Editor’s note: The original text of this alert has been changed to clarify Pina’s relationship with Lavalas.
New York, September 12, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern at the arrest on Friday of a U.S. filmmaker and a Haitian reporter who were covering a police search in the capital Port-au-Prince. Kevin Pina, a filmmaker and correspondent with Flashpoints, a California-based radio show produced by station KPFA Berkeley , and Jean Ristil, a Haitian working for The Associated Press, were held in police custody for four days on suspicion of showing disrespect to a magistrate and resisting authority. They were released without charge today.
Pina told CPJ he was arrested while filming Judge Jean Perez Paul and police officers who were searching the church of the Rev. Jean Juste, a jailed priest who is considered a possible Lavalas presidential candidate in elections in November 2005. Pina is a supporter of Lavalas, the party of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The judge had said that Pina hit him while police tried to remove him from the church, the AP reported. Pina denied this.