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Group demands kidnappers release Haitian journalist as “act of love”

Haitian journalist


PORT-AU-PRINCE — Demonstrators marched on Feb. 14 to demand the release of Jean Thony Lorthé, a journalist kidnapped two weeks prior while on his way to his sister-in-law’s funeral.

Lorthé, a Vision 2000 radio journalist, is also a founding member and spokesperson for RENAGSANG. The blood collection group led the march that drew journalists and others in calling for kidnappers to let Lorthé go without his family having to pay a ransom. 

“Journalists don’t have money,” said Nancy Lainé, a journalist and president of RENAGSANG. “We only have our microphone, our camera and our pen to write.”

“We hope that this march will encourage the kidnappers to make this gesture of love as Lorthé used to do when he agrees to donate his blood in collections,” Lainé said.


On Feb. 3, Lorthé, his brother Odner Lorthé and a church friend, Mylove Jordain, were en route to a funeral when they were kidnapped in the Laboule 12 neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. The funeral was for the journalist’s sister-in-law, who died from complications of breast cancer.

On Tuesday, the Association of Haitian Journalists joined the march to demand the kidnappers release the trio. Lorthé’s family is unable to pay a ransom, the demonstrators said, and he suffers from serious health problems.

This march coincides with World Radio Day, marked under the theme “Radio and Peace.”

Journalists in Haiti are often threatened by violence raging in the country, particularly murders, kidnappings and beatings. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, seven reporters were killed in Haiti, making it the third highest country for journalists murdered in 2022.

In July 2022, Edner Fils Decime, a reporter from Alter Presse, was taken hostage and spent more than 20 days in the hands of his captors. 


The latest United Nations report said 1,359 people have been kidnapped in 2022.

“Don’t wait until one of your loved ones is a victim to come forward,” said Lainé, calling on other sectors to stand up against kidnapping. “Standing in solidarity, we can make a difference.”

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