/ 31 October 2011

Slain lensman’s wife in plea to Libya’s new leaders

Slain Lensman's Wife In Plea To Libya's New Leaders

The wife of photojournalist Anton Hammerl has pleaded with Libyans to help find her husband’s body, which has not been found since his death there seven months ago.

“Dear people of Libya, we call on you to please be our hearts, eyes and ears in our search for the whereabouts of Anton’s remains,” Penny Sukraj-Hammerl wrote in an open letter posted on Facebook.

“Dear people of Libya, On November 5 it will be seven months since our lives became inextricably linked with your struggle for liberation,” she wrote.

“On April 5, my husband, photojournalist Anton Hammerl, was gunned down by Gaddafi forces in the desert outside Brega.”

He had been travelling with journalists James Foley, Manu Brabo and Clare Morgana Gillis, to document what was happening on the frontline.

They were arrested immediately after Hammerl was shot and were detained for six weeks before being freed. Hammerl’s family only learnt of his death after their release.

Sukraj-Hammerl wrote: “I know your fight for freedom has come at a huge cost and immeasurably broken the lives of far too many families, who have been cruelly robbed of their brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.”

She said the family could not rest until Hammerl was given a proper burial at a site where his children — Aurora, Neo and baby Hiro — could go to.

“God willing, one day we will make a pilgrimage to Libya, to celebrate your liberty, but to also find our own sense of peace and visit the place in the desert where my beloved husband fell.”

Comment from the department of international relations was not immediately available. — Sapa