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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 10:28 GMT
Body photo disturbs website users
Aslan Maskhadov
The image of Maskhadov's body upset some readers

The decision to use photos of the body of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov sparked concerns among some BBC News website users.

Among those who e-mailed in were US reader Kevin English, who said: "I realise that media outlets are continually competing with one another, and these images may grab attention more than others, but I can't help but be put off by them."

And Paul Forte, from Canada, wrote: "I was a little shocked to see a close-up image of a murdered man's face on the front page, and then replicated in the story.

"Your audience knows the man is dead with the headline Chechen leader Maskhadov 'killed' and does not need the added confirmation of a freshly killed dead man staring up at them over breakfast."

In response, BBC News website acting World Editor Adam Curtis wrote: "We did think carefully before deciding to use the picture of Maskhadov's body.

"We went ahead because it was the first clear evidence to back up the claim by Russian forces that they had killed the Chechen rebel leader. There had been no independent confirmation at that stage.

"We cut the picture with some care so that the pool of blood was not visible and stopped using the picture the following day because by that time his death had become an established fact."


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