Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Haiti30 September 2002

Two radio stations suspend broadcasting after threats

Reporters Without Borders today deplored an atmosphere of lawlessness in Haiti that has led two radio stations to go off the air in recent days after threats to their staff. A journalist from a third station was physically attacked.

"Unless these threats are thoroughly investigated and those responsible punished, any official statement seeking to reassure the media will be an empty gesture, especially in a country where impunity reigns for government supporters who threaten, attack and kill journalists," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

He rejected a statement by Aristide that invented attacks on the media were the biggest threat to press freedom and called his remarks "an incitement to attack journalists" at a time when people were looking to him to curb the excesses of his supporters.

The privately-owned Port-au-Prince station Radio Kiskeya stopped broadcasting on 26 September and evacuated their offices after being told that the building was to be burned down that evening. The station also received several threatening phone calls and faxes. Reuters news agency said the threats came after the station’s coverage of the arrest of the head of an organisation defending the rights of thousands of people who recently lost money in a collapsed pyramid scam based on traditional cooperatives. The station resumed broadcasting the next day.

Also on 26 September, another Port-au-Prince radio station, Caraïbes FM, decided to stop broadcasting news for several hours in protest against threats it had received, apparently from pro-government organisations.

The next day, Roger Damas, of Radio Ibo, was attacked by three strangers when he arrived at the radio station. He said they threatened to burn it down.

Communications minister Mario Dupuy immediately called the threats "unacceptable" and said the government would "not tolerate them." President Aristide was meanwhile quoted by the Haitian News Agency (AHP) as condemning people who he said used "bogus" attacks on the press to "make it look as if the media is gagged" in Haiti. He reiterated his government’s commitment to press freedom.

Reporters Without Borders has several times denounced the impunity enjoyed by those, mostly government supporters, who threaten, attack and kill journalists criticising the government.



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