MIAMI (February 12, 2024) – The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) condemned attacks against journalists in Haiti while covering last week’s violent anti-government protests, which culminated in the injury of five journalists. The organization urged the authorities to ensure that the press is able to carry out its media work without fear of reprisal.
On February 8, Jean-Marc Jeanne, a reporter for the online news website JJM Infos, was hit in the face by a tear gas shell fired by a police officer. This happened while covering a demonstration in the town of Delmas, east of the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to what local media reported. mentioned Newspaper Le Novelty. The journalist lost his eye due to the collision.
Four other journalists were also injured by gunshots or were victims of attacks during the protests against the government, according to information compiled by Javier Valdivia, Haiti regional vice president of the IAPA Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.
Association President Roberto Roque expressed his solidarity with Haitian journalists who “expose themselves to many risks while covering the political crisis, in a climate of increasing violence.” Rock, director of the news site Broken chairHe urged the authorities to act “actively and provide minimum security guarantees so that journalists can provide information of great public importance to citizens.”
Newspaper Le Novelty It is estimated that at least twelve journalists were injured during the recent protests. On February 7, Yumuzan Wilburdi, from Tandy cuzA social media journalist was injured by a bullet in her left leg, while Stanley Belfort, a correspondent for Island TV, was injured by a bullet in his hand while they were covering a demonstration in the city of Jérémy, the capital of France. Grand Anse District, 292 kilometers west of Port-au-Prince.
In the same city, Lemmy Brutus, a reporter Grandance Belle Debatman, another medium that broadcasts on social media, was subjected to ill-treatment and had its work equipment stolen. On the same day, journalist Alain Charles was shot during an attack by the Cocurat-Saint-Ras gang on a police station in Gros Morne, 170 kilometers north of the capital, according to press reports.
Carlos Jornet, head of the Press and Media Freedom Committee, said: “We are deeply concerned about the impact of this wave of violence on the work of the press.” Jornet, press director of the Argentine newspaper Inside voiceHe urged the international community to “condemn the increasing acts of violence against the press, the lack of government protection, and the impunity of the aggressors.”
The situation in Haiti has deteriorated since the beginning of this month due to demonstrations demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
2023 was also a violent year for the press, and there were several attacks against journalists while covering demonstrations, according to International Press Association records. Five journalists were kidnapped and three journalists were killed: Paul Jean-Marie, Rico Jean, and Domski Kersent. To date, no one has been arrested for these crimes.
the Yes It is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere. It is headquartered in Miami, Florida, United States.