Mauritius Newspaper Apologizes after Front-Page Pic of Murdered Woman Promp

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(Credit: RTE, screenshot)

Mauritarian newspaper The Sunday Times ran front-page pictures of a murdered Irish teacher, Michaela McAreavey, the Irish Times reportedThe Sunday Times — not related to News Corp’s Sunday Times — showed pictures of the woman’s “murdered body,” “injuries and the hotel room where her body was found.”

McAreavey was murdered on her 2011 honeymoon in Mauritius.

At first, The Sunday Times defended the photos, saying it “acted responsibility” and that “it is not the first time that the local press published those kinds of photos,” according to the Irish Times.  The Sunday Times‘ journalist Jimmy Jean Louis added that the newspaper “must see to it that the murder…does not go unpunished.”

However, the Sunday Times later apologized for the photos, the Press Gazette reported.  McAreavey’s husband responded negatively to that apology, according to the UK Sun, as saying that the newspaper’s editor “made a calculated decision to use photographs and images that no responsible media outlet would have touched” and then “further exacerbated his actions by printing an inexcusable editorial in a feeble attempt to justify what was wholly unjustifiable.”

Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny called running the photos a “a gross affront to human dignity,” according to The Belfast Telegraph.   Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said, “The decision of the newspaper in Mauritius to publish crime scene photographs, including pictures of Michaela’s body, is an outrageous abuse that cannot be justified in anyway.”

The police “raided” the newspaper’s office after the photos were published looking for “crime scene photos,” the BBC reported.  And, the Mauritius police announced an “inquiry” into the photo leak, the UK Press Association reported.

The lawyers for the murdered woman’s family and one of the men accused of her murder both slammed the Sunday Times‘ decision to run the photos.  McAreavey’s family called the decision “reprehensible and repugnant.”

The two men accused of her murder were recently acquitted, according to the Irish Times.
Hat Tip: Guardian‘s Roy Greenslade

UPDATE: 7/25/2012: 10:56 AM EST: Added quotes from McAreavey’s husband.

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Mauritius Newspaper Apologizes after Front-Page Pic of Murdered Woman Prompts Criticism

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