French-Canadian journalist Guy-André Kieffer was last seen in an Abidjan shopping centre on April 16, 2004. At the same time, his car disappeared and his cell phone was cut off. In the weeks before his disappearance he told friends and family that he had been receiving death threats. While Ivorian authorities were slow to investigate, the French government appointed a French investigating judge, Patrick Ramaël who appears to have made progress in the case. Michel Legré, brother-in-law of President Laurent Gbagbo's wife, has been charged with "complicity in kidnapping...illegal detention...[and] murder." And Legré has named at least eight people who he says were involved in Kieffer's kidnapping, including a high-ranking government official, Finance Minister Bohoun Bouabré, who had been criticized by Kieffer in his articles. Guy- André Kieffer worked as a free-lance journalist for several local Ivorian newspapers and for La Lettre du Continent. He also worked as a commodities consultant, specializing in the Ivory Coast's lucrative cocoa and coffee sectors. Kieffer, who is now presumed dead, was married and had two children.
Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award