Photojournalist Guy Martin [right] with Dominic Nahr [middle] and Ed Ou [left] in Cairo in February 2011. Image © Ivor Prickett.
Guy Martin, the young photographer that was seriously injured in the mortar attack that claimed the lives of photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, is still in a grave and life-threatening condition, but has been stabilised, BJP has been told
Guy Martin, a 27-year-old British photographer, was severely injured yesterday when he and a group of other journalists came under mortar attack while covering the fighting between rebels and Muhammar Gaddafi's forces in Misrata. Photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros died of their injuries.
According to Human Rights Watch and friends of the family who spoke to BJP, Martin was wounded by shrapnel to the spleen. While the photojournalist's condition remains very serious, he "has been stabilised after six to eight hours in surgery."
As of this morning, Martin was still in a Misrata hospital. BJP understands that he will only be evacuated when he recovers or stabilises further.
"Good friends are by his bedside - and he even spoke to them briefly just a couple of hours ago," says a family friend.
Martin graduated from University of Wales, Newport in 2006, and has since worked in Georgia, Sudan, Turkey, Northern Iraq and Russia. Most recently, he covered the revolutionary protests in Egypt and had been on the frontlines in Libya for several weeks.
He was named the Student Photographer of the Year in the Observer Hodge Award in 2005, and the following year was shortlisted in the BJP/Nikon Endframe Award. Last year he was awarded the Ferdinand Zweig Memorial travel scholarship, which he planned to use to make new work in Georgia and Abkhazia.
"Martin's persistence and sensitive observations whilst making picture stories - along with boundless energy and humility - have always been qualities that have endeared him to us," says Ken Grant, a course leader in documentary photography at the University of Wales, Newport, where Martin studied. "[These] qualities have allowed him to make work that is always refined and highly astute."
Grant adds: "Guy's evolving but already distinguished career as a photographer has been well recorded. As a student he worked on ambitious and professionally successful projects -work later recognised by the Observer Hodge award, The Tom Webster award and others. He has continued to work tenaciously to progress public understanding of some of the most urgent recent conflicts, most recently filing pictures and audio reports from Cairo during the uprising, and he is starting to enjoy a sustained and proven career doing the work that none who know him have ever doubted he would succeed in. Sadly, we know very well that this is an exposed and fraught kind of photography."
Martin is also a part-time tutor at the University College Falmouth, where he regularly shares his experience of the frontlines with students. "We are all very upset to hear about Tim and Chris losing their lives in Libya," course leader Mal Stone tells BJP. "Our big concern is for the well being of Guy Martin, a hugely talented young photojournalist and a very valued member of our part time staff on the BA (Hons) Press & Editorial Photography course at University College Falmouth."
He adds: "Guy joined our team two years ago in the early days of our young program and has been a huge influence into shaping the course into the success it has become. His knowledge of editorial, documentary and photojournalism has been a huge input to the teaching of our students about the industry and his enthusiasm to help them has given them great motivation to pursue their chosen careers. We were all looking forward to his return in early May when he was due to be back working with us after his assignments in Egypt and Libya. He is a great friend of both the staff and students and we all want to see him back with our 'family' here on Press & Editorial Photography. At this time our thoughts are with Guy, Polly and his family."
Guy Martin's family has issued the following press statement:
Photojournalist Guy Martin was severely injured in yesterday's mortar attack that claimed the lives of his friends and colleagues Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. He underwent, last night, intense surgery and his condition is now stable. While he was able to talk with Charles Levinson of the Wall Street Journal this morning, his condition remains very critical.
Human Rights Watch, the FCO and many media colleagues and medical staff on the ground in Misrata are helping us in getting Guy out of Libya as soon as possible to receive the medical help he needs. However, his current condition has so far prevented his evacuation.
We want to thank everyone for their support, especially the medical team in Misrata that has done an incredible job. Guy is a loving son, brother and partner and our main focus right now is just to get him home safely.
Guy is a very dedicated and compassionate person who believes in his role as a photojournalist and has been working in Libya as a freelance for the past month. He was determined to continue documenting the awful humanitarian situation in the country.
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