February 11th, 2013

Guy Martin, CJ Chivers Give Testimony in Inquest Into Tim Hetherington’s Death

The Coroner’s Court in Westminster, UK, carrying out an inquest into the death of photographer Tim Hetherington concluded that his death was “unlawful,” The Independent reports.  The photojournalist and documentary-film maker died April 20, 2011 in a mortar attack in Misrata, Libya, where he was covering fighting between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and rebel fighters. Photojournalist Chris Hondros was also killed in the attack.

The court heard a written statement from Istanbul-based photographer Guy Martin, one of two photographers who were wounded by shrapnel in the same incident. Testimony was also provided by New York Times journalist CJ Chivers, who toured the scene of the attack later, and concluded the mortars which had struck the building in which the photographers were killed had been fired by Qaddafi loyalists. In giving her verdict of “unlawful killing,” deputy Westminster coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe said of Hetherington, “He was not a soldier, he was an innocent photographer.” It’s unclear if the ruling means Hetherington and the other civilians had been targeted by Qaddafi loyalists.

Martin’s written statement, in which he described the “catastrophic” violence the band of photographers had witnessed that morning, as well as his last glimpse of Hondros, makes chilling reading for anyone who knew the two slain photographers.

Martin stated, The Independant reports, that after seeing “hand-to-hand fighting” and “incoming mortar fire coming from miles away, “ the photographers returned to their base and discussed what to do next. According to Martin, Hetherington argued that they should continue to follow rebel fighters. Martin said that shortly after he was struck, he lost consciousness, and only learned of the deaths of his colleagues a week later, when he was trying to flee Libya.

In her verdict, Radcliffe also said the cause of Hetherington’s death was  “massive hemorrhage.”

After Hetherington’s death, his friend and collaborator, writer Sebastian Junger, said Hetherington could have survived his injuries if someone on the ground had administered basic lifesaving techniques. Junger has established Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC) to provide free first-aid training to journalists covering war zones.

Outside the court after yesterday’s inquest, Judith Hetherington, the photographer’s mother, broke down in tears while speaking to reporters. “”He was a wonderful humanitarian,” she said.

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January 3rd, 2012

Survivor of Libya Rocket Attack Guy Martin Opens Exhibition

Photographer Guy Martin, who survived an April rocket attack in Misrata, Libya that killed colleagues Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, will hold an exhibition of his images from the “Arab Spring” next week.

The exhibition, which is being presented at the Poly Arts Center in Falmouth, UK, by University College Falmouth, will be on view from January 10–January 14, 2012, and includes photographs Martin made in Egypt and Libya between January and April 2011. Titled “Shifting Sands,” the show will also feature a conversation between Martin and Julian Rodriguez, head of the department of media at University College Falmouth.

Martin was with Hetherington, Hondros and Michael Christopher Brown on April 20 in Misrata when the photographers were hit by rocket fire. Hetherington and Hondros died of their injuries. Martin, who was severely injured, and Brown, who suffered multiple shrapnel wounds, were operated on at a hospital in Misrata and then evacuated to Malta.

“They say if the rocket’s really close you never hear anything,” Martin told the BBC for an article about his exhibition. “I didn’t hear anything. I just remember falling to the ground and then waking up in hospital.”

A screening of “Restrepo,” the Afghanistan war documentary by Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, will also take place. Proceeds from the exhibition and events will benefit The Rory Peck Trust, an organization dedicated to the safety and welfare of freelance newsgatherers and their families. The proceeds will be donated to the Rory Peck Trust in Hetherington’s and Hondros’s names.

For more visit: http://bit.ly/x2QzpG