From Fri Jan 16 14:45:10 2004
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 12:47:32 -0600 (CST)
From: Bob Corbett <>
To: Haiti mailing list <>
Subject: 17960: AHP News—January 14, 2004—English translation (Unofficial) (fwd)

From: John Holmstead <>

Supporters of the opposition working as part of RAMICOS attack Radio Pyramide again in Saint-Marc (and other stories)

Agence Haitian de Presse, 14 January 2004 2:30 PM

Port-au-Prince, January 14 2004 -(AHP)- Armed men who belong to an organization named RAMICOS, which is close to the opposition, sacked the facilities of Radio Pyramide in Saint Marc on Wednesday.

This action was carried out at the conclusion of an anti-government demonstration organized by supporters of the opposition who chanted slogans hostile to the sectors presumed to be close to the governing party.

They broke windows and other material at the station while threatening to execute the station’s general manager, Fritson Orius and his employees.

Mr. Orius may have survived only because of the intervention by the police. The director of Radio Pyramide had denounced the previous day in an interview on Radio Solidarité the convening of a meeting last weekend in Portail Montrouis by Marc Antoine Adolphe, director of Radio Tête-à-Tête, for the purpose of attacking the station again.

He sought to alert Haitians and the international community to this danger.

Mr. Adolphe was at the head of a group of members of the opposition group RAMICOS that had damaged equipment last November at Radio Pyramide.

President Jean Bertrand Aristide condemns the sabotage of the transmitters of several radio stations serving the capital

AHP January 14, 2004 11:00 AM

Port-au-Prince, January 14 2004 -(AHP)- President Jean-Bertrand Aristide condemned the sabotage Tuesday of the transmitters of several radio stations serving the capital that took place that same day.

Armed individuals who arrived aboard a vehicle displaying a clearly identifiable license plate damaged in broad daylight equipment belonging to nearly ten stations of different orientations housed on the property of Engineer Fritz Joassaint, in Boutilliers.

According to the president, this act is intolerable in a democratic society. The press should function freely, objectively and without fear, he said.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide denounced this type of action which was common under the Duvalier dictatorships. He reaffirmed the determination of the government to utilize the law to prevent the repetition of similar acts of violence.

The Chief of State hopes that the media organizations that were the victims of the sabotage and all those who possess information relating to these incidents will collaborate in order to facilitate the work of justice officials.

He went on to also condemn the acts of violence recently perpetrated, including the murder of Edner Jeanty, the new director of the police in the North department, as well as the killing of a Lavalas activist in Miragoâne and the beating to death of a young Lavalas activist on January 7 during an opposition demonstration.

These acts of violence are intolerable and unacceptable, declared Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who said these recent events were barbarous acts.

The president asked the justice and police authorities to do everything in their power to find the authors of these acts and bring them to justice.

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide declared that he recognizes the right of each person to demonstrate, but everything must take place with respect for the law, pointing out that while demonstrators have rights, they also have responsibilities.

A half million dollars will be needed to repair the transmitters belonging to the stations of diverse orientation that were sabotaged in Boutilliers, according to Engineer Fritz Joassin

AHP January 14, 2004 11:40 AM

Port-au-Prince, January 14 2004 -(AHP)- The owner of the Electrocom site attacked Tuesday in Boutilliers by armed men set the damage Wednesday that was suffered by the different radio and television stations at approximately $500,000.

According to Fritz Joassin, who took part in a press conference held by the ANMH (National Association of Haitian Media), Radio Signal FM, Kiskeya and Télé Timoun were the stations that were the hardest hit and that will be the most costly to repair in order to enable them to resume broadcasting.

Mr. Joassin said that he had already repaired Radio Galaxie, Magik Stéréo and Radio Timoun.

For their part, ANMH officials asked that the appropriate authorities open an investigation to shed light on the incident.

A member of the association, Sony Bastien, described several lines of investigation that might, according to him, help the justice and police authorities carry out a proper investigation into the sabotage.

He gave the names of several individuals whom he accused of involvement in the incidents based on an interview with an individual who wishes to remain anonymous . The informant accused former deputy Simson Libéris of being behind the attack at Boutilliers based on a meeting held in the hamlet of Grand ravine, an accusation that was rejected by Mr. Libéris.

The station’s senior programmer, Lilianne Pierre-Paul, had previously accused Secretary of State for Communication Mario Dupuy and the government’s Delegate in the West department, Marie Antoinette Gauthier, of having encouraged this attack.

Another employee accused the director of a human rights organization, Lovinski Pierre-Antoine, of bearing responsibility for this attack.

ANMH said it wishes to associate in a court action with the public prosecutor in this case, and said it wished to alert the international community about the situation of the press in Haiti.

The director of the Haitian daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste, Max Chauvet, declared that the completion of this investigation would constitute, in the view of the media, the best assistance of the government.

Several members and leaders of the Convergence and the group of 184 were present at the ANMH news conference. At the event, the leader of the KID (Democratic unity Convention), Evans Paul condemned the acts of sabotage as an attack against freedom of the press in Haiti.

Evans Paul asked supporters of the opposition and other sectors of the population to help these stations find the resources to enable them to resume working as soon as possible.

Former Deputy Simson Libéris rejects accusations made against him and calls on individuals who claim to have information regarding the attack at Boutilliers to make themselves available to justice officials.

AHP January 14, 2004 1:45 PM

Port-au-Prince, January 14 2004 -(AHP)- The former Deputy from the 3rd district of Port-au-Prince, Simson Libéris, on Wednesday rejected the accusations made against him, he said, by individuals interviewed by Radio Kiskeya, who asked to remain anonymous. The station was one of ten that were sabotaged the previous day in Boutilliers.

According to the allegations, Simson Libéris planned the sabotage of the stations while at a meeting with mercenaries in Grand-Ravine.

Simson Libérus said he rejects these allegations. He also deplored that the station that carried out the interview was responsible for the broadcast of such serious accusations over the airwaves of another radio station without revealing the identity of the individuals interviewed.

According to Simson Libéris, the attack on the media as well as the charges made against him are part of a plan to tarnish the image of the government.

He called for the opening of an investigation to shed light on this odious act. The individual interviewed who claims to have information regarding the attack at Boutilliers should be made available to justice officials, he added.

For his part, the coordinator of the September 30 Foundation, Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, said that the authors of the attack at Boutilliers are enemies of democracy, regardless of the sector they may belong to.

Mr. Pierre Antoine deplored however that some officials of the sabotaged media organizations had made accusations without proof before an investigation had even been carried out.

He also rejected the accusations made against him by an employee of one of the sabotaged stations belonging to ANMH, asserting that he mad made a practice of preaching violence and intolerance.

Lovinsky Pierre Antoine questioned the origin and motivation behind such an act, asking why the bandits had decided to work in broad daylight.

Why did the bandits keep the license plates on the vehicles whereas they should have hidden them, he wondered, suggesting that the crime might have been planned accordingly.

The Justice system should assume its responsibilities of identifying and punishing the authors of these acts, declared Lovinsky Pierre Antoine. He also asked officials from the stations that were attacked not to put the cart before the horse.

Lovinsky Pierre Antoine also criticized the behavior of some sectors of the opposition and some human rights groups who he said practice a double standard with respect to acts of violence that take place in Haiti.

He said he regrets that the NCHR (National Coalition for Haitian Rights) accused the government the very day of this attack before an investigation into the incident had been started.

For his part, the acting coordinator of Fanmi Lavalas, Jonas Petit, described the attack at Boutilliers as crude and treacherous. He went on to denounce the absolute obscurantism (opposition to enlightenment) of some individuals who in the 21st century are promoting the closing of schools.

Mr. Petit encouraged the president and his government to remain committed to democracy. In his view, holding elections is the only democratic means of bringing the country out of the impasse.

The U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, James Foley, said that he considered the attack on the media organizations to be an assault on democracy.

Stating that it was to early to know the origin of this attack, he indicated that a free and independent press is important to the advancement and development of any country.