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Haiti journalists denounce police brutality, demand justice

January 28, 2021 GMT
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Local journalists march to protest police brutality towards them, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
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Local journalists march to protest police brutality towards them, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A couple hundred journalists and opposition activists marched peacefully in Haiti’s capital Thursday to denounce police brutality and demand justice for colleagues slain in recent years.

The group chanted “No more violence against journalists!” Some held up signs that read “The police scares us” and “When press freedom is threatened, it’s democracy that’s in danger.”

Several journalists have been injured while covering recurrent, violent demonstrations in which protesters often clash with police. Others have been killed while working on unrelated stories.

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Freelance photojournalist Vladjimir Legagneur disappeared in March 2018 while on assignment, while Rospide Pétion was fatally shot in June 2019 as he drove home after finishing a radio program in which talked about corruption allegations against the administration of President Jovenel Moïse. In October 2019, Néhémie Joseph, a reporter for Panic FM and Radio Mega, was found in his car in Mirebalais, shot several times in the head.

Last year, another journalist survived a shooting attack, while there was an arson attack on the offices of Radio Television Caraibes during a protest organized by police officers demanding higher wages and better working conditions.