Dressing up the truth

The uses and misuses of photographs (via The Hoot) is a disturbing piece, by Sadanand Menon, about the photographs that were splashed across many newspapers’ front pages recently. (You can see the photograph here)

The photographs were of three suspects involved in the Delhi blasts, who were arrested from their residence in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. … all the three suspects, to mask their identity, were tricked up in identical ‘Palestinian Rumaals’ or kaffiyehs or abayas or cassavas. …

Critics pointed out that usually suspects arrested on various charges mask their faces with their own handkerchiefs or borrow towels or black cloth to hood their faces; never before had it seemed like such a costume drama. …

Then came the stunning revelation by the Delhi police commissioner. He confessed it was his department which had dressed up the suspects in such a suggestive manner and, even more alarmingly, that the Delhi police had purchased these pieces of cloth “in bulk” for use by those arrested. Obviously, every arrested person could now be given a suggestive ‘Islamic terrorist’ look, thereby setting up dangerous subliminal propaganda within the media.

Trial by media and now trial using the media?

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