Haitian journalists call on CPT to ensure investigations into journalists’ deaths continue

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – Haitian media organization SOS Journalistes on Friday called on the newly installed Presidential Transitional Council (CPT) to use its influence to advance the cases of journalists killed in the country.

In a statement on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the SOS Journalistes also appealed to the Supreme Judicial Council (CSPJ) to ensure that the cases of people linked to the deaths of these journalists do not remain pending in the courts and tribunals in the country. .

“SOS Journalistes demands justice in the cases of murdered journalists, including Garry Tesse, who were murdered in 2022 after being kidnapped and tortured, allegedly by the accomplices of a justice official in the city of Les Cayes, with the support and tacit complicity of the highest authorities of the Ministry of Justice in Port-au-Prince.

“SOS Journalistes calls for the restart of the investigation into the murder of Garry Tesse and rejects in advance any denial of justice as desired and planned by certain offenders in the system,” SOS Journalistes said in the statement.

The nine-member CPT is led by Edgar Leblanc Fils, 68, a veteran politician and former president of Haiti’s national assembly. It has promised security, justice and economic recovery, while constitutional reforms and credible general elections are also top of the agenda as the troubled Caribbean country seeks a way out of the current political and socio-economic crisis.

Haiti is steeped in political unrest and social unrest following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on July 7, 2021.

Rival gangs have overrun the poverty-stricken French-speaking country, plunging citizens into further despair and forcing several foreign agencies to remove non-essential staff from their offices in Haiti.

More than 2,500 people were killed or injured in Haiti between January and March, according to the United Nations. Nearly 95,000 people have fled Port-au-Prince. People are struggling to find food and access health care as Haiti’s ports and airports are closed.

SOS Journalistes urged the various political actors and other stakeholders in other important sectors of society to “open themselves to journalists to facilitate access to information, which represents a defining element in journalists’ mission to inform ”.

It also called on journalists and other media workers to observe ethical and professional rules that would help them do their jobs better.

World Press Freedom Day 2024 is being held under the theme ‘A press for the planet: journalism in the face of the environmental crisis’.