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Vulnerable to Attack, Haitian Journalists Flee

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Home invasions, arson, gang attacks: As violence sweeps Haiti, the country’s journalists are being targeted.

In the past two weeks, at least five Haitian journalists have fled their homes in the Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

Haiti has been affected by insecurity since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021. In the aftermath of that, gangs have waged a violent battle for power in the capital.

The crisis led Human Rights Watch to say last month that “the Haitian government has failed to protect people” from the attacks, kidnappings and sexual violence taking place.

One of those who recently left their home is Arnold Junior Pierre, said the Committee to Protect Journalists or CPJ.

On August 31, gang members broke into the radio broadcaster’s home and set the building on fire. Pierre and 15 of his relatives fled to safety.

“I’m afraid for my life,” Pierre told CPJ, adding that he was not sure what specific coverage may have provoked the attack.

On July 31, a group of men attacked and beat Pierre while he covered a protest in the southwestern side of Port-au-Prince, and he said he also has received death threats from a police officer.

Also in July, assailants set fire to local station Radio Antarctique and several buildings, and two journalists were briefly kidnapped.


Some journalists estimate that as many as nine reporters have been kidnapped in Haiti since the start of the year.

The rising violence and targeting of media have journalism groups worried.

“We are watching with grave concern as the situation in Haiti reaches new levels of bloodshed,” said Cristina Zahar, Latin America, and Caribbean program coordinator for CPJ in a statement.

The New York-based organization says it believes more journalists will have to leave their homes because of insecurity.

Figures from the United Nations show the scale of the issue.

“Between January 1 and August 15 of this year, at least 2,439 people have been killed and a further 902 injured. In addition, at least 951 people have been kidnapped,” United Nations rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva last month.

In its 2023 assessment of Haiti, Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, said the country is one of the region’s most dangerous for the media, with reporters “increasingly vilified and vulnerable.”

“Haitian journalists were already risking their lives whenever they went into the field but now they are in danger even when at home,” Artur Romeu, director of the Latin America bureau at RSF said in a statement.

The watchdog said that at least six journalists were killed there in relation to their work in 2022.

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