Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

US Grants Threatened Haitian Reporter Asylum (Voice of America)

Voice of America News Staff

The United States has granted political asylum to a Haitian journalist and his family who received death threats for his reporting for the Voice of America.

VOA Creole service reporter Sainlus Augustin said after arriving in the United States this week that he is grateful he and his family have asylum.

He also thanked the U.S. embassy in Haiti for what he calls its strong support for press freedom.

Augustin interviewed voters in the town of Maissade during elections for the Haitian senate in April 2009. The voters told him that a man beat them because they did not support his brother, who was one of the candidates.

The brother threatened Augustin and his family with death if he continued reporting on the incident.

Gunmen later fired at Augustin’s house while he and his wife were sleeping.  Augustin spent the last year in hiding.

VOA Director Dan Austin said he is relieved Augustin and his family are safe and that he is grateful for his reporting from Haiti.

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