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Haiti17 February 2003

Radio Metropole journalist attacked

Reporters Without Borders expressed its concern today at an attack by apparent government supporters who tried to set fire to the house of Radio Métropole political affairs journalist Jean-Numa Goudou on 15 February.

"In a country where impunity is the rule for government followers who threaten, attack or kill journalists, we ask you to condemn once and for all these attacks and acts of intimidation," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He called on him to put a stop to impunity by ordering thorough investigations of attacks and threats against journalists and finding and punishing those responsible.

A group of people, apparently Aristide supporters, went to Goudou’s house in Carrefour, a southwestern suburb of Port-au-Prince, on 14 February and asked to see him. He was not there. They then returned in the middle of the night with various weapons and tried to set fire to the house by burning a car parked in the garage. Neighbours managed to put the fire out.

Goudou, who also works with Haiti Press Network, told Reporters Without Borders that some of the attackers wanted to kill him. He said he had been receiving threats for some time, including one the day the group first came to his house. This was why he had left before the attack and gone into hiding.

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