The Death of Fabienne

January 20, 2010

What is the point of this? Tell me please.

This is Haitian schoolgirl Fabienne Geismar who was shot by police for “looting.” It looks like she may have taken some crappy hotel pictures – in any case nothing worth shooting a young girl.

This has been reported by the Daily Mail, in fairly repulsive fashion. The paper could not resist a dig at the locals, few of whom “bothered to even glance down at Fabienne’s crumpled body, clad in a pink and grey top and pink skirt, her flimsy shoes still resting on her feet.” Yet a few paragraphs later we read about how “As the crowd watched, her 52-year-old father lifted Fabienne from the ground, her heavy limbs awkward in his arms.” So they do care. Thanks for the details.

AFP gives the girl’s name as Fabienne Cherisma, which seems more probable. Fabienne was “standing in ruins on Marthely Seiee St about 4pm local time (08:00 AEDT today) when police intervened to disperse looters pillaging properties” while “Some witnesses in the angry crowd, including the girl’s father 52-year-old Osam Cherisma, said the policeman had aimed deliberately at the girl” but “others spoke of a warning shot that went tragically astray.”

The Mail’s hack on the spot was a certain Liz Hazleton, one of whose earlier scoops was the shocking story of how “Desperate Haitians have set up roadblocks of corpses in Port-au-Prince to protest at the lack of emergency aid reaching them after the catastrophic earthquake.” Hazleton, however, stole the allegation without sourcing it from Time Magazine photographer Shaul Schwarz. Yet Schwarz has yet to provide photographs of these roadblocks. The best that Time has offered has been one of his photos (below) with the caption: “Bodies are piled up in the street, obstructing traffic…”

As for Schwarz, his photographic forays in Haiti have produced a remarkable portfolio of pictures of men with guns, looking menacing. In fact, he had excellent access to rebel forces during the coup in 2004 which deposed democratically elected Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide with substantial American assistance.

One Response to “The Death of Fabienne”

  1. joseph Says:

    when i saw this photo i just cried,it made me so sad,a young girl killed for nothing,she just wanted a few nice picures,maybe for her home,if she still had one,or maybe for her mother,makes me despair of mankind,that people who have absolutely nothing in life,should die for taking something so worthless like a couple of paintings,i feel so so sad for her mother and father,they probably have very little possesions in this life,but to lose the most precious possesion in this world like a child,just makes me cry,i am so sorry for them.

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