HAITI

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Journalists are still an easy target for gangs and victims of the generalized violence and lack of public safety in the country. One journalist was killed in the past six months. Alix Joseph, news director and popular announcer for Radio Provinciale in Gonaives, north of Port-au-Prince, was killed on May 16. Two subjects fired 11 shots at Joseph, 38, who was sitting in a vehicle with his girlfriend. The motive, as well as if Joseph had received death threats, is unknown. His colleagues said the radio station had received threatening calls because of its stand in favor of disarming local gangs. These gangs frequently commit violent acts against journalists and the public in general. On July 13, Ramilien Emmanuel (Ti Nasson), a local gang member, was arrested for the crime. On July 25, Marie-Lucie Bonhomme, of the radio station Vision 2000 said he received threats by telephone after the broadcast of a program on June 18 in which he interviewed three doctors. The callers who pretend to be doctors are still calling, and one of the threats mentioned his family. On the other hand, an independent committee of journalists was formed in August to evaluate the progress of official investigations of unsolved crimes against journalists from 2000 to 2007. The committee, which is supported by President René Préval and the organization S.O.S. Journalistes will review the police and court files in the killings of about 10 journalists to determine why the investigations are stalled. On August 30, Alby Joseph and Chéry Beaubrun were sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of Jacques Roche in July 2005.

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