HAITI A delicate process of democratic renewal has begun in Haiti with the recent return to power of President lean Bertrand Aristide and the dismantling of paramilitary groups and the government of Raoul Cedras. Since the intervention by the United States at the end of September, important steps have been taken toward press freedom. National television and radio, which had been used for the last three years by the military government as instruments of propaganda, were occupied a month ago and turned over - supposedly free of ideology - to the new government. The newspaper Liberté and several radio stations that had been shut down under pressure from the military and paramilitary groups known as attachés have resumed operations. Foreign correspondents can funcion freely, and there are no restrictions on the circulation of media or on the free flow of information. An appreciation of freedom of expression appears to be extending from the capital city of Port-au Prince to the interior, against a background of absence of democracy in the pasto A chronology of events follows: March 16, a group of unidentified persons broke into and searched the home of Luc François, journalist for Radio Express Continental and correspondent for Radio Haiti Inter. March 30, Luc Franc;ois was called to military headquarters, where he was accused of giving false information about the military to the newspaper Haiti Progres, published in New York. On April29, he was arrested along with six others, but was subsequently released. May 13, lean Mozart Thibault, former correspondent for the Roman Catholic radio station Radio Soleil and currently a member of a human rights organization, was arrested during a military operation in Thiotte, where he had gone to investigate reports of human rights violations. He was beaten and accused of "distributing pamphlets calling for rebellion against the military government." He was freed on bailo May 16, an artide in the Houston Chronicle indicated that the clandestine radio Radio Sole Leve had lifted its self-censorship. One program gave instructions on how to manufacture a Molotov cocktail; another alleged collusion between the Haitian military and the United States to overthrow Aristide in 1990. A third program linked the military to drug traffickers. The para-military group FRAPH searched for the station's transmission antenna in vain. May 22, President Emile Jonassaint issued a new warning to the press. He said any journalist who "insulted the behavior of an official" or "incited to rebellion by words or in writing" would be subject to a year's imprisonment. ]une 7 - Press Freedom Day - the organization ]ournalists without Borders once again protested abuses of the press in Haiati, in particular attacks on radio stations, the principal medium relaying news to rural areas. ]une 14, three journalists from the U.S. network NBC were arrested after being discovered installing trasnmission equipment on a terrace of a building acrass fram the presidential palace. The three were freed a few hours later, but their equipment was confiscated. A week later, the government told the international press they were forbidden to film or take photographs of any building - military or civilian. ]une 16, the military called on the foreign press to demonstrate "more objectivity" in covering events on the island. ]une 17, the Jonassaint government announced that journalists and foreign observers were banned from the Dominican border region, the Haitian coastline and territorial waters. In addition, any person with movie or still cameras or two-way radios would be expelled fram Haiti if they lacked a special perrnit to have this equipment. The government ordered all hotel owners to immediately inform them of the presence of foreign guests, particularly journalists. ]une 23, the government restricted journalists even further, demanding that they obtain special permission to go to areas outside the capital. July 12, Foreign Relations Minister Charles David met media owners and directors, demanding that they report more about official affairs. He wamed that anyone giving information to foreign correspondents would face charges of being "traitors as collaborators with the enemy." July 28, CNN correspondent Peter Amett was roughed up by govemment supporters during a demonstration celebrating the 79th anniversary of the early 20th century U.S. military occupation. Arnett had been accused of biased reporting. August 1, the information minister wamed the press that because of the state of siege it must "maintain peace and calm and not file alarming and biased reports that could serve as tools for foreign propaganda." August 2, the minister reminded the press and foreign correspondents of the restrictions in effect in "strategic areas" such as police stations, airports, military barracks and border offices. He wamed that anyone found within two miles of these areas would be deported. August 4, Radio Tropic FM reported that reporter, Emest Ocean, 27, had disappeared four days earlier after reading a commercial announcement. His last news report had mentioned alleged military participation in a voodoo ceremony. The same day, three correspondents contracted by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) of the United States - Elizabeth Famsworth, John Knoop and Jaime Kibben were deported after being put aboard an open truck, paraded around Port-au-Prince and dumped at the Dominican border. August 8, Radio Are en Ciel, a Creole-language radio station carrying programming from Radio Ameriea, went off the air after three armed civilians broke into its offices and threatened its employees. August 15, Raoul Cedras' security personnel wamed two radio directors that their stations would be shut down if they did not stop criticizing the govemment and refusing to comply with the restrictions imposed on the media. August 24, the authorities refused permission for two airplanes - one contracted by television station WTV¡ of Miami, an NBC affiliate, the other charterted by CNN - to land. Officials announced they would not admit any further flights bringing foreign joumalists. September 3, the clandestine Creole-language weekiy Liberté suspended publication after innumerable death threats and physical attacks on street vendors. In August, a vendor was kidnapped in by unidentified persons riding in an automobile. He is still missing. Liberté reappeared September 29, a few days after the U.S. military intervention. September 12, joumalist Jean-Michel Caroit of Radio Francia Internacional was refused entry into Haiti at the Dominican border despiute having an Information Ministry permit. Other foreign journalists with the same permit were allowed in. September 17, sorne 24 joumalists, camerarnen and photographers in the village of Jimani in the Dominican Republic were refused permission to travel to Port-au-Prince.Reuters said sorne 500 foreign joumalists had entered Haiti along the Dominican border since the military intervention was announced. September 27, a report in The Miami Herald said 40 Haitian joumalists in exile in Miami, New York, Boston and Montreal had indicated they did not wish to retum to Haiti until Aristide had consolidated his power there. Most of those polled belong to the Haitian Joumalists Association, among them its president, Raymond Exume, who went into exlle in Miami after the 1991 coup. September 29, with the U.S. intervention, the weekly Creole reappeared as a symbol of the new state of freedom of expression in Haiti. September 30, the third anniversary of the military coup that overthrew Aristide, U.S. troops occupied the headquarters of Radio Nationale d'Haiti (RNH) and Television d'Haiti (INH). The action, according to U .S. Ambassador William Swing, was due to the fact that both networks were "in the hands of an illegal govemment and continue to broadcast acid declarations against Aristide," hindering the efforts of the U.S. troops to restore democracy. It was announced that the stations would be tumed over to the legitimate govemment once Aristede had assumed power. During clashes that same day, five U.S. joumalists were hurt: Lee Celano, Reuters photographer; John Bowner, AP photographer; Bahram Molise and Mario Delatour, freelance cameramen for CBS, and Maurice Roper, NBC cameraman.