RSF horrified by frequent murders of journalists in Haiti

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for urgent measures to ensure that media personnel are able to work safely without being targeted in Haiti, where no fewer than six journalists have been killed and many others attacked since the start of the year.

“It is incomprehensible that a journalist could be killed by a police officer while outside a police station demanding the release of a fellow-journalist who had been arrested for doing his job. The authorities must put a stop to the violence against journalists in Haiti. Their inaction and the resulting feeling of impunity are leading to more and more attacks. A total of six journalists have been killed in Haiti in 2022, the highest number in two decades

Artur Romeu
RSF’s Latin America bureau

The latest victim was Romelson Vilcin, a reporter for radio Génération 80, who was fatally injured on 30 October when a teargas grenade fired by a policeman struck his head as he and other journalists protested outside a police station in the capital Port-au-Prince to demand the release of a colleague, Robest Dimanche, according to the Haitian Journalists’ Association (AJH).

Other journalists were targeted by the police during their protest, the AJH said. Dimanche, who had been arrested while covering a protest in the capital earlier that day, was released a few hours later.

Car riddled by bullets

Roberson Alphonse, a reporter for the daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste who also works for Télé 20 TV and radio Magik 9, was ambushed by gunmen as he drove to work in the capital on the morning of 25 October. They riddled his car with bullets but failed to kill Alphonse who, despite gunshot injuries to an arm, managed to drive himself to a hospital. Le Nouvelliste reports that his condition is stable.

The previous day, radio show host Garry Tess’s body was found bearing the marks of violence in an area near the port in the southwestern city of Les Cayes. The co-host of “Gran Lakou,” a programme about local politics on Les Cayes-based radio Lebon FM, Tess had been missing since 18 October. Local media said he was often critical of the authorities in Les Cayes.

Two journalists, Tayson Latigue and Frantzsen Charles, were killed by gunmen while reporting in one of Port-au-Prince’s poorest districts on 11 September. And two other journalists, Wilguens Louissaint and John Wesley, were killed by suspected gang members while reporting in an outlying suburb on 7 January.

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