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Radio journalist gunned down in Port-au-Prince, motive unclear

(RSF/IFEX) - 10 February 2011 - Reporters Without Borders is dismayed to learn that Jean Richard Louis-Charles, a 30-year-old journalist working for Radio Kiskeya, one of Port-au-Prince's most popular radio stations, was fatally shot twice in the head yesterday near the capital's central Champs-de-Mars square.

Another man at the scene, named as Jean Wilner Duperval, was shot dead on the spot by a plainclothes policeman. The police recovered the gun used to kill Louis-Charles and, according to news agencies quoting a police spokesperson, they made an arrest.

The information available is unclear. Louis-Charles was initially pursued by three men in a pickup as he left a bank. According to some sources, Duperval was accompanying Louis-Charles. But other witness said it was Duperval who fired the shots that killed the journalist. The police have not offered more precise indications as to the possible motive.

Pending further information from the police investigation, Reporters Without Borders offers its most sincere condolences to Louis-Charles' partner and two daughters, to Radio Kiskeya co-directors Liliane Pierre-Paul and Marvel Dandin, and to all the other members of the staff at the station, for which he had worked for nearly six years.

Louis-Charles was the first journalist to be killed in the Americas since the start of 2011.

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