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Anorak | Lynsey Addario: Sexually Abused American Journalist Provides Reason For War

Lynsey Addario: Sexually Abused American Journalist Provides Reason For War

by | 22nd, March 2011

LYNSEY Addario was held captive by pro-Gaddafi forces and along with three other American journalists – Tyler Hicks, Stephen Farrell and Anthony Shadid – beaten and threatened with being decapitated and shot.

Well, yes. This is war.

Addario is no fool. She’s a photojournalist with the New York Times, capturing in focus those moments that the camera phones can’t. She was captured at Ajdabiya. A Libyan punched her in the face.

“Then I started crying and he was laughing more.”

The Mail adds:

“One man grabbed her breasts – the start of a pattern of sexual harassment she endured over the ensuing 48 hours. There was a lot of groping. Every man who came in contact with us basically felt every inch of my body short of what was under my clothes.”

Not good. But pretty much the kind of bestial behaviour you’d expect from men in uniform.

Of course, these were Gadadfi’s men. And in a desperate, sketchy war in which the West’s only discernable ambition is to achieve credibility and moral authority after the debacle of Iraq, any chance to paint the enemy black will be seized upon. Compare these two headlines:

Qaddafi Forces Sexually Assault NYT Reporter: ‘You’ll Die Tonight’” – Fox

New York Times journalists were beaten, groped while detained in Libya” – Toronto Star

Four NY Times journalists released by Libyan govt” – Al Arabiya (no mention of groping).

Turkey saves New York Times journalists in Libya” – Today’s Zaman (Turkey). Again, there is no mention of beatings and groping.

Still, Gaddafi’s gropers weren’t a US Army kill squad, so Addario lived.

“He was caressing my head in this sick way, this tender way, saying, ‘You’re going to die tonight. You’re going to die tonight.”

She didn’t.

“I heard in Arabic, ‘Shoot them.’ And we all thought it was over.’ But then they heard another soldier say: ‘No, they’re Americans. We can’t shoot them.’”

After six days in captivity, the four were flown to Tripoli and then released.

The Press Gazette has more:

Three BBC journalists were beaten up and subject to mock executions by Gaddafi security forces, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger had to fly out to Libya himself to negotiate the release of correspondent Ghaith Abdul-Ahad after two weeks in prison and British journalist for AFP Dave Clarke is still missing somewhere in the country.

Meanwhile another British journalist working for Al Jazeera is being held somewhere in the country and an Egyptian cameraman for Al Jazeera was killed last week after what the broadcaster said was a targeted attack to curb its reporting.

It’s dangerous out there. But it is what war reporters sign up for…



Posted: 22nd, March 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink