Haitian police target journalists during opposition protest
Port-au-Prince, Feb 10 (efe-epa).- Haitian police used tear gas against journalists covering a demonstration in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday that demanded the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse.
Police fired tear gas into a marked vehicle in which there was a team from Radio Télé Pacific.
In the same march, an Associated Press photographer was injured in the leg by the impact of a tear gas canister.
The Association of Haitian Journalists in a statement said it condemned the violation of the freedom of the press and the right to information and that attacks on freedom of the press have increased in recent weeks, coinciding with the increase in anti-government protests.
On Monday two journalists were shot during a demonstration in front of the National Palace.
Dozens of journalists demonstrated on Jan. 28 in downtown Port-au-Prince to denounce being targeted by police.
Reporters Without Borders says that journalists in Haiti “continue to be the victims of intimidation or physical violence, especially while covering protests.”
Hundreds of people participated in Wednesday’s demonstration demanding Moïse step down, believing that is illegally occupying the presidency, as according to the opposition, his mandate ended Sunday.
The protesters chanted slogans such as “Down with the dictatorship, down with the OAS (Organization of American States) and down with the United States.”
The OAS and the US support Moïse’s claim that his mandate ends in 2022.
However, on Tuesday both Washington and the OAS criticized his decision to retire three opposition judges, one that apparently violates the Constitution.
Haiti was plunged into a political crisis last weekend when Moïse claimed that an opposition group was plotting a coup against him.
On Monday, opposition parties announced that they no longer recognized Moïse’s authority and appointed Supreme Court judge Joseph Mécène Jean Louis as interim president.
Jean Louis is one of three magistrates who was “retired” by Moïse hours after he was appointed as head of state by the opposition. EFE-EPA