Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mortician from Tyre

I've been following the ongoing debate at EU Referendum over the veracity of the photos of the deaths in Qana. If you haven't been following it, the suggestion is that many of the Qana photos were staged. Central to several of the pictures is "Green Helmet Man" who was photographed with several dead children looking as if he was posing for the cameras.

While I've not been completely convinced, it does look a bit fishy to me - certainly some of the continuity looks odd.

Anyway, here's a couple of links which may add to the debate:

Journalist Chris Albritton says he was not under control of Hizb-allah minders. He goes on to say:
As far as Qana, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what the scene was like, other than what my colleagues — who I trust — told me and what I saw on television. As for the death toll going down from 54 to 28, well, that happens. It was apparently a confusing time and the mortician at the al-Bass Government Hospital [on the outskirts of Tyre]gave out some numbers that included people also killed that day but in other places.
You don't come across morticians on blogs often, but this was the second mention today. The other was on this site.

Mark MacKinnon of The Globe and Mail reported from nearby Tyre, Lebanon on July 26, describing the many difficulties caused by the rising death toll in that city. "Abu Shadi, the mortician at the government hospital in the city, agrees. He's processed 100 bodies -- many of them grotesquely mangled and burned -- and on his pickup runs has been forced to leave behind many more that he can't recover from cars and destroyed buildings.


Based on these descriptions, it seems highly likely that Abu Shadi the mortician and Abu Shadi the green-helmeted "civil defense worker" are one and the same. And, in the double role, Abu Shadi was among the first to arrive, before the media did, with his refrigerated truck that in recent days had been carrying around corpses.
If this identification is correct, then the man who was photographed parading dead children in Qana also misrepresented the casualty figures to the press.