69th General Assembly

Denver, Colorado

October 18 – 22, 2013

Journalists, media and press organizations complain that security is continuing to be a matter of concern, worsening the climate of political tension and impunity. Two journalists were murdered in this period, but it is not known if the cases are related to their work. They were Pierre-Richard Alexandre, correspondent of Radio Kiskeya, killed on May 17 over a presumed neighborhood incident, and Georges Honorat, editor of the newspaper Haiti Progrès, secretary general of the National Popular Party and advisor to Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, murdered on March 23. A group of radio reporters was attacked on May 8 while covering an appearance by former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, called into court in the investigation into the 2000 murder of journalist Jean Leopold Dominique that remains unsolved. Aristide met with Judge Ivikel Dabrésil, in charge of the case, whose investigation he is seeking for the courts to reactivate. Local media say that under investigation are presumed links of some of those tried in this case, the Lavalas family, to Aristide’s party, to which Dominique attributed acts of corruption. Supporters of the former president gathered to show their support for him during his testimony beat journalists Henry Frantz Delice, Samuel Dallemand, Frantz Henry Jean Louis and Mislet Belice of Radio-Telé Ginen. The broadcast station’s vehicle was damaged. The Haitian National Media Association condemned the attack on those journalists. Also with regard to the Dominique case on March 7 there appeared before the courts former president René Préval, a friend of Dominique and Haiti’s President when he was murdered. In commemoration of World Press Freedom Day on May 3 President Michel Joseph Martelly reiterated his determination to continue to guarantee freedom of expression in the country and added that his government will facilitate the work of journalists and ensure the good functioning of the media. Another issue that is beginning to be discussed in the country is the lack of a law that guarantees free access to information, an obstacle for the work of journalists. Also of concern is self-censorship by journalists on the basis of the political position of the media for which they work and the lack of professionalism of many reporters.