Independent radio station attacked

New York, October 30, 2003— The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the Tuesday, October 28, gunfire attack on the offices of the independent station Radio Caraïbes, located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.

Caraïbes protested the attack by suspending newscasts on Wednesday. It plans to resume broadcast on Monday, November 3.

At around 8:30 p.m. on October 28, unidentified assailants opened fire on Radio Caraïbes, damaging the front of the building and a car belonging to a reporter. No one was injured.

Local press reports cited witnesses who said the gunmen were driving a vehicle with official license plates. Mario Dupuy, Haiti’s secretary of state for communications, said that the vehicle used in the incident belonged to the state and could have been stolen.

In last August, a CPJ delegation visited Haiti and met with journalists, human rights organizations, and high-level government officials, including President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to discuss press freedom conditions in the country. According to CPJ research, Haiti ranks as one of the most violent places to practice journalism in the Western Hemisphere, second only to Colombia.

“We call on the Haitian government to conduct a thorough investigation into this attack, bring the perpetrators to justice, and ensure a safe environment for journalists,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper.