AMARC has condemned the brutal assassination of celebrated journalist Jean Dominique. On 3 April 2000, the seventy year-old suffered various gun shots on the premises of his own station, Radio Haiti Inter, located in Delmas, next to Port-au-Prince. The radio station's security guard, Jean Claude Louissaint, was also murdered.
According to SICRAD (Service d'Information du Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour le Developpement, Information service for the research and action for development center), Dominique was considered a great defender of freedom of expression and respected for his role in protesting the military dictatorship in Haiti. Dominique defined himself as an activist for democracy, and his editorials had a large public following.
Created in the 1930s, Radio Haiti station was on the front lines in the fight against dictator Duvalier, 1957-1986. The station was closed by the regime in 1980, and most journalists were imprisoned or exiled, including Dominique. The station began rebroadcasting when Duvalier was ousted, only to be forced to stop broadcasting again in 1991 following the military coup d'etat against former President Aristide.
Most recently, Dominique openly denounced elections for being "rigged". His last editorial aired on 27 March when he raised questions about an accord between the CNO (Conseil National d'Observation, National Observation Council) and the CEP (Conseil Electoral Provisoire, Provisional Electoral Council), which gives considerable powers to the observatory body. The
document outlines that those designated by the National Observation Council "will have access to work processes and decision making" at all levels of the electoral process. This is not the first time violent acts take place in electoral processes marked by exacerbated conflicts of interest.
Send appeals to the ministry of justice:
- stating that you consider the murder of the "most ferocious defender of freedom of expression" a serious threat to the right communicate, which is an extension of the right to freedom of expression under which all journalists are protected
- further noting that you support the right to communicate as a necessary element of effective democracies which must be protected
- asking that this crime be denounced so that the perpetrators receive just punishment
Ministre de la Justice
18, Ave Charles Summer
Tel: +509 245 9737
Fax: +509 245 0474
Please also send messages of support and solidarity to Radio Haiti Inter. The station has been closed since the incident occurred, and it is uncertain when it will resume broadcasting.
Send letters to:
Radio Haiti Inter
522, route de Delmas (66A)
Tel: +509 257 2727
Fax: +509 257 3399
Please copy appeals to the source if possible.
AMARC's source: SICRAD - Service d'Information du Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour le Développement; Tel: 2463496, 2492242; Fax: 2492242; Courriel: [email protected]