Maximilien Lazard

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

At about 11 a.m. on February 23, 2022, Haitian National Police officers driving a police vehicle opened fire on a protest in Port-au-Prince, the capital, killing journalist Maximilien Lazard, according to media reports and Robest Dimanche, spokesperson for the Haitian Collective of Online Media, a local journalists’ guild, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

Lazard was covering the demonstration, held by textile workers demanding a higher minimum wage, for the YouTube and Facebook-based broadcaster Roi des Infos, and a photo posted to Facebook by his employer shows that he was wearing his press credential at the time of the attack. He died at a local hospital shortly after being shot, according to those reports and Dimanche.

The officers also injured journalists Sony Laurore and Yves Moïse, according to those sources. Laurore, a reporter for online broadcaster Laurore News TV, and Moïse, a reporter for the online radio station Radio RCH 2000, sustained gunshot wounds, according to those sources, which did not specify the extent of their injuries.

In response to CPJ’s request for comment sent via messaging app, Haitian National Police spokesperson Marie-Michelle Verrier forwarded a statement posted on the police force’s Facebook page.

That statement said the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and the General Inspectorate of the National Police had opened investigations into the attack, and that if police officers were found to be responsible, “appropriate measures” would be taken. CPJ called the judicial police for comment, but no one answered.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry deplored Lazard’s death and offered condolences to the family on Twitter.