57th General Assembly Washington, DC October 12 – 16, 2001 HAITI In this time of great political tension, journalists report frequent harassment by civilian and military officials. Some commentators say they have been threatened, and others say they censor themselves to prevent threats from being carried out against them or their families. Haitian journalists frequently complain that it is very difficult to obtain official information in a country where the government generally controls things. Radio is still the main source of information because of the high rate of illiteracy. For that reason, radio journalists and commentators are under the most pressure from official groups – either semi-official or military – as well as political sectors tied to the government, such as the ruling Lavalas Family party, and the opposition. Recently, crime in general and drug trafficking have added to the pressure on journalists, who often are offered bribes in an attempt to take advantage of the fact that most are paid very low salaries. The Journalists Association has said, after consulting with them, that the journalists who complain of pressure and threats do not want to be identified to prevent attacks on them. President Jean Bertrand Aristide has said repeatedly that he respects press freedom and his government is open to criticism. Nevertheless, the lack of safety for the Haitian people is a serious obstacle to such freedom becoming a reality. The murders of journalists Jean Léopold Dominique and Gérard Denoze still have not been punished. A trial of suspects in the case of Dominique’s murder has begun, but it has not been concluded because of frequent judicial incidents and because the judge has said he was threatened and feels intimidated.