Iraq conflict photos, reportages dominate Bayeux awards

Iraqi photographer Ali Arkady receives the Photo Prize award during the closing ceremony of the 2017 Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents in Bayeux, northwestern France, on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 08 October 2017
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Iraq conflict photos, reportages dominate Bayeux awards

BAYEUX, France: A grim series of photographs titled “Kissing Death” by Iraq’s Ali Arkady on the bloody conflict in his country won the prestigious Bayeux-Calvados photo awards for war correspondents on Saturday.
The brutal pictures tracked Iraqi special forces in battles in Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul and included horrendous images of torture and violence. They were published by the VII photo agency.
“They are the most sinister, upsetting pictures I have seen in my entire life,” veteran war correspondent Jeremy Bowen, the head of the jury, told AFP.
“The pictures were really, really strong, they were evil,” he said.
“You could see evil... I could feel it in my stomach, the dark side of the world,” said Bowen, a BBC journalist whose career spans three decades.
However, photographer Arkady’s reporting had triggered a debate among the 50 journalists on the prize jury.
The 34-year-old had followed a division of Iraqi soldiers to denouce their acts of torture but he admitted to having participated twice in these “war crimes” out of fear of reprisals.
“In the end the service he did by taking those pictures is more powerful than the fact he made some mistakes,” Bowen said.
Arkady confirmed to AFP that he did participate in two acts of torture, of which he has said in other interviews he was “not proud.”
When accepting his award at Bayeux the photographer said he wanted “the Iraqi government to realize that these soldiers committed war crimes. I want to stop that, but unfortunately, it continues.”
For reportage, the French journalist Samuel Forey won a prize for tracking five days in the battle for Mosul, Iraq’s second city, which was recaptured from the Daesh terrorists in July.
His accounts were published in France’s Le Figaro newspaper.
Radio journalist Gwendoline Debono from Europe 1 was honored for her work on the entry of Iraqi troops into Mosul.
In television, a 26-year-old woman called Waad Al-Kateab commissioned by Britain’s Channel 4 to make a film about life inside the Syrian city of Aleppo, won a prize for her work on the last hospital held by rebels.
Olivier Sarbil also won a TV prize for his film about the battle for Mosul, which was aired by Channel 4.
About 330 works had been entered for the prizes, of which some 50 were short-listed. The prize money ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 euros.


Golden Globe Race seek to rescue injured Indian sailor

The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center is working hard to assess and coordinate all possible options to rescue Abhilas Tomy. (goldengloberace)
Updated 23 September 2018
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Golden Globe Race seek to rescue injured Indian sailor

  • The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center is working hard to assess and coordinate all possible options to rescue Abhilas Tomy

PARIS: The organizers of the round-the-world Golden Globe Race said Saturday they were scrambling to rescue missing Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy, but admitted he was “as far from help as you can possibly be.”
Tomy’s yacht Thuriya had its mast broken off when it was rolled in a storm on Friday and the yachtsman suffered what he called “a severe back injury.”
The organizers described him as “incapacitated on his bunk inside his boat” and his yacht is 2,000 miles (3,704 kilometers) off the coast of Perth, Western Australia.
On Saturday, he managed to send a message saying: “Extremely difficult to walk, Might need stretcher, can’t walk, thanks safe inside the boat... Sat phone down.”
The organizers said on the race website: “The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center is working hard to assess and coordinate all possible options to rescue Abhilas Tomy who is as far from help as you can possibly be.”
Tomy, a 39-year-old commander in the Indian navy, is able to communicate using a YB3 texting unit but his primary satellite phone is damaged.
He has a second satellite phone and a handheld VHF radio packed in an emergency bag, but organizers said he was unable to reach it for the moment.
The organizers said they had urged him to try to get to the bag because it could be crucial in making contact with a plane from Australia and an Indian air force plane which might be able to fly over the area.
Given the distance from land, the planes will not be able to spend long in the area, the organizers added.
A French fishing boat was also heading to the scene “but may not arrive for a few days.”
The Golden Globe Race involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe in yachts similar to those used in the first race 50 years ago, with no modern technology allowed except the communication equipment.
Tomy’s own yacht is a replica of Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhail, winner of the first Golden Globe Race.