Fury as photo of Hamas victim Shani Louk’s naked and mutilated body being paraded by terrorists wins top award


  • Photo agency AP won the world’s oldest photojournalism award for its picture of Shani Louk’s dead body on the morning of the October 7 attack
  • The agency has denied claims its photographers collaborated with Hamas to get the winning shots 
  • Friends of the 22-year-old said she should be remembered as she was when she was alive  

A prestigious university has been branded a ‘disgrace’ after it awarded the world’s oldest photojournalism prize for a picture of a mutilated and murdered October 7 victim.

Shani Louk, 22, became a symbol of the brutal Hamas attack after the world saw the picture of gunmen rushing her half-naked corpse back to Gaza on the back of a pick-up.

That photo was the centerpiece of the submission that won photo agency AP the Team Picture Story of the Year category from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.

‘RJI thinks a horrifying picture of Shani Louk’s half-clothed, dead body is award-winning work,’ tweeted GOP House whip Tom Emmer.

‘Disgusting.’

The winning AP  photograph of Shani Louk's lifeless body being transported back to Gaza by her killers

The winning AP  photograph of Shani Louk’s lifeless body being transported back to Gaza by her killers 

Friends and family of the 22-year-old said she should be remembered as she was

Friends and family of the 22-year-old said she should be remembered as she was 

The German-Israeli was attending the SuperNova Festival with her boyfriend Orion Radoux

The German-Israeli was attending the SuperNova Festival with her boyfriend Orion Radoux

The 22-year-old German-Israeli was among 364 people killed at the SuperNova Festival which she was attending with her boyfriend.

Family photos of the young woman showed a happy and carefree spirit at the outset of her adult life and friends of her family have said that that is how she should be remembered.

‘This is how we choose to remember the beautiful Shani Louk,’ wrote one. ‘We will not allow her memory to be trampled by the inhuman thugs celebrating the AP photo of her tragic murder.’

‘I am horrified,’ wrote another. ‘This is a picture of terrorists parading a dead body of a Jewish woman after they murdered her. Shame on you.’

Louk’s family and other victims of the SuperNova killings sued AP and fellow news agency Reuters in February accusing them of collusion in the atrocities they documented.

They claim that agency freelancers were ‘longstanding Hamas affiliates and full participants in the terrorist attack’, who knew it was about to take place.

Lobby group HonestReporting, which raised concerns about the coverage posted its ‘congratulations’ to AP for winning the award.

‘How does it feel to do so on the back of Palestinian photojournalists who infiltrated Israel on Oct. 7 and took photos like the one below of Shani Louk’s dead body in a Hamas pickup?’ they demanded.

‘Was RJI bothered about that before bestowing the award?’

The sentiment was echoed by Israeli MP and diplomat Danny Danon who tweeted: ‘This photo captures Hamas terrorists desecrating the body of Shani Louk, may her soul rest in peace.

‘Yet the AP news agency proudly received an award for it. Their continued pride in their photographers’ ‘work’ and involvement in the atrocities is shameful.’

Senior politicians from across the world joined in the chorus of protest against the prize

Senior politicians from across the world joined in the chorus of protest against the prize

The young tattoo artist was among 364 people killed at the SuperNova Festival

The young tattoo artist was among 364 people killed at the SuperNova Festival

The festival site in the Negev Desert was just three miles of the Gaza border and was overrun within minutes of the attack taking place on October 7

The festival site in the Negev Desert was just three miles of the Gaza border and was overrun within minutes of the attack taking place on October 7

Parts of Louk's skull were later found near the entrance to the festival site

Parts of Louk’s skull were later found near the entrance to the festival site

More than journalists have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since the ground invasion of Gaza began, according to Reporters Without Borders, making the conflict one of the deadliest on record for news gatherers.

The photo of Louk taken by AP freelance Ali Mahmud, was the first in a group of 20 submitted by the agency for the competition.

Both AP and Reuters have denied any collusion with the attacks, and AP issued a statement last month saying it had the ‘deepest sympathy for those affected’ but insisting the allegations were ‘baseless’.

‘AP had no advance knowledge of the October 7 attacks, nor have we seen any evidence — including in the lawsuit — that the freelance journalists who contributed to our coverage did,’ they wrote.

‘Allegations like this are reckless and create even more potential danger for journalists in the region.

‘Documenting breaking news events around the world — no matter how horrific — is our job.

‘Without AP and other news organizations, the world would not have known what was happening on October 7.’



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