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News > Haiti

Haitian Journalists Demand Protection Trom Violent Protesters

  • Protesters have been violently targeting journalists since corruption allegations against the president were first released.

    Protesters have been violently targeting journalists since corruption allegations against the president were first released. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 June 2019

After the murder of radio journalist, Rospide Petition, media personnel have renewed their calling for police intervention.

Haitian journalists are demanding police protection after a radio journalist, responsible for investigating corruption allegations against President Jovenel Moise, was shot and killed on Monday. 

Thousands of Haitians March to Demand President's Resignation

"Press is for everyone. To inform everyone. In all kinds of situations," the Haitian press union said in a statement.

Journalist Rospide Petition, 45, was driving home late Monday night in a company van, marked with the name Radio Sans Fin when he was gunned down by an unidentified assailant.

As a response, many journalists and media outlets condemned the murder. Le Nouvelliste newspaper editor, Frantz Duval, tweeted, “These days are not good for journalists and media.”

Throughout last week, journalists have been violently targeted by protesters demanding the resignation of President Moise. Reporters have had their cars destroyed by rocks or set on fire, other media personel were accused of supporting the government and shot with rubber bullets, while still more have been attacked during large demonstrations.

Thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets, protesting the current administration after Moise was embroiled in embezzlement allegations. According to a lengthy report released by the High Court of Auditors, Moise was part of a large scheme which siphoned off Venezuelan aid money intended for road repairs.

The judges' report laid out a litany of examples of corruption and mismanagement.

For instance, before he came to power in 2017, the now-president headed Agritrans, which received more than 33 million gourdes (US$700,000 at the time) to do the road work, though the company in principle did nothing but grow bananas.

The Petrocaribe aid program scandal gave rise to parliamentary inquiries in 2016 and 2017, and public protests goaded the High Court of Auditors to examine how the US$1.6 billion in Venezuelan aid funds were spent by succeeding Haitian administrations.

Opposition parties, who contested Moise's 2017 election, urged their supporters on Sunday to demonstrate peacefully.

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