From Sun Feb 23 12:00:16 2003
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 09:46:55 -0600 (CST)
From: Bob Corbett <>
To: Haiti mailing list <>
Subject: 14901: Lemieux: NYTimes:Reuters:Haitian Radio Station to Close-Threats (fwd)

From: JD Lemieux <>

Haitian Radio Station to Close After Renewed Threats to Staff

Reuters, 22 February 2003

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 21—Almost three years after her husband was killed, the journalist who runs one of Haiti’s most popular radio stations said today that the station was going off the air because of threats against its staff.

We will shut down tomorrow because we have been subject to constant threats, Michèle Montas said in a statement read on the air on her station, Radio Haiti Inter, this morning. We have lost three lives—Jean Dominique, Jean-Claude Louissaint and Maxime Seide—and we refuse to lose another one.

Mr. Dominique, who was Ms. Montas’s husband and one of Haiti’s most well-known journalists, was shot to death as he arrived at the radio station along with Mr. Louissaint, the station’s caretaker, on April 3, 2000. Mr. Seide, Ms. Montas’s bodyguard, was killed when armed men attacked her home on Christmas Day.

We don’t know exactly when we will go back on the air, Ms. Montas said. But we will not take exile for a third time, because we have only freedom of expression as a weapon.

Radio Haiti Inter mixes political commentary and investigative reporting in its programming, and was one of the first stations to broadcast in the Creole language of Haiti rather than in French.

Mr. Dominique and Ms. Montas were forced to flee Haiti twice as a result of attacks on Radio Haiti Inter, once during the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1980 and again under the military government that ruled Haiti in the early 1990’s.

Earlier this week, another station, Radio Métropole, stopped broadcasting news for 24 hours to protest attacks against its journalists by supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who became Haiti’s first freely elected president in 1991 and began his second term in 2001.

The investigation into the killing of Mr. Dominique has become an emotional flash point in this impoverished Caribbean nation of eight million. Three judges investigating the case have quit, saying they have been subjected to threats, pressure and obstruction from people close to the government of Mr. Aristide.