Journalist killed during a protest in Haiti’s capital

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A Haitian journalist, Romero Vilsaint, died on Sunday after being shot in the head when police opened fire on reporters who mounted a demonstration demanding the release of one of their colleagues detained while covering a protest. 

The body of Vilsaint, who worked for an online publican, was found lying face down inside the parking lot of a police station here.

Richard Perrin, a freelance photographer, saw police open fire, hitting Vilsaint. 

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Haiti’s National Police, Gary Desrosiers,  confirmed that Vilsaint was fatally shot but declined further comment except to say it was a lamentable situation.

The Online Media Collective, a local journalists’ association, denounced Dimanche’s arrest, saying he was being treated like a “dangerous criminal” and was charged with disturbing public order. Dimanche also is a spokesman for the organization.

“Our spokesperson acted within the framework of the journalistic mission by covering a protest movement,” the organization said. “The detention … is the latest signal, without doubt, the most worrying, of a resurgence of attacks on freedom of information, and this journalist must be released.”

The organization also demanded that those responsible for the recent killing of radio journalist Garry Tess and the Oct. 25 attack on Roberson Alphonse, a reporter for Le Nouvelliste newspaper, be brought to justice.

On Wednesday, Le Nouvelliste, Haiti’s largest newspaper, announced it was suspending publication of its print product given “serious security problems” that hamper production and distribution.

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