Pentágono vai processar fotojornalista iraquiano acusado de ter ligações aos separatistas
20.11.2007 - 17h30 Reuters
O Pentágono vai processar o fotojornalista iraquiano Bilal Hussein, da Associated Press, que, segundo a agência de segurança norte-americana, mantém ligações com os rebeldes separatistas.
Fallujah - Iraqi insurgents fire a mortar and small arms during the U.S.-led offensive against insurgents in the city. (Photo by Bilal Hussein, November 8, 2004.)
Published on Monday, November 15, 2004 by the Associated Press
AP Photographer Flees FallujahWitnesses US Helicopter Kill Fleeing Family of 5
by Katarina Kratovac
BAGHDAD, Iraq - In the weeks before the crushing military assault on his hometown, Bilal Hussein sent his parents and brother away from Fallujah to stay with relatives.
"Everyone in Fallujah knew it was coming. I had been taking pictures for days," he said.
In the hours and days that followed, heavy bombing raids and thunderous artillery shelling turned Hussein's northern Jolan neighborhood into a zone of rubble and death.
"Destruction was everywhere. I saw people lying dead in the streets, wounded were bleeding and there was no one to come and help them. Even the civilians who stayed in Fallujah were too afraid to go out," he said.
"There was no medicine, water, no electricity nor food for days."
"U.S. soldiers began to open fire on the houses, so I decided that it was very dangerous to stay in my house," he said.
Hussein said he panicked, seizing on a plan to escape across the Euphrates River, which flows on the western side of the city.
"I wasn't really thinking," he said. "Suddenly, I just had to get out. I didn't think there was any other choice."
AP colleagues in the Baghdad bureau, who by then had not heard from Hussein in 48 hours, became even more worried.
Hussein moved from house to house — dodging gunfire — and reached the river.
"I decided to swim ... but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river."
"I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some U.S. snipers ready to shoot anyone who might swim. I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about five hours through orchards."
Ahmed relayed the news that Hussein was alive to AP's Baghdad bureau.
"At the end of the boat ride, Ali was waiting for me. He took me to Baghdad, to my office."
Sitting safely in the AP's offices, a haggard-looking Hussein offered a tired smile of relief.
"It was a terrible experience in which I learned that life is precious," he said.