The conditions under which journalism is practiced have deteriorated because of attacks, harassment and threats against independent journalists, the closure of some radio programs and a station and physical assaults on reporters, several of whom have fled the country. The main pressures against the press come from government officials and political groups within pro-government and military organizations. President Jean Bertrand Aristide has reiterated that he respects press freedom, but in practice does not. During the past year, the Association of Haitian Journalists has compiled reports of 90 attacks against independent journalists, most of them by members of groups linked to the government, the official Lavalas Family party and paramilitary groups, which say publicly they do not tolerate press freedom. Joseph Guyler Delva, general secretary of the journalists association, has been the target of serious attacks by groups who consider him an opponent of the government. At the end of last October, three journalists from the capital, Port-au-Prince, and three from the interior received death threats from representatives of pro-government groups who accused them of answering to the opposition. The journalists modified their work so the threats would not lead to actions against them. In November, seven journalists from Gonaives province were forced to leave the city after being harassed by armed groups of the so-called Cannibal Army of Amiot Métayer, an associate of President Aristide, who is a fugitive. The Métayer group used backhoes to destroy a prison in August of 2000 to free their leader. Métayer issued death threats to the seven journalists from Gonaives, calling them opponents of the government. In November, Delva helped them move to Port-au-Prince where they are in hiding because they fear reprisals. In December, two journalists, including one who works for the government television station, were attacked by opposition activists as they covered an anti-government street demonstration. Métayer spoke on a radio program threatening the news director of Radio Métropole and warning him that he should stop talking about Métayers escape from prison. At the beginning of February, unidentified gunmen entered the studios of Radio Chekina outside Port-au-Prince and roughly beat the director Manés Blanc, who was hospitalized. The attackers said they beat him because of political commentaries he had made. The government said it did not consider the act a violation of press freedom. On February 14, government supporters attacked the home of Jean-Numa Goudou of Radio Métropole and tried to burn it. On February 18, Radio Métropole suspended its broadcasts for one day to protest attacks on its journalists by government supporters. On February 16, armed men shot at the house of the mother of journalist Nancy Roc, threw bottles at it and shouted insults. Both Roc and Goudou had covered a protest called weekend of hope for Radio Métropole, and Roc made a speech there about the Haitian presss work for democracy. On February 18, four journalists, Jean-Robert François of Radio Métropole, Henry Fleurimond of Radio Quisqueya, Jeniton Guerino and Gedéon Presendien of Radio Etincelles, sought refuge in the Dominican Republic. The four are among the seven reporters threatened in Gonaives by Métayers group. On February 22, Michel Montas, news director of Radio Haiti Inter and widow of journalist Jean Dominique, who reportedly was killed by government supporters April 3, 2000, closed the station because of constant threats and obvious dangers to her journalists. Montas said we have already lost three lives and we refuse to lose more. She was referring to Dominique, his bodyguard, Jean Claude Luoissain, and her bodyguard, Maxime Séide, who was killed December 25. That is why we are making this painful decision to close, she said. We hope it will be temporary. Montas said she received continuous telephone threats, pressures from unknown people who park in vehicles without license planes in front of the station, and other acts. The murders of journalists Jean Léopold Dominique, Gérard Denoze and Brignol Dindor are still unsolved. The Dominique case is in court and the defendants have been identified.