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ISRAELIS KILL ITALIAN PHOTOGRAPHER

by ART FOR A CHANGE Thursday, Mar. 14, 2002 at 10:33 AM
vallen@art-for-a-change.com

An Italian photographer was shot dead covering Israel's offensive in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday, the first foreign journalist killed in 17 months of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed.

"Postcards from Hell." That's what Italian Photographer Raffaele Ciriello had named his Website. On Ciriello's impassioned site, one can see his dazzling photos of war torn countries. His amazing photos of Afghan Women were shot in 1996... long before the West raised any concern for their plight. Ciriello went to Iran and took marvelous photos of what he called a "blossoming Iran." He worked in Sierra Leone to document the Children soldiers in that war.

Dear Raffaele sent the world one last Postcard from Hell. He was in the Israeli occupied West bank city of Ramallah... doing what he did best... shooting the Photographs that would document humanity in the midst of terrible suffering.... that is, until a number of Israeli bullets cut him down.

Raffaele Ciriello will take no more photos, six Israeli bullets ripped through his chest, putting an end to the brave Photographer's life. It is certain the Israeli Military will "apologize" for the murder... but the killing will nevertheless send a message to other, less brave journalists.

Visit Raffaele Ciriello's Website and familiarize yourself with this work. Understand what a loss it is for humanity that this Artist's life has been snuffed out by the troops of an occupying army. ART FOR A CHANGE (AFC) will pay tribute to the life and work of Ciriello by posting his Website in the "Links" area of AFC. May the Artist rest in peace... may justice find his killers.

Mark Vallen

www.art-for-a-change.com

****

Italian Journalist Killed in West Bank

Wed Mar 13, 2002. RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters)

An Italian photographer was shot dead covering Israel's offensive in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday, the first foreign journalist killed in 17 months of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed.

Palestinian hospital sources said freelance photojournalist Raffaele Ciriello was hit six times in the chest by Israeli gunfire. The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed Ciriello's death. He had been taken to Ramallah's Arab Care Medical Hospital for surgery after being wounded. A French journalist, who was not immediately identified, was also wounded.

Ciriello's Web site -- "Postcards from Hell" -- http://www.ciriello.com/ showed he had worked in a number of hot spots and war zones, including Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Lebanon and the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.

"I don't know if it's true that photographs can sometimes fix what otherwise you would never see," he wrote in a section of the Web site titled "Tribute to fallen colleagues" and devoted to four journalists killed in Somalia in 1993. "But every time I read a journalist or a photographer has fallen victim of a grenade, of a stray bullet or whatever, I go back to this picture and look at Hansi," Ciriello wrote, referring to a photo of slain photographer Hansi Krauss of the Associated Press. "When my eyes meet his, I seem to understand everything." Krauss was killed in Mogadishu in 1993 when he was stoned to death by an angry mob.

In Rome, the speaker of the lower house of the Italian parliament, Pier Ferdinando Casini, said as he opened Wednesday's session: "I believe that parliament can only be very close to the family of this photographer and once again raise a loud cry for peace in the Middle East."

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