Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

A Haitian and American journalist were detained Friday by police

Associated Press
Sep 12, 2005

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – A Haitian and American journalist were detained Friday by police searching the church of a jailed priest who is considered a potential presidential candidate.Kevin Pina, a journalist and filmmaker from the United States, was detained after filming the police as they searched the church of the Rev Jean-Juste.The officers also detained Jean Ristil, a Haitian who was working for The Associated Press, as he tried to take photographs of police leading away a handcuffed Pina.Both men were taken to the police station where Judge Jean Peres Paul ordered them held on suspicion of “disrespect to a magistrate” and resisting arrest.The judge said the Haitian journalist would probably be freed by Monday, though he did not explain the reasons, and would not say when Pina would be released.Peres Paul, an investigative judge who ordered the search and was there during the operation, said Pina struck him as officers tried to remove the reporter from the church. The journalist denies striking the judge.Pina has been reporting from Haiti for 10 years for Flashpoints, a daily programme produced by radio station KPFA in Berkeley, California, and distributed to other stations by the Pacifica Radio Network, said Dennis Bernstein, the show’s executive producer.A Haitian attorney has gone to the police station in an attempt to secure his release, Bernstein said.

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