Journalist shot dead amid anti-government protests in Haiti
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned for the safety of Haiti’s journalists after yesterday’s murder of radio show host Pétion Rospide and physical attacks on other reporters in the capital, Port-au-Prince, in a dangerous climate for the media that is accompanying a new wave of violent anti-government protests.
A presenter for Radio Sans Fin, Rospide was driving through Portail Léogâne, a fairly dangerous neighbourhood, yesterday evening when gunmen approached his car and opened fire, wounding him fatally. He managed to drive a few more metres before succumbing to his gunshot injuries. While on the air a few hours prior to his murder, Rospide had criticized the protesters who set fire to four cars belonging to another Port-au-Prince radio station, Radio Télé Ginen, earlier yesterday.
“The Haitian authorities must shed all possible light on Pétion Rospide’s shocking execution-style murder and bring those responsible to justice,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “It is also the government’s job to guarantee the safety of journalists covering the protests. They have a key role to play in the current turmoil.”
Rospide’s murder followed several days of protests in both the capital and provinces calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse, who is accused of corruption. The protests have been marked by violence and clashes between police, protesters and armed groups. Richardson Jourdan, a journalist with state-owned Télévision Nationale d’Haïti, was badly beaten by protesters in Port-au-Prince on 9 June.