Two sides to every story, even Oliver Bridgeman's
OUR SAY: They say there are two sides to every story. This has not been the case in the story of Toowoomba teen Oliver Bridgeman.
From the moment it was revealed that the 18-year-old had travelled to war-torn Syria, he has been branded by Australian media as a jihadist.
Without a trial and without a chance to defend himself, he has been found guilty of terrorism.
But this week, Oliver broke his silence. He has come forward to tell friends, family and the media that have branded him a terrorist that he is doing nothing wrong.
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That the media has told "blatant lies" and "blown everything out of proportion".
Oliver claims he is a missionary working in the rural parts of Syria, distributing medical supplies, food and basic life essentials to people whose lives have been devastated by civil war.
He may not be telling the truth, we must consider that. If he is fighting with Syrian rebels, he deserves the same condemnation and punishment handed out to those with whom he is fighting.
But what if he is telling the truth? What if this young man is simply a generous and adventurous soul who has decided to dedicate his life to helping others in need?
If this is the case, what harm has been done by the media determined to play judge, jury and executioner?
What damage has been done to this young man, his family and friends?
We must remember there are two sides to every story, even in the case of Oliver Bridgeman.