Friday, January 18, 2008
Nguyễn Văn Lém (Vietnam)
Nguyễn Văn Lém (referred to as Captain Bay Lop) (died 1 February 1968) was a member of the Viet Cong who was executed in Saigon during the Tet Offensive.
The execution was captured on film by photojournalist Eddie Adams, and the momentous image became a symbol of the hostility of war.
The execution was explained at the time as being the consequence of Lém's suspected guerilla activity and war crimes, and otherwise due to a general "wartime mentality."
On the second day of Tet, amid fierce street fighting, Lém was captured and brought to Brigadier General Nguyễn Ngoc Loan, then Chief of the Republic of Viet Nam National Police. Using his personal sidearm, General Loan summarily executed Lém in front of AP photographer Eddie Adams and NBC television cameraman Vo Suu. The photograph and footage were broadcast worldwide, galvanizing the anti-war movement; Adams won a 1969 Pulitzer Prize for his photograph.