Report to the Midyear Meeting
April, 19-22 2022

The country remains as the most unsafe, dangerous and fragile for the exercise of press freedom.

The murder of three journalists, the kidnapping of another and acts of harassment and intimidation against reporters from different independent media set the gloomy tone for a press under constant threat.

On February 23, photojournalist Maxihen Lazarre - of the digital media group Rois des infos - was killed in Port au Prince while covering a protest by textile workers demanding better wages. According to witnesses, police officers traveling in a vehicle fired shots at the demonstrators. Journalists Yves Moïse of Radio RCH 2000 and Sony Laurore of Laurore News TV were also wounded.

Journalists Wilguens Louissaint and Amady John Wesley were gunned down on January 6 in an ambush set up by one of the many armed gangs operating in the Laboule 12 suburb. Louissaint worked for several local media outlets and Wesley was with Radio Ecoute FM, a Canadian-based station. William Vil - another journalist who was with them - survived the shooting, but is still in hiding.

Months earlier, journalist Davidson Smith, of Haiti Press Info, was wounded by bullets fired by police while covering a protest near the National Palace in Port-au-Prince.

Two other journalists, Meus Jeanril, of Telepam, and Alvares Destine, of Actualites locales TV, were shot and wounded in an earlier demonstration in the same area; and later on, a team of reporters from Radio Tele Pacífic was attacked with tear gas - one of them being wounded by shrapnel.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who assumed power after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, promised to investigate the crime of the reporters, following strong condemnations from international organizations.

The murders add to a string of more than six journalists killed since 2020, cases in which the culprits have yet to be identified and official investigations are stalled.