Haiti - FLASH : Incitement to violence, the CONATEL call to order the radio stations
CONATEL therefore enjoins all operators of broadcasting services to :
"1- Continue the process of creating a democratic state and law in accordance with the laws;
2- Cease all incitement to violence and hatred, a crime sanctioned by the Penal Code, an approach incompatible with the values and fundamental principles of our Nation;
3- Do not broadcast live scenes of extreme violence during prime time to protect minors.
Otherwise, CONATEL will be forced to apply the provisions of article 139 paragraph c of the decree of 12 October 1977 "[...] when the offense is committed through a broadcasting service, the penalty strikes the concessionaire, the personnel involved or those who operate on a regular or occasional basis, as the case may be, the penalty may be progressive and go as far as the cancellation of the concession for the holder, at the suspension for two years in respect of the staff and a fine imposed on the participants in accordance with the law and the regulations.
Moreover, Amos Zéphirin, Director General of the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Communities (MICT), following the irresponsible behavior of Radio Zenith 102.5 FM who calls for the armed uprising and collaborates openly and unequivocally with the opposition against the police forces https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29205-haiti-flash-the-government-condemns-and-accuses-radio-zenith-of-incitement-to-the-armed-struggle.html sent an open letter to the National Association of Haitian Media (ANMH) and the Association of Independent Media of Haiti (AMIH) so that they look at the excesses of certain media that exceeds the scope of the freedom of the press…
Extracts from the Ministry's Open Letter :
We salute the work of the National Association of Haitian Media (ANMH) and the Association of Independent Media of Haiti (AMIH) who are constantly struggling to defend the democratic gains [...] the free exercise of public freedoms, is one of the greatest achievements of the democratic process in Haiti. Nevertheless, if the media have the right and the duty, among other things, to question the weaknesses of our institutions, to denounce corrupt practices from wherever they come and to deal with major issues to preserve the values of society, should not they also look at excesses within the Corporation?
[...] As such, the Ministry of the Interior wishes to draw the attention of the Press Associations and media owners, on the case of radio Zénith FM, emitting on frequency 102.5 FM, which instrumentalise in loop programs to direct public opinion, unequivocally, towards an armed uprising against established constitutional authority. This medium, in an unethical and unethical attitude of the press, is directly and always unequivocally involved in practices of intimidation, incitement to violence and the perpetration of acts deemed criminal, thus shifting the population into a climate of tension, fear and widespread unrest, instead of informing its audience.
[...] We must not allow a group to destroy the efforts for stability by unfortunately confusing the idea of carrying a political struggle clearly interested and partisan, to that of objectively give the floor to the representatives of all sectors, institutions and organizations, without discrimination and to echo the demands and positions of the population. Which, moreover, would be legitimate, professional and democratic.
Thus, we invite you to a jump and why not to demand the correction of these excesses in the name of the practice and the orthodox respect of the professions of the communication and in particular the journalism at the level of the mass media. Humbly and always without pretending to interfere in the internal evolution of the organs of the Haitian press, we also allow ourselves to point out to your attention the important issue of the facts raised here, because if the press is rightly often advocated as a fundamental asset for democracy, misuse of the media can also pose a threat [...]"
Download the full letter from the DG of the Ministry of the Interior : https://www.haitilibre.com/docs/lettre-ouverte-ANMH-AMIH-MICT.pdf