Originally: NCHR declares its solidarity with Radio Kiskeya
NCHR declares its solidarity with Radio Kiskeya following a new round of threats
Port-au-Prince, 2 May 2003
On Wednesday, 30 April 2003, Liliane Pierre Paul, Program Director of Radio Kiskeya once again became the direct object of intimidation on the part of members of popular organizations. An unidentified individual appeared at the station, hurriedly dropped of an envelope before running out the door.
The envelope contained a letter dated 25 April 2003 with a statement for Radio Kiskeya to broadcast. The letter opened with a strong, threat-filled message for French President Jacques Chirac to unblock financial aid to Haiti and threats against French citizens living in Haiti.
Liliane Pierre-Paul has been given four (4) days to read the letter and respond accordingly. If she does not do as required, the letter threatens that she will reap the consequences on Tuesday, 6 May 2003. The letter was accompanied with a bullet from a 12-gauge shotgun, which was referred to as a preview to the surprise to come. The letter was ?signed? by members of various OP Lavalas groups, including Domi nan Bwa, the pro-government group responsible for the brutal murder of journalist Brignol Lindor in Petit Goâve on 3 December 2001.
For more than ten (10) years, Radio Kiskeya has been serving communities across Haiti, broadcasting objective, credible, and independent coverage of news and events. This is not the first time that journalists and employees of the station have come under threat; however, this is the most serious to date as threats in the past have taken the form of anonymous phone calls. The station also came under threat in the end of September 2002 following a meeting during which plans were made to burn down the station.
Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental rights guaranteed by the Haitian Constitution of 1987 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Threats such as these to members of the independent press are unacceptable and inappropriate in a country struggling to establish a true democracy and State of Law. As such, the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) offers its complete support, solidarity, and encouragement to all members of the independent press, striving to inform and enlighten the Haitian people.
National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR)
9, Rue Rivière