JANUARY 14, 2005
Posted: January 27, 2005

Claude Bernard Serant, Le Nouvelliste
Jonel Juste, Le Nouvelliste


Serant and Juste, reporters with the Port-au-Prince-based daily Le Nouvelliste, were beaten and robbed while covering an operation by U.N. peacekeepers in a shantytown in Haiti’s capital. The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti was removing burned vehicles and wreckage used by gangs as roadblocks in slums around the capital.

Local press reports said several unidentified assailants attacked Serant and Juste after covering one such operation in Bel Air, a stronghold of militants loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Both reporters suffered minor injuries. They were treated in a local hospital and later released.

Le Nouvelliste reported the assailants left a message on Juste’s tape recorder that said: “Don’t come back here. The next time you will loose your skin.”

More than 100 people have been killed in Haiti’s capital since September 30, when Aristide activists stepped up protests to demand his return from exile in South Africa.