Haitian media and journalist association call on the de facto government to give priority to the security situation in Haiti

ANMH President Jacques Sampeur

By Alterpresse, April 13, 2023

In an interview with Alterpresse, the National Association of Haitian Media (l’Association nationale des médias haïtiens - ANMH) and the Association of Haitian Journalists (l’Association des journalistes haïtiens - AJH) demanded that the de facto government  give priority to the security situation in Haiti.

According to Jacques Sampeur, the president of the ANMH, “our priority is the release of the director general of Canal Bleu television, Robert Denis, kidnapped on Tuesday April 11, 2023, on the road to Frères. We are worried about the state of health of Robert Denis, who is ill." This came in response to Ariel Henry's invitation to take part in a meeting, on April 12, 2023, on the situation in the country.

The ANMH declined this invitation..

In the invitation, Ariel Henry's cabinet also asked the ANMH to propose a second person, among the 20 personalities from various representative sectors of civil society, to submit to the High Council of Transition (Haut conseil de transition  - HCT). From which 9 members will be chosen to form a Provisional Electoral Council (Conseil électoral provisoire - CEP).

This meeting was postponed indefinitely after the ANMH refused to attend. They stated that they prioritize the release of ANMH vice-president Robert Denis.

“The behavior of the de facto government is unacceptable. There is a total absence of authority”, the ANMH criticized. They also demanded that the de facto government put an end to the scourge of kidnapping.

In a report released April 4, 2023 by the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights (CARDH) 389 kidnappings were recorded for the first quarter of 2023 (January to March 2023.

In the interview with Alterpresse, Jacques Sampeur said “I salute the efforts and bow to the sacrifices made by current journalists who, despite everything, continue to practice journalism in Haiti. The security situation for journalists has worsened. Journalists are killed during reports, investigations, and even in their homes.” 

According to the secretary of the AJH Jacques Desrosiers, “there must be elections because the country cannot afford to spend 4 to 5 years in transition. But organizing elections is not the priority at the moment. It is up to the de facto government to give the guarantee to the Haitian people that, in a given time period, the situation will improve with a view to holding elections", affirms, for his part.

“The situation is untenable in Haiti. Government actions are not enough. The results, the actions, do not correspond with what the Haitian people expect. The government needs to make a lot more effort, ” he said.

On Monday, February 06, 2023, Ariel Henry installed a three members of a High Transitional Council (HCT) with the goal of setting up a CEP and organizing elections.

They are Mirlande Hyppolite Manigat (political sector), Laurent Saint Cyr (private sector) and Calixte Fleuridor (President of the Protestant Federation of Haiti / FPH, civil society).

The HCT is tasked with "ensuring the credibility and integrity of the elections, by participating in the selection of members of the CEP."

The HCT is the result of a so-called "National Consensus" document, also called the December 21 Accord, signed by the de facto government, with some representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and the private sector.


Translated by CHIP editors


Posted April 26, 2023