On October 10, radio journalist Néhémie Joseph was found dead in his car in the Mirebalais area.

According to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the journalist – who had previously received death threats – was shot several times in the head, making his the sixth journalist killing since 1992. Two of those have been within the last 5 months. Pétion Rospide was the first andNéhémie Jospeh is the second.

Earlier this year, the Public Media Alliance examined the media landscape in Haiti, reporting on the presence of public interest journalism as well as the challenges facing journalists due to censorship and violence.

2000 Murder of radio journalist Jean Léopold Dominique who was the owner and director of the independent station Radio Haïti Inter, was shot dead by an unknown gunman who also killed the station’s security guard, Jean Claude Louissaint.

2012 Shooting of Radio Télé Zénith reporter Wendy Phèle by the bodyguard of the local mayor.

2014 Two police officers assault Radio Télé Express journalist Gerdy Jeremie at a taxi drivers’ protest.

2015 Groups of unidentified assailants denounced the head of Radio Télé Zénith and threatened to set fire to the premises and fired automatic weapons at Radio Télé Kiskeya. Both outlets reported that they and their staff had received death threats. Witnesses say journalists were attacked during the election-related protests, with both demonstrators and police destroying or seizing their equipment.

2015 Melodie FM journalist Marc Elie Pierre was murdered on a bus by unidentified assailants in April.

2015 A police officer struck the motorcycle of Radio TV Signal cameraman Samus David François with his vehicle and subsequently beat him. A criminal complaint was filed, but the case made little progress during the year.

2018 Disappearance of journalist Vladjimir Legagneur while on assignment in Port-au-Prince remains unsolved.

2019 Reuters correspondent Robenson Sanon was shot and wounded in his right arm while covering anti-president protests.

2019 Télévision Nationale d’Haïti journalist Richardson Jourdan was badly beaten by protesters at a demonstration in Port-au-Prince.

2019Vehicles at Radio TV Ginen were set on fire and Radio Tele Vinen reporters were hit with rocks and their cars were vandalized.

2019 Journalist Pétion Rospide, a presenter for Radio sans fin, was shot while driving home from work.

2019 The vehicle of journalist Kendi Zidor was shot at several times while he was driving home in Port-au-Prince. Zidor told CPJ that he had received death threats via text message since publishing an editorial critical of local authorities.

2019 Journalist Luckson Saint-Vil survived a similar shooting. The journalist’s vehicle was shot at as he was leaving work for the day. According to reports, at least seven bullets struck the car. Sanit-Vil’s vehicle was clearly marked as a press vehicle. Days before the incident, the had filed a complaint with judicial police regarding death threats he received via text message.

2019 Photojournalist Dieu Nalio Chery was struck in the face after senator Jean Marie Ralph Féthièr shot his gun in the Senate yard and had to have a bullet fragment removed from his jaw.

2019 Radio sans fin cameraman Edmond Joseph Agénor, was hit by police bullet while covering a protest. According to reports, police fired live ammunition into the crowd of protesters.

2019 Radio journalist Néhémie Joseph was found dead in his car in the Mirebalais area having suffered gunshot wounds.

In the last year alone, two journalists have been shot and killed, four others survived shootings, one was attacked by police and press vehicles at Radio TV Ginen were set on fire. Elsewhere, Radio Tele Vinen reporters were hit with rocks and their cars were vandalised.

In one incident a politician opened fire on a crowd, with one journalist hit in the face by a bullet fragment. The senator involved is yet to be held to account.

Speaking to the Public Media Alliance, CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator, Natalie Southwick, said:

2019 is rapidly becoming one of the most dangerous years for the Haitian press in recent memory. As protests have convulsed the country, the local journalists doing their best to keep Haitians informed about ongoing events have faced harassment, death threats, gun violence and assassination attempts. Yet, despite the documented rise in incidents of deadly and near-fatal violence against journalists, Haitian authorities have done little to investigate these cases or ensure members of the press are able to do their job without putting their lives on the line.

The escalated, ongoing physical threats and violence towards journalists are a direct challenge to press freedom in Haiti. Journalists play a crucial role in informing the public, a role with utmost significance in regions recovering from crisis and disaster situations and without a reliable, independent public media outlet.

The Public Media Alliance condemns all acts of violence towards the journalists.

Header Image: Les Jalousies Port-au-Prince. Credit: LucDuguay/iStock