Haiti Police to Probe Reporter’s Death During Protest

​Haitian journalist Romelson Vilsaint has allegedly been killed after witnesses say he was struck in the head by a tear gas canister as officers also opened fire on a group of reporters.

Haiti’s National Police have since launched a probe into the death.

On Sunday, Police Chief Frantz Elbé said that officers were forced to fire tear gas to control a “hostile crowd” who was allegedly attacking a police station in the capital of Port-au-Prince that day.

According to the Associated Press, witnesses say that several journalists including Vilsaint, who worked for radio station Generation 80, had gathered at a police station in Delmas to demand the release of one of their colleagues, Robest Dimanche, who had been detained while covering a protest on Sunday.

The police have been accused by the Association of Haitian Journalists of physically abusing several journalists and confiscating their equipment and other belongings, and have condemned what it describes as “anti-democratic acts of repression.”

The association said in a statement that “The safety of media and free movement of journalists is essential for the full and complete enjoyment of freedom of the press, freedom of thought, freedom of expression and the right to information that make up democracy.”


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