Six months later, nothing known about Haitian journalist’s disappearance

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September 14, 2018

Six months later, nothing known about Haitian journalist’s disappearance

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Haitian authorities to come up with answers for the family and colleagues of Vladjimir Legagneur, a freelance photo-journalist who went missing exactly six months ago today in the capital, Port-au-Prince. The investigation into his disappearance has ground to a halt, if one exists at all.

Legagneur never came back after leaving home on 14 March to do a report in Grand-Ravine, a section of the southern district of Martissant that is one of the capital’s poorest and most violent neighbourhoods.

His wife reported his disappearance two days later to the Judicial Police Central Directorate (DCPJ) and a complaint was filed with the Port-au-Prince prosecutor’s office. A few days after his disappearance, the police said they had found human remains in an unused lot near where he was seen for the last time.

But, despite being pressed by his family and local journalists’ associations, the police never released the findings of the DNA tests conducted on these remains.

Neither the DCPJ nor the judicial authorities have reported any progress in the investigation.  When questioned at a press conference on 31 August, a senior police officer even suggested that no investigation at all was being conducted. “If there is an investigation, it should be the person in charge who provides information,” he said.

“It is unacceptable that, six months after Vladjimir Legagneur’s disappearance, neither the police nor the justice system is able to provide any new information about this case,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “This silence is a torture for his family. The Haitian authorities have a duty to find this photographer, determine why he disappeared and identify those responsible.”

Aged 30, Legagneur worked for the newspaper Le Matin and the online news agency Loop Haïti before becoming a freelancer. As well as news stories, he used to cover social issues and work for NGOs prior to his disappearance.

Haiti is ranked 60th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

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