DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / Contributor

Afghanistan: Journalists covering conflict must be protected following death of Reuters photographer

Responding to the death of Reuters journalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed on Friday in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters, Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s South Asia regional campaigner, said:

“The news of the killing of Danish Siddiqui is deeply shocking. We share our condolences with his family, friends and colleagues. Danish Siddiqui was a brave photojournalist, known for his searing images that carefully chronicled some of the worst humanitarian crises around the world.

“To preserve the fundamental right to freedom of expression and ensure public access to reliable information, reporters engaged in professional missions in areas of armed conflict must be provided with better protection measures by the authorities.”

Background

Danish Siddiqui had been a Reuters photographer since 2010. His work spanned the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Hong Kong protests, India’s Covid-19 crisis and the Nepal earthquakes. He was part of the Reuters photography team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.

According to Reuters, Siddiqui had this week been embedded with Afghan special forces based in the southern province of Kandahar and had been reporting on fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 65 journalists and human rights defenders have lost their lives since 2018.