Haiti: President Martelly Censors Facebook Page
- Wednesday, December 21, 2011 7:53 AM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - Haitian President Michel Martelly deletes and blocks critical comments posted on his Facebook Page, Defend Haiti has learned.
The breach of ARTICLE 28 of the Constitution of Haiti was learned on Tuesday when Haitian citizen Wilkins Florestal posted a comment on Michel Martelly's Facebook Page, which read, originally in creole:
Florestal was referring to reports from the Government's Unit for Fighting Corruption which found that besides Prime Minister Garry Conille, out of 19 ministers including the president of the government none have declared homes owned, businesses owned or bank accounts owned, within the 30-day of window of taking office as prescribed by Haitian law.
Editor in Chief of Defend Haiti Samuel Maxime says Florestal is not the only known case of censorship. Maxime himself says on an occasion when President Michel Martelly's Facebook Page reported that there was a projection of 7.8% economic growth for 2012 estimated by the International Monetary Fund, he attempted to make a point that the estimation was decreased from 8.6% during the administration of Martelly. Maxime says he was immediately denied the opportunity of expression by the Haitian executive.
"Although it's Facebook, it is an important communication tool and the president or his staff's unwillingness to let individuals post fair criticisms shows a weakness of integrity in the Martelly-Conille administration and is, in my opinion, a violation of the Constitution of Haiti," said Maxime.
Maxime also said that his case and the case of Florestal are only what is known to Defend Haiti and that it is most likely that these offenses against expression have gone on before and may continue to go on.
It is important to note that Defend Haiti has a Facebook Page that it does not censor outside of spam and threats of death. DH has contacted the National Palace for a statement on these incidents and are awaiting a response.
ARTICLE 28: Every Haitian has the right to express his opinions freely on any matter by any means he chooses.
Related 10.05.2011: Haitian Media Association Condemns Martelly Verbal Abuse of Journalist
Related 10.04.2011: President Martelly Threatens Vulgarity towards Journalist's Mother
Related 06.14.2011: Human Rights Warns Martelly of Questionable Personnel in Entourage