Mr. Saman was attempting to photograph a group of police officers beating a man in an alley off the main Avenue Bourguiba. The police noticed Mr. Saman’s camera and attacked him without explanation.
Lens also reports that photographer Lucas Mebrouk Dolega died last week in Tunis when a tear gas canister hit his head during a riot.
We spoke to Saman in October when pictures he took in Iraq were featured on the front pages of Saturday and Sunday editions of the Times to illustrate the paper’s WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs reporting. It was also shortly after his friend and colleague João SIlva had been injured in Afghanistan. Asked if the news made him reconsider his line of work, Saman said:
I don’t know that reconsider is the right word; it’s more of a reality check. People who do what we do or spend enough time working on these subjects have a passion for what we do. We think it’s important. But when something like this happens there are many questions that go through your mind. You try to reconcile that sense of loyalty to a story—the reason you got into the business in the first place. You have to keep focused and continue to do your job. I still feel strongly that it’s very important to have independent journalism, especially from conflict zones.