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to think they shouldn't send you to prison for taking a picture of a corpse

210 replies

pisacake · 17/06/2017 13:03

Apparently Mr. Mwaikambo, who is of Tanzanian origin or extraction, opened a body bag at the Grenfell Tower and posted the picture on Facebook.

I'm not sure about Tanzania, but I am in Indonesia and it's very common to post selfies with dead (i.e. in the moments after they die) relatives etc. on Facebook. There was a case earlier this year where a Western man died and the local newspaper published multiple shots of him dead, dressed only in his underpants with blood coming out of his nose etc. Those photos remain online.

Obviously this is not the done thing in England, but it seems that someone they have come up with a fairly arbitrary charge (sending obscene materials over the internet) - there's no law against what he did, per se - and whacked a rather stiff sentence on him.

I'm not saying he was right to do it, but it seems that there is an excessive sentence for someone who broadcast to a fairly limited number of people (he has a couple of hundred friends on Facebook), something which inherently is more about outrage at the fire than the fact of what he did.

The law used is obscenity, but the photos are no more obscene than going to Tanzania/other parts of Africa and taking pictures of dead Africans to be broadcast on the news, or photos of the deceased Gaddafi (widely distributed in Western media) or whatever. The obscenity is the fire, but Mr. Mwaikambo is in no way responsible for that.

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pisacake · 17/06/2017 13:04

sorry, should add - he got 3 months prison.

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BeyondStrongAndStable · 17/06/2017 13:06

While I don't for a second think he did the right thing, he didn't do anything that newsagencies dont. Oh sorry, they blur faces. That makes it okay, apparently.

kaytee87 · 17/06/2017 13:06

I think it's despicable to open a body bag and post a picture on the internet. Disgusting!! The persons family might not have even known the person was dead.
What right did he have to touch this persons body.

BeyondStrongAndStable · 17/06/2017 13:07
Pinkheart5919 · 17/06/2017 13:07

No he deserves to be in prison. The sentence imo is fine

If it was your loved one in that body bag would you want someone to unzip the bag and take a photo? How do you think the family feel knowing someone showed so little respect for a loved one?

What sort of mind sees a body bag and thinks " oh I'll just unzip that for a quick picture" ?

It is disgusting behaviour

notomatoes · 17/06/2017 13:08

But he did not do this in Tanzania.

PlaymobilPirate · 17/06/2017 13:08

His behaviour was disgusting. Imagine finding out that your relative was dead via a picture on Facebook.

It wasn't his news to break

BeyondStrongAndStable · 17/06/2017 13:09

I read he uncovered the body, not that it was in a body bag. If they were in a body bag, why weren't they moved?

Sirzy · 17/06/2017 13:09

I think it sends a good message out to the people who will take a photo of anything for a moment of fame to be honest.

OhTheRoses · 17/06/2017 13:10

It was despicable. He should be in prison.

pisacake · 17/06/2017 13:11

Communications Act s127:

"A person is guilty of an offence if he—

sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character;

A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both."

It is not clear how the judge has complied with the sentencing guidelines, which provide that "Higher culpability and greater harm" are required for a custodial sentence.

It is not really clear how he has shown 'higher culpability'.

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MrsJayy · 17/06/2017 13:11

So you think it is because of his culture he took the picture of a dead person so should not be punished is this what you are saying? Im sure indonesians are not opening random body bags and posting on facebook

Cornettoninja · 17/06/2017 13:11


Frankly I don't give a shit about other counties traditions and it's not like it was a photograph taken with a loved one who he had reason to be in the vicinity of. It was a gross intrusion into this recently deceased persons and their families privacy and removed their last shred of dignity.

3 months is about right I think. Also he clearly plead guilty to be sentenced so quickly so I would conclude he knows what he did was wrong rather than argue the toss.

BeyondStrongAndStable · 17/06/2017 13:11

I mean, I understand if someone had covered the body with a sheet or something for "decorum" until it could be moved, but is it usual procedure to put someone in a body bag and then leave them where they are?

ThroughThickAndThin01 · 17/06/2017 13:11

I think the sentence is right. It's an awful thing he did.

MotherOfBleach · 17/06/2017 13:11

Was the deceased a friend or relative of his?

That would a make a difference in my eyes. The taking of photos of the deceased in other cultures are a way to commemorate your loved ones.

What this man did was simply ghoulish, disturbing and a way for him to acquire FB likes. The sentence is fine. It's a shame they don't sentence the Daily Fail for the same.

OhTheRoses · 17/06/2017 13:12

Did he have the consent of the deceased or their next of kin? If not his conduct was illegal as well as disrespectful, inappropriate and obscene.

AnchorDownDeepBreath · 17/06/2017 13:13

No; not a relative and no permission granted - the deceased has not yet been identified

brummiesue · 17/06/2017 13:13

Why are you trying to excuse this as some 'cultural' thing?? What he did was disgusting, imagine if it was your child whose face he plastered all over facebook and that is how you found out they had died. Cant even believe you are defending him reallyConfused

MrsJayy · 17/06/2017 13:13

I agree with Sirzy might stop ghouls posting killed and murdered people on fucking facebook

VerityHabitat · 17/06/2017 13:13

As much as I think what he did was awful, I agree, pisa

The world is a dangerous place when mob mentality rules and I understand your point.

Perhaps a human rights solicitor could shed light on the sentence

BingBongBingBong · 17/06/2017 13:14

Yes it's right he went to prison. He opened a body bag and posted a close up of the dead man's face on Facebook. When people commented to him to remove the picture and it was wrong he ignored them. Imagine seeing a picture of one of your recently dead relatives on social media before their body was even removed from the scene.

News agencies blur faces or do not show close ups of dead people's faces. They also do not open body bags in order to take photos.

You can't just interfere with dead bodies and post close ups of dead victims on social media.

FastAbsorbingCake · 17/06/2017 13:14

I come from a culture where it is normal, even expected, to take pictures of the dead.

Saying that I still think what he did was awful and he deserves his sentence.

limonade2 · 17/06/2017 13:14

If this offends I'm sorry but I don't really give a toss what other cultures do.

In the U.K. We don't open body bags and take pictures.

And IF other cultures do that I think it's disgusting.

AyeAmarok · 17/06/2017 13:15

In some cultures you're allowed to rape women.

Shall we let people do that here too?


although you can pretty much do it with impunity here anyway

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