The photographer who captured an image of a woman wearing a hijab walking past a victim of yesterday’s London terrorist attack has defended her actions, saying she looked distressed and horrified.
The woman has become the centre of a debate online, with many Twitter users claiming she was casually ignoring a victim lying on the ground.
Freelance photographer Jamie Lorriman was underneath the Westminster Bridge at the time of the attack and began photographing at the scene moments later.
Lorriman said the scene was “quiet and tranquil”, describing a “strange sort of calm atmosphere”.
“No-one was sort of screaming or shouting.”
He says the idea that the woman he photographed wearing the hijab was ignoring the scene as she was walking past was wrong, and a series of images demonstrated she was most likely distressed.
“The people who took on that picture are being rather selective,” he said.
“In the other picture in the sequence she looks truly distraught … personally I think she looks distressed in both pictures.
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“It’s wrong it’s been misappropriated in that way.”
Lorriman said he would not assume what was going through her mind, and neither should people who were not at the scene.
US comedian Tim Young said it “could end up being one of the most iconic of our time”.
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“To assume she was ignoring someone is impossible to know, the look on the woman’s face, she’s horrified, she’s in the middle of a traumatic situation.
“She probably just wanted to get off the bridge,” he said.
“I feel so sorry for the woman in the picture. If she’s seen this, she must feel awful,” Lorriman said.
Some pointed to the expression on the woman’s face, which they described as distressed and concerned.
But others were quick to point out numerous other people — who were not wearing hijabs — also walked past victims in the aftermath of the attack.
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