Journalist for online radio station Montreal killed while working in Haiti

MONTREAL – A Montreal-based online radio journalist was killed Thursday near the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, as he was about to interview a member of an armed group about the murder of a police inspector.

Francky Attis, CEO of Radio Ecoute FM, said John Wesley Amady was shot dead in a “brutal” and “criminal” attack. Attis said Amady is 32 years old this year.

In an interview, Mr Attis said Amady was with two other journalists in the Laboule 12 area, near Port-au-Prince, when they were attacked. Attis said journalists were working on the story of the death of a police inspector earlier this month.

He remembers Amady as a kind man who worked to provide for his family, adding that the slain journalist was the only source of financial support for his ailing mother. Attis said Amady, who started working for the station in 2018, can cover dangerous areas that other journalists cannot.

“There are stories that a lot of people want to do, but others don’t,” Attis says. “He always did that, going into tough neighborhoods, dangerous neighborhoods, talking to gangs ΓǪ He did it very well.”

Attis says that while Radio Ecoute FM’s headquarters is in Montreal, it has a studio and six employees in Haiti. He condemned the killings, which he said were an attack not only on the right to life, but also on the ability of journalists to work freely in the country.

“We are asking the Haitian authorities for justice, we are asking for real justice,” he said. “As increasing insecurity, crime and punishment continue to plunge Haitian families into a spiral of mourning, we ask the relevant authorities to take their responsibility to create favorable security conditions for everyone.”

The attack was also condemned by media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, which identified the other slain journalist as Wilguens Louissaint. In a Twitter post, the group said it “calls on the Haitian authorities to fully shed light on this attack and bring those responsible to justice. Working conditions of the press in Haiti continue. continued to deteriorate in recent years.”

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has vowed to crack down on gangs that authorities blame for an increase in kidnappings and blockages at gas distribution stations that have caused severe fuel shortages in recent months. this. The unrest has prompted the United States and Canada to urge their citizens to leave Haiti.

Just a few days ago, Henry was forced to flee the northern city of Gonaives after a gunfight between his security guards and an armed group warned him not to set foot in the city.

The July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise has left a power vacuum that has fueled violence and a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

With files from the Associated Press.


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