NON SI TRATTA SOLO DI FABIO, SI TRATTA DI AFFERMARE DEI DIRITTI UMANI FONDAMENTALI, LA VITA, LA LIBERTÀ DI INFORMAZIONE, IN DIFESA DELLA DEMOCRAZIA. SE ACCETTIAMO CON FACILITÀ CHE I REPORTER, POSSANO ESSERE UCCISI SENZA PRETENDERE CHIAREZZA, DIVENTIAMO COMPLICI DI TUTTE LE VIOLAZIONI CHE QUOTIDIANAMENTE VENGONO COMMESSE.
PHOTOREPORTAGE IS NOT A GAME. PHOTOGRAPHERS AND JOURNALISTS ARE BEING KILLED EVERY MONTH. FABIO, WHO WAS A PROFESSIONAL, DIED PURSUING HIS MISSION TO REPORT A STORY, TO ALLOW US TO HAVE A FULL PICTURE OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD TODAY.
IF YOU ARE NOT A PROFESSIONAL, DO NOT GO TAKING RISKS!
Military's Bullet Kills Italian Photographer Fabio Polenghi
(29 May) In a crucial ruling, the Criminal Court confirms that the Italian photographer Fabio Polenghi was killed by military-issued ammunition which was fired from direction of the security forces during their operation to end the Redshirts mass protests on 19 May 2010 - but stopped short of pinpointing who is responsible for the killing.
Mr. Polenghi is one of more than 90 deaths that resulted from the political violence in April-May 2010, when the Redshirts occupied central Bangkok to demand a parliamentary dissolution and new election, but were met with military operation directed by then-PM Abhisit Vejjajeeva.
The case of Mr. Polenghi had been particularly followed by many civil rights groups, because the Italian was operating as member of the press at the time of his death. A Japanese journalist was also killed during the clash between the military and the Redshirts on 10 April 2010.
Earlier today, crowds of reporters waited at the steps of South Bangkok Criminal Court, where the ruling was scheduled. Ms. Elizabeth Polenghi, sister of Fabio, arrived at the court around 08.50 with her sister Ms. Ariana Polenghi and her mother Mrs. Laura Chiorri. Elizabeth was accompanied by Ms. Suda Ranggupa, leader of the Redshirt′s progressive wing. Also present at the court were Mr. Bradley Cox, an American photographer who saw Fabio shot and later testified in the court hearings; Mr. Mike Bach, a German photographer who met Mr. Polenghi 2 decades ago when they started their career in Paris; and Mr. Shawn Crispin, a representative from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Around 09.40 a judge read out the ruling, stating that the bullet that killed Mr. Polenghi ("penetrating his heart, lung, and liver") is .223 cartridge, which corresponds to the ammunition issued to the military personnel in the area.
Thai Court Rules Military Responsible for Journalist's Death
An Italian photo-journalist shot dead in Bangkok while taking pictures during an anti-government protest in 2010 was killed by a bullet fired by a soldier, a Thai court ruled on Wednesday. Fabio Polenghi, 48, was killed on May 19 when troops moved in to disperse "red shirt" supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The supporters had been camped in the center of the capital for weeks, demanding an early election. Fabio's sister, Elisabetta Polenghi, says this is just the first step and that those responsible need to be held accountable. [Elisabetta Polenghi]: "The right motion would be—if there was a result, finally a result, this one is just the first step. So now I'm expecting that something really happen. And I repeat the one who are responsible then they have to get a kind of, a kind of penalty." Polenghi's lawyer, Karom Ponthaklang, told media the court had ruled on those accountable. He added that evidence showed the bullet used was the type used by Thai troops. The ruling could spell further trouble for Abhisit and Suthep, who were charged last year with giving orders to use live ammunition that led to civilian deaths. They have a number of similar cases pending against them. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty or life in prison. A Truth for Reconciliation Commission set up by Abhisit's government to investigate the deadly clashes has released a 351-page case report. It lays blame for the deaths on the military and a shadowy group of militants dressed in black who were presumed to be on the side of the red shirts.
Slain Italian Photographer's Last Photos Unveiled
(17 May) Glimpses of 2010 Bangkok protests captured on camera by Mr. Fabio Polenghi, the Italian photographer shot and killed when the military moved in to quell the protesters, were displayed to the public for the first time in a photo exhibition at the Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand (FCCT). The FCCT organized the event with collaboration from Ms. Elizabeth Polenghi, Fabio′s sister, who discovered the photos on her brother′s computer. Out of "500 or so" photos that her brother took, she selected 33, which now lined the wall of the FCCT clubhouse. The event drew a considerable crowd at the clubhouse; Friday night is also a jazz night when the club members meet and mingle at the bar. The audiences were treated to Mr. Polenghi′s snapshots showing diverse reflections of the protests: Redshirt mother feeding milk to her baby, a wounded soldier relaxing in his truck, Yellowshirts rally in Victory Monument, Multicolored-shirts at Silom, Commander Red (The rogue Gen. Khattiya Sawasdipol) inspecting the Redshirts′ defense at the edge of their encampment.
A more gruesome work is photo of a man shot in his bloodied back resting against a tree, but most of the photos were notably absent of gory element; Ms. Polenghi told our correspondent that her brother preferred to use "peaceful way" to tell story of a not too peaceful situation.
As Fabio′s camera was stolen in the confusion after he was shot on 19 May 2010, these were strictly the last photos taken by the photographer. The ′last picture′ retrieved, taken on 18 May, shows a group of Redshirts cowering behind barricades made of car tires. Speaking to the crowd, Ms. Polenghi said that she didn′t show these photos only because Fabio was killed, but also because she wanted to show her brother′s work to the world. Fabio, she said, spent his life deeply in photography, having started as a fashion photographer and later moving on to other fields. He travelled to many countries, Ms. Polenghi told the crowd. He took photos of traffic, of people, of prostitutes. Anything that tells a story. Although he has been to troubled places like Myanmar, he was not "war photographer", Ms. Polenghi said, but a "human photographer".
29-5-2013 Thailand court says Italian journalist 'killed by army bullet'
A Thai court has found that an Italian journalist shot during anti-government protests in 2010 was killed by a bullet used by soldiers. The inquest into Fabio Polenghi's death also found that the bullet was fired from the direction of security forces sent to disperse protesters. He was shot as he took photos of the operation against "red-shirt" supporters occupying parts of Bangkok. More than 90 people were killed during the two-month-long protest.
A freelance photographer, Mr Polenghi was 48 years old when he was killed on 19 May 2010 as troops moved in to the protesters' fortified base to disperse them. "During the inquest, experts testified that the victim died of a wound from a high velocity bullet like those used by security forces and there was no evidence of any other group in the area," a criminal court judge was quoted by AFP news agency as saying. The judge added the shot which killed Mr Polenghi "came from the direction where security forces were working to regain control of the area". The court, however, did not indentify any individual responsible for firing the shot. Mr Polenghi's sister, Elisabetta, told reporters said the ruling was "positive but it is not the solution", saying she expected those responsible to be punished. Shawn Crispin, a representative of the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists, called the court's decision a "first step towards achieving justice". Abhisit Vejjajiva was prime minister when tens of thousands of "red-shirt" protesters took to the streets of Bangkok in March 2010, demanding his government step down.
The protesters shut down key parts of the capital over the course of a lengthy stand-off that left protesters, soldiers and journalists dead. Human rights groups have blamed both sides, but highlighted the army's use of live gunfire as the principle cause of death. They have also accused members of the protest movement of using armed force that led to the deaths of some soldiers. Late last year, Mr Abhisit - who is now the leader of the opposition - was charged with giving an order allowing troops to use live ammunition on protesters. No military personnel have been prosecuted. Many of the protesters supported ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra, whose sister is now the prime minister. The Thai government has set up a fund to compensate victims of the violence.
Sister of Italian journalist slain in 2010 seeks truth, not revenge
Elisabetta Polenghi, the sister of slain Italian cameraman Fabio Polenghi, has made about 10 trips to Bangkok since mid-2010, although she's lost count of the exact number. But when it comes to the details of how her older brother was killed on the morning of May 19, 2010 near Ratchaprasong Intersection, she is obsessive, even pedantic at times.
Although the results of the Criminal Court's inquest into her brother's death will not be released until May 29, Polenghi, given all the evidence and witness testimony, believes Fabio was killed by a Thai Army sniper.
"I don't want to tell you they targeted Fabio. But probably, probably [the soldiers] were scared. They wanted people to flee, to clear the street. When you put the Army to clear out civilians on the street, you put people trained for war. When you put the Army, you want to kill. When you put an Army on the ground, something is wrong with the political culture," said Polenghi, before adding that her brother, whose interest in photography she sparked, was shot in the heart from behind.
"One shot in the heart. One shot through the heart," she said, adding that this partly explains her conclusion that her brother wasn't the victim of a random bullet, but of a single shot aimed by a sniper. She added that when men nearby tried to rescue her brother, shots were fired to scare them away. The 48-year-old Milanese fashion photographer has studied all the videos and other details, all the evidence and witness reports she could find.
'Bullets came from military side'
Shots were fired from the direction of the military on May 19, 2010 as red shirts were being dispersed, German journalist Michel Maas told Criminal Court judges on Friday, taking the stand as the last witness in the case of the death of Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi.
"Bullets came from the direction of the military," Maas, who is based in Jakarta, Indonesia, and works for NOS Radio & Televisi, told the judges. Maas was on site on May 19 nearly three years ago as the army moved in and he told the court that he was also shot in the back as he tried to flee. He said he didn't know Polenghi and only learnt about his death while he was hospitalised at Police Hospital for his own bullet wound. Maas said the bullet that hit him came from the direction of the military. That bullet, which was lodged inside his body for five weeks, was later identified by a Department of Special Investigation's expert as coming from an M16 rifle. The bullet was given to the DSI as evidence, Maas told the court. The Criminal Court will on May 29 make a ruling on Polenghi's death. Polenghi's sister, Elisabetta flew in from Italy to be at the hearing and was upset that two other witnesses, including one foreign national who videotaped the moment when Polenghi fell, were not allowed to testify after judges said their testimony was redundant to the trial.