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Haiti10 June 2002

Two journalists freed after ten days of detention

2002.06.10 - Darwin Saint Julien and Allan Deshommes freed

Two Haitian journalists were freed on 8 June, the same day justice minister officials told Haitian Journalists’ Association (AJH) president Guy Delva that their release had been ordered. The AJH has called for the police who reportedly beat up the journalists to be punished and for compensation to be paid because the reporters were not given medical treatment. They had been imprisoned since 27 May for "security reasons".

2002.05.31 - Two journalists imprisoned

Reporters Without Borders expressed its concern today at the illegal detention of two Haitian journalists who have been jailed since 27 May with serious injuries and without being charged. "The reasons for their arrest and current situation must be urgently clarified," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to Haitian justice minister Jean-Baptiste Brown. He called for them to be freed at once or else immediately brought before a judge if they were going to be charged with an offence. He also urged that they be given necessary medical treatment.

The two reporters, Darwin Saint Julien, of the weekly paper Haïti Progrès, and Allan Deshommes, of Radio Atlantik, were seriously injured and then arrested by police on 27 May while covering a demonstration organised by the Batay Ouvriyè (Workers’ Struggle) group in the northern town of Saint Raphael. Armed men, apparently sent by a big local landowner, and local officials attacked the protesters, killing two people, while seven others, including the journalists, were arrested. The reporters were told they were being arrested "for their own protection." Despite their serious injuries, they were imprisoned and on 29 May, all seven were taken by helicopter to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and placed in the National Penitentiary. Neither the journalists nor the five other people have been charged with anything and are therefore being held illegally, beyond the two-day period in which charges have to be made. The National Penitentiary, notorious for ill-treatment of prisoners, is only meant for those who have been tried. The mayor of Saint Raphael, Adonija Sévère, claimed the demonstrators and the journalists were "terrorists."

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

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Americas press releases
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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

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