“No, it was not a random shooting. There was a group of three police officers. One officer took aim and shot Fabienne in the head.”

Fabienne’s father, Osama Cherisma, March 2010

Michael Winiarski and Paul Hansen recently returned to Port-au-Prince with the specific intention of following up on the fortunes of the Cherisma family.

Fabienne's family (left to right): Father, Osama Cherisma, brother Jeff, 18 years, his sister Amanda, 13 years, and mother Amante Kelcy. Photo: Paul Hansen

Following my interview with Winiarski, I had asked rhetorically what the Cherismas may feel about the international coverage of their daughter’s death. I was raising the issue of media and journalists’ responsibilities toward the subjects of their stories, and more specifically I was wondering if the Cherismas would ever be interviewed at length to elaborate on their experiences since that terrible day.

Well, a part answer can be provided in the actions and article of Winiarski and Hansen who published this story on the 13th March. (Swedish original / English translation):

– Osama says he knows the identity of the killer – a high ranking police officer from their own neighbourhood.
– The family have not filed a police report because they are too scared. They say the police are watching them daily.
– They have not talked to local media and only talk to Winiarski and Hansen of Dagens Nyheter because they are foreign journalists.
– Osama dealt with the body directly because he didn’t trust he’d see his daughter again if he handed her corpse over the police and authorities.
– Although their house still stands, it is so destabilised they live in a tent city.
– The schools of Jeff and Amanda, Fabienne’s brother and sister, were both destroyed during the earthquake.
– Jeff, Amanda and their mother Amante all – understandably – still feel extreme pain and emotion. Osama cannot sleep.
– Fabienne is buried in Zorange, north of Port-au-Prince. It is the village of Fabienne’s grandmother.

– – –


Part One: Fabienne Cherisma (Initial inquiries, Jan Grarup, Olivier Laban Mattei)
Part Two: More on Fabienne Cherisma (Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
Part Three: Furthermore on Fabienne Cherisma (Michael Mullady)
Part Four: Yet more on Fabienne Cherisma (Linsmier, Nathan Weber)
Part Five: Interview with Edward Linsmier
Part Six: Interview with Jan Grarup
Part Seven: Interview with Paul Hansen
Part Eight: Interview with Michael Winiarski
Part Nine: Interview with Nathan Weber
Part Ten: Interview with James Oatway
Part Eleven: Interview with Nick Kozak

Reporter Rory Carroll Clarifies Some Details
Part Fourteen: Interview with Alon Skuy
Part Fifteen: Conclusions