Sources: Guards brought inmates from other prisons to beat on arrested journalists
- Wednesday, June 29, 2011 10:19 AM
PETIT-GOAVE, Haiti - Two journalists, controversially arrested by the Commissioner, Alix Civil of Petit-Goave, did not resist arrest but were found with visible signs of abuse. With the journalist in prison, authorities have also confiscated radio equipment from the station.
The journalists were transferred from Petit-Goave in the prison of Carrefour in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, where they are detained in harsh conditions.
While journalists are imprisoned in the detention center Omega, prisoners from elsewhere were brought in the afternoon of Thursday, June 23 to spend one night there. And that night, said prisoners have abused the two brothers, before being returned the next morning to another place.
"This is an extremely serious act. That tactic often used by politicians and other loose players who want to inflict corporal sÃ©visses some detainees," said Mr. Guyler Delva, Secretary General of SOS Journalists, an organization for press freedom.
"We have the right to suspect the hand of those who cynically are behind this arbitrary arrest," Delva argued.
The two journalists are being accused of inciting a riot by the Prosecutor in Petit-Goave and the Commissioner, Alix Civil. SOS Journalists believes the arrest to have been unjust given that the two did not give orders to the crowd, but Commissioner Civil believes the two had control over the crowd.
Transmitter and other equipment confiscated
By order of the commissioner Alix Civil, Justice of the Peace, Jean Jude LÃ©andre, went on radio to affix sealed. By order of the commissioner Civil, the issuer, the console and microphones belonging to Radio Prevention were removed and transported in a police truck (UDMO) in an unknown location.
"It is unimaginable that a government commissioner decides to take the transmitter and other equipment to operate the radio. The authorities have even confiscated the license of Radio ", denounced Guyler C. Delva.
According to SOS Journalists, journalists are not above the law and must exercise the freedom of the press responsibly. However, if defamation, there are procedures and the arbitrary will never be accepted, he said.
Mr. Delva said he had spoken to members of the cabinet of President Joseph Michel Martelly, who ensured that the Head of State does not support such acts against the press. Mr. Delva said he will meet with the president on this issue.
SOS Journalists demanded the immediate release of imprisoned journalists and intends to bring an action against the commissioner Civil for abuse of power. SOS also requires that sealed affixed to the doors of the Radio are lifted immediately and that the transmitter and other equipment confiscated be returned and the club radio station is guaranteed.
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Full Article: Le Nouvelliste