18 April 2000


AMARC condemns assassination of celebrated radio journalist

Incident details

Jean Dominique

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AMARC has condemned the brutal assassination of celebrated journalist Jean Dominique. On 3 April 2000, the seventy year-old suffered various gun shots on the premises of his own station, Radio Haiti Inter, located in Delmas, next to Port-au-Prince. The radio station's security guard, Jean Claude Louissaint, was also murdered.

According to SICRAD (Service d'Information du Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour le Developpement, Information service for the research and action for development center), Dominique was considered a great defender of freedom of expression and respected for his role in protesting the military dictatorship in Haiti. Dominique defined himself as an activist for democracy, and his editorials had a large public following.

Created in the 1930s, Radio Haiti station was on the front lines in the fight against dictator Duvalier, 1957-1986. The station was closed by the regime in 1980, and most journalists were imprisoned or exiled, including Dominique. The station began rebroadcasting when Duvalier was ousted, only to be forced to stop broadcasting again in 1991 following the military coup d'etat against former President Aristide.

Most recently, Dominique openly denounced elections for being "rigged". His last editorial aired on 27 March when he raised questions about an accord between the CNO (Conseil National d'Observation, National Observation Council) and the CEP (Conseil Electoral Provisoire, Provisional Electoral Council), which gives considerable powers to the observatory body. The
document outlines that those designated by the National Observation Council "will have access to work processes and decision making" at all levels of the electoral process. This is not the first time violent acts take place in electoral processes marked by exacerbated conflicts of interest.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the ministry of justice:

- stating that you consider the murder of the "most ferocious defender of freedom of expression" a serious threat to the right communicate, which is an extension of the right to freedom of expression under which all journalists are protected

- further noting that you support the right to communicate as a necessary element of effective democracies which must be protected

- asking that this crime be denounced so that the perpetrators receive just punishment

Appeals To


Camille Leblanc

Ministre de la Justice

18, Ave Charles Summer

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tel: +509 245 9737

Fax: +509 245 0474

Please also send messages of support and solidarity to Radio Haiti Inter. The station has been closed since the incident occurred, and it is uncertain when it will resume broadcasting.

Send letters to:

Radio Haiti Inter

522, route de Delmas (66A)

Delmas, Haiti

CP 6120

Tel: +509 257 2727

Fax: +509 257 3399

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

AMARC's source: SICRAD - Service d'Information du Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour le Développement; Tel: 2463496, 2492242; Fax: 2492242; Courriel: si.crad@rehred-haiti.net


World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters
705, rue Bourget, bureau 100, Montreal
Qubec, H4C 2M6
secgen (@) si.amarc.org
Fax:+1 514 8497129

More on this case

Jean Dominique case: RSF, the Haitian Journalists' Association and the Damocles Network call for the case of murdered journalist to be transferred to another judge 28 June 2002 RSF and the Damocles Network urge President Aristide to give assurances to Judge Gassant and express hope that he will resume work on the Jean Dominique murder case 22 April 2002 Impunity continues two years after journalist Jean Dominique's murder 2 April 2002 Senate refuses to lift Dany Toussaint's parliamentary immunity 4 February 2002 Judge's mandate not renewed in Jean Dominique murder case 25 January 2002 RSF calls for sanctions against twenty-four Haitian officials 15 January 2002 New act of intimidation against examining judge in Jean Dominique case 4 January 2002 Assassination of journalist Jean Dominique: RSF urges parliamentary commission to decide in favour of lifting Dany Toussaint's parliamentary immunity 3 December 2001 Death of a second suspect in custody raises doubts as to the authorities' willingness to shed light on Radio Haïti Inter director's murder 15 November 2001 RSF and the International Alliance for Justice for Jean Dominique express concern that the Senate has yet to vote on lifting Dany Toussaint's parliamentary immunity 14 November 2001 RSF once again concerned by impunity in assassinated journalist Jean Dominique?s case 5 October 2001 RSF urges Senate to lift parliamentary immunity of senator implicated in journalist Jean Dominique's murder 14 August 2001 RSF hopes that the judge in charge of the inquiry into journalist Jean Dominique's assassination will return to the case 20 June 2001 New threats to inquiry into assassination of journalist Jean Dominique 14 June 2001 IAPA seeks protection for judge in case of murdered journalist 18 May 2001 Investigation into assassination of journalist Jean Dominique impeded again 11 May 2001 RSF releases report on the investigation into journalist Jean Dominique's murder 3 April 2001 IAPA publishes Internet report on investigation into journalist's murder 16 March 2001 AMARC condemns assassination of celebrated radio journalist 18 April 2000 RSF denounces threats against private radio station 7 April 2000 CPJ expresses sadness over journalist's assassination 5 April 2000 RSF condemns assassination of radio director 4 April 2000
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