April 23, 2024

Press Freedom


Haiti April 18, 2005

H.E. Boniface Alexandre
Interim President
Palais National, Champ de Mars
Republic of Haiti
Fax: (011.509.1) 223-5334

Your Excellency:

As members of the Overseas Press Club of America (OPC), we condemn the wave of violence and mistreatment directed at journalists in your country. We are alarmed and outraged by the murder by Haitian police of Abdias Jean, a radio reporter covering a government raid in Village de Dieu; the vicious beating of Claude Bernard Serant and Jonel Juste , reporters for the daily newspaper, La Nouvelliste, in Port-au-Prince; the police beating of Makenson Remy , a radio reporter, in the Nazon section of Port-au-Prince, and the death threats and shooting attack on Raoul Saint-Louis, a reporter on the Megastar radio station.

That the attack on the La Nouvelliste reporters was carried out by supporters of your predecessor, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, could suggest a failure by your government to protect its citizens. That the other attacks were carried out by the government’s own agents suggest a break-down of control over the forces of law and order. Both represent reprehensible derelictions of duty.

We implore you to order full investigations of these events and to publicly affirm your support for the basic human rights as embodied in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura wrote to you in February: “The use of force to deprive journalists and their audience of the fundamental human right of freedom of expression…is an intolerable attack on democracy and the rule of law.”

To flourish, democracy requires thte informed consent of the governed. These attacks do a dishonor to the great people of Haiti . We urge you to take steps to secure these basic human rights for the men and women of your country.

Respectfully yours,
John Martin
Norman A. Schorr
Freedom of the Press Committee

cc:   Yvon Neptune

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister

Villa d’Accueil

Delmas 60 Musseau


Republic of Haiti

Fax: (011.509.1) 245-1624

Ambassador Jean Alexandre

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Haiti to the

United Nations

801 Second Avenue , Room 600

New York , NY 10017

Fax: (212) 661-8698


Raymond Joseph

Charge d’Affaires

Embassy of the Republic of Haiti

2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington , DC 20008

Fax: (202) 745-7215



James Foley

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti

Embassy of the United States of America

5 Harry S. Truman Boulevard



Fax: (011.509.1) 223-1641