HAITI The creation of new media and a substantial decreasein violence against journalists have contributed to an environment of greater pluralism since democracy was restored a year ago. It is feared, however, that this climate could begin to deteriorate early next year with the scheduled withdrawal of the United Nations multinational police and military forces. The new Haitian National Police, comprised of 5,000 recently trained men, will replace the 7,000 foreign troops on February 29, 1996. The government has more respect for press freedom than in the past. For example, it issued an apology to a group of journalists after Presidential Palace security guards beat up reporters Dorvil Kenol of Radio Signal, Destin Weaver of Radio Magik Stereo, and reporter Kiner Boursiquot and cameraman Jean-Claude Juste of Haitian National Television, for filming guards roughing up an unidentified person. After a general threat by journalists to refuse to cover presidential activities, the government issued a public apology, returned confiscated film and punished the guards. While the government respects the independent press such as the weeklies Haitf Progres and Haitf Observateur, both clearly opposition organs, it is very strict with the official press. On July 27, Information Minister Henry Claude Menard confiscated 1,500 copies of the official newspaper L'Union for publishing an article about the crisis in the government press. Three months earlier, he fired the news director of the state television network for incompetence. The opposition declared that both events confirmed that state-owned media were being used as instruments of government propaganda. In general, although the independent press enjoys greater freedom, it is still restricted by the severe economic crisis in which it operates. Newsprint and other supplies for the print media are scarce and costly. Power cuts are frequent. Advertising, because of the difficult economic situation, is almost non-existent. As a result, the popular newspaper Liberti!, the only Creole-language newspaper published in the country, was forced to reduce its circulation from 20,000 to 6,000 copies a week. The radio continues to be the most important medium in the country, because of both the high level of illiteracy and the lack of development of new print media as a result of the economic crisis. New radio stations have blossomed during this period of democracy. In September, a group of businessmen established Radio Vision 2000, a news station. However, the radio has not been completely free from strictures. On June 10, the government temporarily shut down Radio Teledifusion Metropole Sud, of Ville des Cayes, the third largest city in the country, accusing the radio station of inciting violence in its popular program "Open Lines," in which it made fun of public figures. The government is now in the process of redistributing television licenses, especially to those who still have permission granted by the military dictatorship. The government is also attempting to limit clandestine broadcasts. In June, three television stations - Tele Max, Tele Eclair and Tele Arc-en-Ciel - were taken off the air. Incidents of violence against journalists continue in a generalized atmosphere of impunity. On June 7, the local association known as Gralip (Group of Reflection and Action for Press Freedom) sent the Justice Minister and the Fact-Finding Commission a document spelling out violations of human rights and press freedom during the last military dictatorship, which lasted from September 30, 1991 to October 15, 1994. The document cited the still unresolved murders of Jacques Gary Simeon, Radio Caraibes; Montlouis Lherisse, Haitian National Television cameraman; the 1991 disappearance of Felix Lamy, director of Radio Galaxie, and the arrests and torture of journalists Jean Mario and Jean Emile Estimables.