HAITI The political and social situation in Haiti suffered serious setbacks that have affected the local population and the precarious gains in press freedom achieved after the military junta was ousted in mid-1994. After President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was restored to power in September 1994, and a multinational force made up of U.S. and United Nations troops brought peace anew to this country, the Haitian press corps was divided between those who supported the former military government and those who supported President Aristide. Since then journalists opposing the military regime of Raoul Cedras and Michel Francois have received threats from former army officers and their supporters. More than 30 people have been murdered for political reasons and at least two journalists have been shot and wounded in recent months. Many journalists and columnists have been arrested and threatened and there have been credible reports of other restrictions of freedom of the press. Relations between the press and the new police force that was organized by the multinational force have been tense. Because of Haiti's high illiteracy rate, the radio remains the most important medium in the country. There has been a boom in radio programs featuring politicai commentary and live interviews. Television has also grown tremendously, as more Haitians own television sets. In a major setback, the writer Maviel Deveraux fled for the United States this year, and has no plans to return to Haiti, after he received threats from paramilitary groups. Deveraux was a close collaborator of the IAPA. Other developments of concern during this period included: In May, unidentified gunmen shot and wounded radio reporter Jean-Daril Laraque, of Radio Cacique, after he attempted to stop a violent confrontation between students and police. In May, unidentified men threw a bomb the the studios of Radio Metropol, one Haiti's principal radio stations. In Cape Haitien, a number of reporters were arrested and others were beaten by police officials as the journalists reported on anti-government street demonstrations. In April, police banned journalists from attending a press conference by street vendors who were protesting government curbs against their operations in a number of residential neighborhoods, including the residential area of Petionville. Various reporters were harassed and attacked by local police. In an interview with a reporter from the Dominican Republic radio station Radio Quisqueya, such is the deterioration in press freedom, local journalists said they once again are afraid of reporting attacks, through fear of political persecution. A government spokesman said President Rene Preval's administration provides ample guarantees to journalists to exercise their profession. But that most of the recent attacks have come from unofficial groups "which are not under government control."