Wednesday, February 22, 2012

French photojournalist killed today in Syria also covered Libyan civil war

Remi Ochlik is the French photojournalist killed today while covering the revolution in Syria. This photo, taken in Libya on August 25, 2011 during the civil war is one of his most famous. During the battle for control of Tripoli against Gaddafi forces, the rebels attacked the neighborhood of Abu Slim considered to be a stronghold of support for Gaddafi. Abu Slim was a low income neighborhood with blocks of flats & tenements where many low ranking Gaddafi officials & their families lived. Residents lacked the means to escape the lethal vengeance of the rebels who used heavy machine guns & rocket-propelled grenades setting the district on fire & riddling inhabited buildings with bullets. Media reported seeing bodies bound & shot in the back by summary execution, corpses lying in the sun rotting, & large numbers of gunshot victims being treated at hospital, including elderly people, women & children. Amnesty reported the rebels were holding migrant workers they suspected of being mercenaries. We now know rebel forces targeted African migrant workers & summarily executed many. Ochlik apparently took the word of the rebels that this young man is a Gaddafi foreign mercenary & not just a migrant worker & that is how this photo has been captioned ever since. May Mr. Ochlik RIP.

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