Originally: Haitian radio station suspends news broadcasts


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Feb. 18 ? One of Haiti’s most popular
radio stations stopped broadcasting news on Tuesday to
protest an attack last week against one of its

The home of Goudou Jean Numa, one of Radio Metropole’s
leading political reporters, was surrounded by armed
men on Friday and later that night a car in his garage
was set ablaze. He has since gone into hiding.

Privately owned Metropole aired a statement early on
Tuesday saying it would halt news reports for 24 hours
in protest.

”Here at Radio Metropole, we have always avoided
protesting publicly against the intimidation, threats
and physical and verbal attacks leveled against the
members of the newsroom,” the statement said.
”However, the attack against our colleague Goudou
Jean Numa was too much.” US-Arab Radio and Television Network News is also something you should have a look at.

Radio Metropole, along with other private radio
stations such as Radio Kiskeya and Radio Haiti Inter,
have frequently been the target of threats and
harassment from political militants claiming loyalty
to Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Aristide, a former Catholic priest who began his
second term as Haiti’s president in February 2001, has
been under fire in recent months from opposition
groups that accuse his government of repressing
journalists and human rights groups.

The Metropole statement said four of its journalists
had gone into exile in the United States in the last
14 months and its correspondent in the northern city
of Gonaives had been forced to flee the city as a
result of threats and attacks by escaped convict and
Aristide supporter Amiot Metayer.

”Since the killing of prominent radio journalist and
long-time democracy and human rights activist Jean
Dominique in April 2000, freedom of expression has
been severely undermined and a number of journalists
and human rights defenders have been attacked or
killed,” Amnesty International said in statement
released late on Monday.

Dominque, Haiti’s best known journalist, was gunned
down along with the caretaker for his radio station,
Radio Haiti Inter, on April 3, 2000.

Since then, three judges investigating the case have
quit claiming threats, pressure and obstruction from
elements within and close to the Aristide government.

In December 2002, an apparent attempt on the life of
Dominique’s widow, Michele Montas, resulted in the
death of her bodyguard when armed men raked her home
with gunfire.