criminal activity, was also accused of involvement on 10 March 2005.

But none of these three has ever been interrogated. There has never been any attempt to verify presumed hit-man Ti Lou’s statement that he was paid 10,000 dollars to murder Dominique. And the death of two witnesses in suspicious circumstances has never been explained.

Ti Lou, Guimy and Markington managed to escape during a prison mutiny in February 2005. Markington fled to Argentina, from where he contacted Reporters Without Borders to insist on his innocence. During a visit to Port-au-Prince in September 2005, a Reporters Without Borders delegation was told by several sources close to the Dominique case that Ti Lou and Guimy were circulating with complete impunity in the Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Martissant, where they were running a gang.

After a previous Reporters Without Borders visit to Port-au-Prince, the supreme court ordered the case reopened on 29 June 2004. But it took nearly a year for a new investigating judge to be appointed, on 3 April 2005, exactly five years after the murder. The new judge has not had access to the files and has not been given the necessary resources, so absolutely no progress has been made with the reopened investigation.



In this country
3 December - Haiti
Seven years after radio journalist’s murder, convicted killers still at large
13 May - Haiti
Finger pointed at US interposition force in the 2004 death of journalist Ricardo Ortega
11 April - Haiti
Responses from Sen. Rudolph Boulos and Harold Sévère to Reporters Without Borders release on Jean Dominique murder
25 January - Haiti
Victory over impunity “within reach” in Lindor murder after seven are convicted in absentia
13 December - Haiti
Two gang members get life for journalist’s murder, a third is acquitted

in the annual report
Haiti - Annual Report 2008
Haiti - Annual report 2007
Haiti - Annual report 2006


reports
14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press
archives

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Cuba
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Cuba
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro