Affaire Enderlin/20e: Montrez-moi le pays et je vous trouve le crime (Looking back at the fake news of the century)

Montrez-moi l’homme et je vous trouve le crime. Lavrenti Beria (chef de la police secrète de Staline)
L’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie. Charles Enderlin (Le Figaro, 27/01/05)
The narrative tension of our podcast ‘Caliphate’ is the question of whether his account is true. Rukimini Callimachi (NYT)
If you look at the whole series, we did make it clear in the series that there were questions about his story, but given what happened in Canada, given the allegation he made everything up, we are going to re-report it. Dean Baquet (NYT executive editor)
We are going to look for the truth of his story and inevitably we are going to also ask the question about how we presented him so we are going to put together a group of reporters and take a new look at the story, his story and inevitably how we presented his story. Dean Baquet (NYT executive editor)
In May 2018, Rukmini Callimachi, a star reporter for the New York Times, faced some questions about her reporting. Her podcast series, “Caliphate,” focused on a young Pakistani-Canadian man who claimed that he’d traveled to Syria in 2014 and joined forces with the Islamic State. “Abu Huzayfah” — the man’s nom de guerre — told Callimachi he had executed two men. Trouble was, he told a Canadian interviewer that he’d killed no one. Pressed on the discrepancy, Callimachi told CBC News, “We were able to get to both before any other media had gotten to him, but crucially before law enforcement had gotten to him.… He was speaking to us in this window of time when he essentially thought he had slipped through the cracks.” But last week, as reported previously in this space, Abu Huzayfah was charged with fabricating his life as a terrorist. Scrutiny of this sort occasionally lands on Callimachi’s work. Her reporting has won numerous prizes, but it has also raised questions, including from her own colleagues, about how she gathers and verifies her scoops. Since joining the Times in 2014 from the Associated Press, Callimachi has become the most famous terrorism reporter in the world, in part because of her enterprise on Twitter, where she posted marathon threads about developments on her beat. She sought information everywhere, from chat rooms where terrorists lurked to hot spots like Mosul. Wired in 2016 wrote that she was “arguably the best reporter on the most impor­tant beat in the world.” Poynter in 2017 called her an “unrelenting and insightful observer of terrorism.” A fine collection of plaques commemorates Callimachi’s hard work. She is a four-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize: first in 2009 for an AP project on the exploitation of children in Africa; next in 2014 for a stunning investigation of al-Qaeda relying on the terrorist network’s own documents; and finally in 2019, for both an exposé on the Islamic State — also driven by documents — and the “Caliphate” podcast. She made history by winning two Overseas Press Club awards for that al-Qaeda investigation. Like the awards, the journalistic stumbles of Callimachi have played out in public, right in the pages of the Times. They have prompted Times reporters to raise concerns with their bosses about her work and the reliability of her sources. Those concerns mix with an awkward and anguished institutional culture: Her critics worry that their complaints are interpreted as professional envy toward a multiplatform star of the Times. “There is some internal and external griping about certain elements of Rukmini’s reporting style,” one source told the Erik Wemple Blog in 2018. “She’s a classic giant personality.… She’s very good at describing her work and taking credit for it and living the risk. There are some people on staff who don’t like that.” Last October, Callimachi published a scoop on an unorthodox situation in which the Islamic State was allegedly paying a rival group — Hurras al-Din — to provide security for late leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The basis for the story was a series of receipts secured by Callimachi, who had turned terrorist document-hunting into her niche.  (…) Then the story crumbled. An expert quoted in the story as endorsing the receipts’ authenticity wrote a post reviewing the whole situation. Whereas Callimachi indicated in her article that the expert — Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi — reviewed eight receipts, he had originally been given only four receipts, as a subsequent Times correction made clear. After reviewing all eight, he concluded that they were “not authentic.” (…) Questions were raised, too, over a February 2018 story on the deaths of four U.S. soldiers killed in a fight with militants in the Niger desert. Callimachi spearheaded the paper’s efforts to secure footage shedding light on the incident, and the newspaper issued this disclosure on the video (…) The Times’s decision to purchase the video rights was particularly controversial. To Callimachi’s credit, the story — for which she was the lead byline — made clear the paper’s actions in pursuing the footage. Yet some Times journalists chafed: Why was the paper arranging to procure terrorist propaganda? In particular, the “news agency” from which the video was purchased was not exactly an objective, professional organization. A 2017 story co-authored by Callimachi noted that “Agence Nouakchott d’Information, or ANI, is associated with Al Qaeda’s branches in Africa.” (…) Video was also at the center of a 2016 Callimachi dust-up that embarrassed the Times. In August of that year, Callimachi published an investigative piece about Islamic State efforts to export terrorism around the globe. The narrative tissue for the piece was an interview with Harry Sarfo, a former Islamic State terrorist who fled the territory and returned to Germany, where he was arrested and sentenced to prison. It was such a coup that the newspaper did a “Times Insider” piece — titled “Talking to Terrorists” — in which Callimachi described coming “face to face with a former terrorist whose proof of identity and affiliation were solid enough that she could quote him in a story.” The story that Sarfo told Callimachi — and other outlets as well — was that he was turned off by the bloodlust of the Islamic State and didn’t partake in any such violence. Then The Post dug up some footage that challenged Sarfo’s version of events: “Previously unreleased video shows Sarfo moving doomed hostages into position for a public execution in Palmyra last year, and then apparently firing his own weapon at one of the fallen men. » (…) After Callimachi’s December 2014 story about paying ransom for Islamic State hostages, the Times assigned one of its journalists to vet the story. Tim Arango, then an overseas reporter for the paper, looked into a source who provided the narrative bookends for the story, a man identified as Louai Abo Aljoud, a Syrian journalist who was reported to have glimpsed U.S. hostages of the Islamic State in confinement. Arango’s assignment came after voices both within and outside of the Times raised objections to the reporting. More than a month after the story’s publication, this correction was added: An article on Dec. 28 about the consequences of the United States’ refusal to pay kidnappers to free American hostages referred imprecisely to a Syrian journalist who had been held by the Islamic State terrorist group and said American officials did not pursue information he gave them about Americans being held by the group. The surname of the journalist, Louai Abo Aljoud, is an assumed one that he has been using for several years to protect family members still in Syria; Aljoud is not his real family name. This correction was delayed to verify Mr. Abo Aljoud’s information. The Times told this blog, “After questions were raised, we sent reporters to do a follow up in person interview with the source and did not learn anything that called for further action. We added a correction to the story [] that addressed the source’s name.” (…) Terrorism reporting is one of the toughest beats in journalism. The field is strewn with liars and murderers who are keen on manipulating the world’s most prominent outlets. So occasional screw-ups will happen. But Callimachi has shown a reluctance to reckon with the scrutiny that comes with her standing as journalism’s No. 1 terrorist correspondent. (…) In the immediate aftermath of the Abu Huzayfah news last Friday, the Times supported Callimachi, stating that “uncertainty about Abu Huzayfah’s story is central to every episode of Caliphate that featured him.” It also called the series “responsible journalism that helped listeners understand the power and pull of extremism.” On Wednesday, however, the Times sent a new statement with a different tone: “While the uncertainty about Abu Huzayfah’s story was explored directly in episodes of Caliphate that featured him, his arrest and the allegations surrounding it have raised new and important questions about him and his motivations. We’re undertaking a fresh examination of his history and the way we presented him in our series. We will have more to say when we complete that effort.” Here’s one major New York Times project on the Islamic State that’ll have to proceed without the input of Rukmini Callimachi. Erik Wemple
En répondant à Denis Jeambar et à Daniel Leconte dans le Figaro du 23 janvier 2005 que « l’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation, non seulement à Gaza, mais en Cisjordanie », alors que la diffusion d’un reportage s’entend comme le témoignage de ce que le journaliste a vu et entendu, Charles Enderlin a reconnu que le film qui a fait le tour du monde en entrainant des violences sans précédent dans toute la région ne correspondait peut-être pas au commentaire qu’il avait donné. Laurence Trébucq (Présidente de la Cour d’appel de Paris, 21.05.08)
This is not staging, it’s playing for the camera. When they threw stones and Molotov cocktails, it was in part for the camera. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. They wanted to be filmed throwing stones and being hit by rubber bullets. All of us — the ARD too — did reports on kids confronting the Israeli army, in order to be filmed in Ramallah, in Gaza. That’s not staging, that’s reality. Charles Enderlin
La mort de Mohammed annule, efface celle de l’enfant juif, les mains en l’air devant les SS, dans le Ghetto de Varsovie. Catherine Nay (Europe 1)
Enderlin (Charles) : Scénariste et producteur de fictions. Capable de transformer le vivant en mort ; de faire apparaître et disparaître les cicatrices ; d’empêcher les blessures par balles de guerre de saigner. Journaliste à l’objectivité sans faille. Modèle professionnel de Jacques Chirac et des journalistes français. Détenteur de rushes invisibles, mais néanmoins accablants. Les montrera le jour suivant la Saint-GlinGlin 2019, à cause d’une clause signée avec les acteurs, MM. Al-Dura père et fils. Laurent Murawiec
Ce reportage de 27 secondes a été une « source d’inspiration » et a servi à justifier le terrorisme, l’antisémitisme, et la délégitimation de l’Etat juif. L’image choc a été diffusée et rediffusée sur toutes les chaînes de la planète et a déclenché dans les territoires et en Israël des vagues de protestation, de haine et de violence. Depuis lors, « les soldats de Tsahal sont désormais des tueurs à gage et des assassins d’enfants innocents. » « Les soldats juifs se comportent comme des nazis… » Et l’enfant palestinien devient martyr et comparé à la célèbre photo de l’enfant juif du ghetto de Varsovie, levant les bras devant un soldat allemand… Dans les pays arabes, la mort du petit Mohammed est sur toutes les lèvres. Des milliers de photos sont affichées sur les murs des rues et dans les appartements. Les nouveau-nés prennent le nom de Mohammed al-Doura. Des timbres nationaux et des places publiques aussi. L’enfant tué « avec préméditation » devient le symbole de la lutte des Palestiniens contre l’occupation israélienne dans les territoires et dans les pays islamiques. Freddy Eytan
Ce reportage est devenu une « affaire » parce qu’il a été monté de toutes pièces, semblable à « l’affaire Dreyfus » dans lequel on retrouve désinformation, manipulation et mensonge, Charles Enderlin n’était même pas présent sur le lieu du « crime » qu’il décrivait. Avec une différence, la France de Dreyfus était divisée, alors que la France d’Enderlin est unie dans son antisionisme, il y a même un parti politique antisioniste, le PAS. (…) Charles Enderlin est coupable d’avoir oublié ses certitudes et d’avoir fait siennes les convictions d’une France majoritairement antisioniste, anti-israélienne. Charles Enderlin est coupable d’avoir choisi l’autre côté, l’autre coté, c’est le chemin de tout le monde, c’est le chemin de la majorité. La France veut des reportages anti-israéliens, Charles Enderlin va les lui fournir, avec zèle. (…) Charles Enderlin s’est condamné lui-même, il est condamné à être l’ami de tous les anti-sionistes, les anti-Israéliens, les antijuifs, du premier tristement célèbre d’entre eux, Pascal Boniface. Lui le juif, le sioniste, va servir d’alibi à Dieudonné et à ses amis, il va devenir leur exemple, leur modèle. Raphaël Kalfon
Il est maintenant établi, grâce au travail d’investigation de personnes issues de pays et de professions très variées (journalistes, documentaristes, universitaires, experts médicaux et balistiques) que le reportage diffusé le 30 septembre 2000 au JT de France 2, où Charles Enderlin affirme, sur la foi d’images tournées à Gaza par son cameraman palestinien Talal Abou Rahma qu’un enfant, Mohammed Al Dura, a été tué et son père Jamal grièvement blessé par des tirs venus d’une position militaire israélienne, était une mise en scène. Depuis douze ans, Charles Enderlin s’est enfermé dans un déni le contraignant à enchaîner mensonges sur mensonges pour sauver sa peau de journaliste vedette de la chaîne publique française. Depuis douze ans tous les moyens ont été mis en œuvre pour faire obstacle au surgissement de cette vérité maintenant admise presque partout, sauf en France. France Télévisions a d’abord prétexté de la protection des sources pour ne pas livrer à la justice les « rushes », c’est-à-dire les images tournées par Talal Abou Rahma, mais non diffusées dans le sujet du JT. Lorsqu’elles furent rendues publiques sur l’injonction de la présidente de la Cour d’appel de Paris, il apparut de manière éclatante que la version servie jusque-là par Enderlin et France 2 ne tenait pas la route : les images invalidaient tous les récits du drame dont ses protagonistes ne s’étaient pas montrés avares dans les médias du monde entier. L’affirmation répétée moult fois par Enderlin qu’il avait coupé au montage celles montrant l’agonie de l’enfant, car elles étaient trop horribles, s’est révélée totalement mensongère. D’autres éléments mis en lumière par ces rushes sont tout aussi accablants pour la thèse défendue par France 2 : absence de sang sur les vêtements de Mohammed et Jamal Al Dura, incompatibilité des cicatrices présentes sur le corps du père avec des blessures par balles, etc. Une journaliste allemande de premier plan, Esther Schapira, aujourd’hui chef du service documentaire de la principale chaîne de télévision d’Outre-Rhin a réuni, dans un film impressionnant « L’enfant, la mort et la vérité » ( une série de témoignages accablants pour Charles Enderlin et Talal Abou Rahma. Leurs mensonges successifs, leurs faux fuyants ne résistent pas une seconde aux « vérités de faits » collectés sur le terrain, à Gaza et en Israël. Les téléspectateurs français ont été privés de la possibilité de se faire une opinion sur le travail d’Esther Schapira : France 2 a exercé des pressions sur toutes les chaînes diffusées en France, y compris ARTE, pourtant franco-allemande, pour empêcher de programmer ce documentaire. Pire, elle a menacé l’ARD de dénoncer les accords de coopération entre les deux chaînes si l’ARD vendait ce programme à l’étranger. Fort heureusement, les dirigeants de cette dernière ne se sont pas laissé intimider par France 2 et le documentaire a été diffusé en Israël et de nombreux pays. Luc Rosenzweig
La tâche sacrée des journalistes musulmans est, d’une part, de protéger la Umma des « dangers imminents », et donc, à cette fin, de « censurer tous les matériaux » et, d’autre part, « de combattre le sionisme et sa politique colonialiste de création d’implantations, ainsi que son anéantissement impitoyable du peuple palestinien ». Charte des médias islamiques de grande diffusion (Jakarta, 1980)
Il s’agit de formes d’expression artistique, mais tout cela sert à exprimer la vérité… Nous n’oublions jamais nos principes journalistiques les plus élevés auxquels nous nous sommes engagés, de dire la vérité et rien que la vérité. Haut responsable de la Télévision de l’Autorité palestinienne
Karsenty est donc si choqué que des images truquées soient utilisées et éditées à Gaza ? Mais cela a lieu partout à la télévision, et aucun journaliste de télévision de terrain, aucun monteur de film, ne seraient choqués. Clément Weill-Raynal (France 3)
Nous avons toujours respecté (et continuerons à respecter) les procédures journalistiques de l’Autorité palestinienne en matière d’exercice de la profession de journaliste en Palestine… (Roberto Cristiano, représentant de la « chaîne de télévision officielle RAI, Lettre à l’Autorité palestinienne)
Je suis venu au journalisme afin de poursuivre la lutte en faveur de mon peuple. Talal Abu Rahma (lors de la réception d’un prix, au Maroc, en 2001, pour sa vidéo sur al-Dura)

Montrez-moi le pays et je vous trouve le crime !

En ce triste 20e anniversaire …

Du faux du siècle …

Et d’un reportage de 27 secondes qui, diffusé et rediffusé sur la planète entière et entre posters, timbres et noms de rue …

A inspiré et servi à justifier les pires exactions terroristes comme l’antisémitisme et la délégitimation de l’Etat d’Israël …

Alors que le New York Times ajoute une nouvelle recrue à sa déjà longue liste de faussaires

Et à l’heure où complètement discrédités – Accord du siècle de Trump oblige – par leurs anciens soutiens au sein même du Monde arabe …

Les dirigeants, de l’Autorité palestinienne au Hamas et au Hezbollah, des divers mouvements terroristes palestiniens …

N’auront bientôt plus comme raison d’être pour continuer à martyriser leur peuple et assassiner des innocents …

Que la perversité de leurs commanditaires iraniens, turcs et qataris …

Ou, Macron et Biden en tête, l’ignorance et la naïveté de leurs idiots utiles occidentaux …

Quelle meilleure et plus révélatrice preuve de l’infâmie …

Que cette phrase de celui par qui, avec l’aide du correspondant de France 2 Charles Enderlin, le scandale est arrivé …

Et que célèbre aujourd’hui 20 ans après la notoire chaine boute-feu qatarie Al Jazeera

Le preneur de vue palestinien lui-même, Tala Abou Rahma, lors de la réception d’un prix un an plus tard au Maroc:

« Je suis venu au journalisme afin de poursuivre la lutte en faveur de mon peuple » ?

Behind the lens: Remembering Muhammad al-Durrah, 20 years on

Twenty years ago, a video of a 12-year-old boy being killed in Gaza reverberated around the world. Talal Abu Rahma, the cameraman who shot the video, remembers that day.

On September 30, 2000, a Palestinian cameraman from Gaza, Talal Abu Rahma, shot a video of a father and his 12-year-old son under fire on the Saladin Road, south of Gaza City. The boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, was mortally wounded and died soon after.

The video of Jamal al-Durrah trying to shield his son as bullets rained down on them was aired by France 2, the news channel Abu Rahma was working for. It became one of the most powerful images of the Second Intifada.

The Israeli government tried to challenge the veracity of the video, with the Israeli military denying that its soldiers had been responsible.

It took until 2013 for a French court to vindicate France 2 and Abu Rahma, ultimately upholding their defamation case against Philippe Karsenty, a French media commentator who had accused them of staging the video, and fining him 7,000 euros.

Abu Rahma, who has won numerous awards for his work, including the Rory Peck Award in 2001, is now based in Greece, where he, his wife and six-year-old son are residents. He works between there and Amman, Jordan. He has been banned from returning to Gaza since 2017.

Twenty years on, he recalls the events of that day:

The day before, I was in Jerusalem working at the France 2 office. Charles Enderlin, the France 2 bureau chief in Jerusalem, called me at 10am and said “I am sending you the car, you have to go back quickly to Gaza because the situation in the West Bank is getting very, very bad.”

So I went back. Charles called me when I arrived and asked about the situation in Gaza. I said: “Gaza, it’s quiet, nothing in Gaza.” “OK,” he replied, “well keep your eyes on it, if anything happens, just let me know and go and film.”

At 3pm, 4pm, there was nothing happening. It was a Friday, you know. The West Bank was on fire, but Gaza was really quiet. I knew why it was quiet – because the schools were closed and it was the holy day.

We were watching the situation and I knew, as a journalist, that on Saturday morning there would be a demonstration in Gaza. At that time there were three very sensitive points in Gaza – one at Erez, one north of Gaza City, and the third in the middle, on Saladin Road.

Many people have asked why I went to Saladin Road. It was because it was in the middle. If something happened in Erez or elsewhere I could quickly move there. Like me, all the journalists knew what would happen on Saturday morning. I went down at about 7am because that is the time the students go to school and I knew there would be lots of people around.

They started throwing stones. And hour by hour it increased. I was in contact with my colleagues at Erez, to know what was going on over there – as that was the real hot point.

I stayed where I was until about 1pm. At this point it was tear gas, it was rubber bullets, it was stone-throwing; you know, it was normal. But there were a lot of people throwing stones. Not hundreds. Thousands.

I called the office and told them that about 40 people had been injured by rubber bullets and tear gas. Charles told me “OK, try to make interviews and send it in by satellite.”

‘It was raining bullets’

As I was conducting my second interview, the shooting started. I took my camera off its stand and put it on my shoulder. I started moving left and right to see who was shooting – shooting like crazy. Who was shooting at whom and why, I really didn’t know. I tried to hide myself because there were a lot of bullets flying around.

There was a van to my left, so I hid behind it. Then a few children came and hid there, too. At that point, I hadn’t seen the man and the boy. Ambulances were arriving and taking the injured away.

I could not hear anybody over the sound of the bullets. It just kept getting worse. There was a lot of shooting, many injured. I was really scared. There was blood on the ground. People were running, falling down; they didn’t know where the bullets were coming from, they were just trying to hide. I was confused about what to do to – whether to continue filming or to run away. But I’m a stubborn journalist.

At that moment, Charles called and asked me, “Talal, do you have your helmet on, do you have your jacket on?” Because he knows me, I don’t put the helmet and flak jacket on – it’s too heavy. But he was screaming at me, “Put it on, please, Talal.” I got really mad because I didn’t want to hear it. I told him, “I am in danger. Please, Charles, if something happens to me, take care of my family.” Then I hung up the phone.

In that moment, I was thinking about my family: about my girls, about my boy, about my wife, and about myself. I could smell death. Every second I was checking myself to see if I had been injured.

Then one of the children who was hiding beside me said: “They are shooting at them.” I asked: “Shooting at who?” That was when I saw the man and the boy against the wall. They were hiding and the man was moving his hand and saying something. The bullets were coming right at them. But I couldn’t tell where they were coming from.

In the corner on the right side of the man, there were Israeli soldiers and Palestinian security forces. In front of that point was the Israeli base. What could I do? I couldn’t cross the street. It was too busy and very wide, and the shooting was like rain. I couldn’t do anything.

The children beside me were scared and screaming and, in that moment, I saw through my camera that the boy had been injured. Then the man was injured, but he was still waving and shouting, asking for help, asking for the shooting to stop. The boys with me were really going crazy. I was trying to calm them down. I was scared about taking care of myself and them. But I had to film. This is my career. This is my work. I was not there just to take care of myself. There is a rule: a picture is not more valuable than a life. But, believe me, I tried to protect myself and I tried to save this boy and the father, but the shooting was too much.

France 2 TV footage shows Muhammad al-Durrah after he was fatally struck in the abdomen; his seriously wounded father, Jamal, shook with convulsions and lost consciousness, and was later hospitalised in Gaza [Photo by France 2/AFP]

It was too dangerous to cross the street. It was raining bullets. Then, I heard a boom and the picture was filled with white smoke.

Before the boom, the boy was alive but injured. I think the first injury was to his leg. But after the smoke moved, the next time I saw the boy, he was laying down on his father’s lap and his father was against the wall, not moving. The boy was bleeding from his stomach.

The ambulances tried to get in many times. I saw them. But they couldn’t because it was too dangerous. Eventually, one ambulance came in and picked up the boy and the man. I whistled to the driver, he saw me clearly and slowed down. I asked if we could go with him. He said, “No, no, no, I have very serious cases” and then he drove off.

When the shooting stopped, the boys near me started running, left and right. I stayed by myself and then decided to walk away. I walked for about five to seven minutes towards my car. I was trying to call the office in Jerusalem – it took a while to get a signal back then when mobile phones were still quite new. As I was walking, I saw a colleague from another news agency.

I asked him, “How many injured, how many killed?” He told me about three. I said, “Look, if you are talking about the three dead, add another two. I think there are another two, they were killed against the wall.” I showed him what I had filmed and he started screaming, “Oh no! Oh no! This is Jamal, this is his son, Muhammad, they were in the market. Oh my God, oh my God!”

I asked him, “Do you know them?” He replied, “Yes, I am married to his sister.”

The office was silent

I called Charles and he asked me, “Where have you been?” I said, “Don’t talk to me, I am very tired.” He said, “OK, you’ve got until 5pm, go feed it right now.”

When I fed the footage, everyone in my office in Gaza and in the France 2 office in Jerusalem went quiet. You couldn’t hear any noise. Everyone was astonished; even the journalists around me.

Charles spoke first. He said, “OK, Talal, I think you need to rest because this is unbelievable. But are you sure no one else filmed it?”

I said, “I was on my own, you can write exclusive for France 2.”

He said, “OK, go rest” and I went back home.

‘The camera doesn’t lie’

Then Charles called me back and asked me some questions: the angles of my footage, my position, how, who – a lot of questions. It aired at 8pm that day but Charles had to deal with a lot of questions. High-level people in Paris and Israel, he called the Israeli army, as he was obliged to, according to the law. These were strong pictures.

High-level people in Paris started asking me questions. I answered it all, knowing that Charles trusts me and knows who I am. I am not biased. From the beginning, before I started working for France 2, Charles told me, “Talal, don’t be biased.” And up until now I have taken him at his word, not to be biased.

There was a lot of talk about this video, claims that it was fake. But the people saying this didn’t even know the area. There were a lot of calls and investigations with me about how true the images were. I had one answer for them. The camera doesn’t lie. Whatever they say about these pictures, it can’t hurt me, except in one way – my career. They hurt what I am working for – journalism. To me journalism is my religion, my language, there are no borders for journalism.

I received a lot of awards for that video. I was honoured in Dubai, in Qatar, even in London twice. I received awards from America and France. I really don’t know how these people think we could have staged it.

The day after the shooting, I went to the hospital to see Jamal. I could not talk to him too much. I took a few pictures and spoke to a doctor who told me that Jamal’s condition was very bad, that there were a lot of bullets in his body.

A few people asked me how much we sold the pictures for. But France 2 told me the images would be distributed for free and I was in agreement with them. They said, “We will not make money from the blood of children.”

The court case in Paris went on until 2013. We won. We didn’t receive any money at all from the case. It was the dignity of our job that pushed us to fight the case.

This account has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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