Reuters Haiti correspondent receives death threats
January 24, 2005
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Reuters Haiti correspondent receives death threats

The AJH Secretary General, who is also the Reuters correspondent in Haiti, denounces the "disturbing tone" toward him contained in a news release by the press office of the Prime Minister

Port-au-Prince, January 24, 2005 (AHP)- The Secretary General of the AJH (Association of Haitian Journalists), Guyler C. Delva, on Monday deplored the accusations brought against him by the office of Prime Minister Gérard Latortue accusing him of engaging in political machinations.

In a dispatch dated January 22, the Reuters correspondent wrote that the Latortue government, through an interview with Prime Minister Latortue that was aired over a local station, Radio Tropic FM, declared that it is ready to send an emissary to South Africa to meet President Aristide in order to seek the return of peace to Haiti.

Following a denial by the prime Minister, Guy Delva affirmed that he had met with the Prime Minister to enable him to clarify his thoughts on the subject.

Mr. Latortue had at that time indicated that neither he himself nor the members of his government had any intention of meeting with Mr. Aristide, but that they encouraged other people to do so.

"I worked in a professional and objective manner by granting to the Prime Minister the right of reply through a second news story. Why then is (Mr. Latortue) acting in this way," asked Guy Delva, adding that he considers this to be an attack on freedom of the press and on his rights as a journalist.

In a news release published after the second Reuters article came out, the office of the Prime Minister accused the Reuters correspondent of engaging in shameful political intrigue and of working for a political clique.

Mr. Delvas considers that the tone and the remarks contained in the news release of the office of the Prime Minister prove that they have had a grudge against him for a long time.

Through this behavior, Mr. Latortue has only encouraged those who would like to attack him at a time when journalists are already facing threats of all kinds, said Mr. Delva, denouncing the threats weighing against him.

The Reuters correspondent said that he was recently warned by a member of an important diplomatic delegation that there are individuals who are looking for the opportunity to kill him.

The director of the Association of Haitian Journalists also said he finds it disturbing that the authorities have said nothing about the recent killing of a journalist and the attacks suffered by his colleagues.

He was referring to journalist Abdias Jean who was summarily executed last week in Village de Dieu where he was covering an intervention by the Haitian police.

A news crew from Télé Ginen was threatened and had is video camera confiscated by enraged police officers who only returned the camera several hours later without returning the video cassette containing the news reporting.

Two reporters from the daily Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste were severely beaten by armed individuals in the district of Bel-Air.

AHP January 24, 2005 12:20 PM

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