Judge appointed to probe death of photojournalist in Haiti
photo-journalist Maxihen Lazzarre

[naviga:h2]PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – The Dean of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince, Judge Bernard Saint-Vil, has appointed a judge to probe the death of a photojournalist during a street protest by textile workers over an increase in minimum wages last week.


Justice Chavannes Étienne has been appointed to investigate the case of photo-journalist Maxihen Lazzarre, who was shot dead during the workers' demonstration on February 23.

The appointment of the judge follows last week's announcement by the General Directorate of the National Police of Haiti that it had launched its own investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of a photojournalist and injury to other media workers covering the protest.

The DGPNH has sought to assure the public of “the result of this investigation and the appropriate measures that will be taken against all the police officers who may be involved in this regrettable incident”.

Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry has already 'deplored” the death of Lazzare who worked with the online media, RDI, while three other journalists were injured, two of them by bullets.

The injured journalists have been identified as Sony Laurore of Laurore News TV, Yves Moise of RCH 2000 and Alvarez Destined from Lakay TV.

The DGPNH said that the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and the General Inspectorate have already opened an investigation into this case.

Last Monday, Haiti announced an increase in minimum wage, less than a week after police used teargas to disperse textile workers who had taken to the streets to demand an increase.

The workers were demanding a 300 per cent increase in the minimum wage, which is now 500 Gourdes (One Gourde=US$0.009 cents) per eight-hour working day, in addition to other social benefits, such as transport and food subsidies..

The Council of Ministers had agreed to increase the minimum wages for different categories of workers ranging from 440 to 770 Gourdes.

Meanwhile, police are investigating the latest kidnappings in the country.

Police said Jean David Beauboeuf, the son of engineer and economist Jean-Léon Beauboeuf, was kidnapped in front of the family residence in Torcel. The kidnappers have since demanded a US$500,000 ransom.

The authorities are also searching for anesthesiologist Dr Martial Piard Martia who was kidnapped last Friday near the Hospital of the University of Haiti while parking his vehicle.

READ: Haitian police probe death of journalist during street protest


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