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Haiti - Politic : The CONATEL call to order radio stations...
11/04/2014 10:43:35

Haiti - Politic : The CONATEL call to order radio stations...
In a statement dated April 8, the Executive Board of the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL) notes that "some radio stations, in violation of the provisions of the Penal Code and the laws and regulations of telecommunications, broadcasting systematically false information likely to disturb public order, to destabilize the institutions of the Republic and to undermine the integrity of many citizens."

CONATEL recalls that the Haitian State has the monopoly on telecommunications services (Decree of 12 October 1977) and that Article 6 of the Decree states that "telecommunications likely to disturb public order, national security, relations international, ethics and morals or the normal life of the society and its institutions are not sent" and the penalties in such cases are provided for in Article 139 of the said decree as follows :

"CONATEL apply, where applicable, the penalties provided for in Article 109 to natural or legal persons who commit the following offenses:
c) Violating the provisions of Article 6 or transmit false signals. When the offense is committed by means of a broadcasting service, the penalty strikes the 'concessionnaire', staff involved or those who provide operating on a regular or occasional basis, as applicable; the penalty may be progressive and up to the cancellation of the concession holder, to the suspension for two years as regards staff and a fine imposed on the participants in accordance with the law and regulations."

Accordingly, "the CONATEL makes injunction to broadcasting stations to immediately end these irresponsible practices that endanger the public peace and the integrity of its citizens. Fault by them to comply, the CONATEL will apply the provisions of that law."

It should be noted that this intervention of CONATEL comes three days after the statements of Dr. Rudy Heriveaux [coincidence?] the new Minister of Communications, who wished during its installation, that there is a very good relationship between the press and the Ministry, but was also committed to ending disinformation campaigns, see of intoxication, while reassuring the media that he had no intention to silence the press or to undermine freedom of expression. https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-10877-haiti-politic-toward-the-end-of-disinformation-campaigns-in-the-media.html

Mr. Edwin Coq, the Head of Legal Department of CONATEL, justifies the intervention of the regulatory body of telecommunications in Haiti stating that it is by no means an attack on freedom of expression, but to end abuses reported at some radio stations in Haiti...

A view not shared among others by, Pierre Esperance, executive director of the National Network for the Defence of Human Rights (RNDDH) that assimilates the call to order as a infringement of freedom of expression. An opinion also shared by the "Patriotic Movement of the Democratic Opposition" (MOPOD) which includes the major opposition parties also condemned the action of CONATEL. For Turneb Delpe Assistant Coordinator of the Steering Committee of MOPOD "it is a threat to press freedom in Haiti," stressing that the present government wants to restore the dictatorship in the country.

Reacting to this news, Réginald Delva, the new Minister of the Interior stated that nobody today can affect the freedom of expression in Haiti and that he intended to speak with the Director General of CONATEL for better appreciation of the content of this announcement.

Download the Decree of 12 October 1977 (PDF Format) : https://www.haitilibre.com/docs/loitelecom.pdf

HL/ TB/ HaitiLibre

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