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Winners Gallery | Magazine Feature Picture | First Place
First Place
Yannis Kontos Polaris
"Life As An Amputee"
Second Place
Tamas Dezso Freelance / GEO
Third Place
Holly Wilmeth Sipa Press / International Health Emissaries
"Tornabe, Honduras"
Award of Excellence
Stephanie Sinclair Corbis / VSD
First Place
Yannis Kontos Polaris
"Life As An Amputee" Young Abu, 7, buttons his father's collar in the family's shelter in the amputee camp, northwest of Freetown.

During Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war, an estimated 10,000 innocent people were maimed by rebels from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) who developed the horrific tactic of chopping off the hands or legs of civilians as a way of sowing terror. Abu Bakarr Kargbo, 31, was amputated by the rebels in the eastern part of Freetown on January 20, 1999 when the capital came under siege. Unlike other amputees, he was not given the choice of what version of 'cut arm' or 'cut hand' he wanted - long sleeves or short sleeves. Today, he lives with his wife and his three children in an abandoned amputee camp northwest of Freetown. Even though supplies and medical care in the camp have stopped since 2003, Abu and the rest of the amputees continue to live there in hope of receiving small help from Christian communities. The Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission declared that the amputees ought to get a pension but they have seen nothing so far. Abu used to be a building construction worker. Today, he struggles to support his family by begging in the streets of Freetown, not far from where he was amputated. He remembers very well the rebel who mutilated his arms and he waits for the day to meet him face to face. He will never forget and he is not prepared to forgive.



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