This is in response to the gruesome article in this week’s Observer entitled, “Silence is Golden?” I am often surprised at the liberties taken by the Observer, but this latest article had me staring in open-mouthed shock. Let me break the article down, line by line…
The picture below was delivered to the Observer office the other day. “Silence is golden” written on the back.
This refers to the photo of a victim of a violent crime. The poor girl’s face is only slightly obscured by hair, and her body fully unclothed. No attempt was made to blur any private details of her face or body. Since the photo was supplied by the man who committed the crime and the girl appears unconscious, it can be assumed he did not have permission to take that photo. Yet the Observer publishes it without hesitation. Real nice. Is that even legal?
After checking with Hathian General Hospital, it was determined this was a woman recently brought in, going by the name of Poe. It seemed the woman suffered severely at the hand of the suspect, later identified as Maitso Tran. Her body showed signs of rape and she seems to have gone trough extensive torture: a large part of her body is covered in first and second degree burns, some of her fingers are broken, her lips sown shut and most gruesomely the letters M.A.I. were carved into this young woman’s stomach.
Hold on a second. Someone at HGH freely gave out not only a victim’s name, but the graphic details of the woman’s medical records? And you PUBLISHED it? If this is correct, I sure hope this young lady sues the pants off of HGH for the violation of her HIIPA rights!
An officer of the Hathian Police Department, that wishes to remain anonymous, made clear the suspect had actually called in where to find the victim himself.
So you protect the name of the cop who wished to remain anonymous, but published the photo and name of the victim against her wishes? Does anyone else see how absurd this is?
You have just made it a hell of a lot less likely that future victims of violent rape such as this will seek medical attention or even report it to the police for fear their information will similarly be published.
You have made it so criminals who commit crimes like these have but to send the paper a photo of their exploits and they will be immortalized in the paper, with all the sick details bragged about under the guise of news.
The fact that this article and photo made it past the paper’s editors is appalling. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this. I am also aware that this is not the first time such victim-violating photos have been published against the victim’s wishes.
I’ll be surprised if this letter to the editor even gets published, but even if you allow the criticism for your GROSS oversight, you can’t even begin to undo the harm you have done to this poor woman’s life. You should be truly ashamed of yourselves.
A disgusted reader
Editor’s note: Allow us to surprise you, then, as we at the Observer wouldn’t dream of suppressing the citizen voice. On the contrary, the Hathian Observer has always celebrated and indulged such. As it is, gruesome or not, our pages have long held the horrid and the happy tales of Hathianites, and would spare no expense to make sure this practice never changes.