The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Saturday that Afghan authorities should conduct a quick and thorough investigation into the killing of Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui. Pulitzer Prize winner Siddiqui was covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the town of Spin Boldak near the Pakistan border.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Reuters President Michael Freidenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni wrote that we are seeking information from the Afghan government about the circumstances leading up to the journalist's death. At the same time, according to the UN report, 33 journalists lost their lives in Afghanistan between 2018 and 2021. Of these, 10 journalists were killed in a suicide attack in Kabul on April 30, 2018.
Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator in Washington DC, said the death of Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photojournalist, is a sad news. Even though the US and its allies have withdrawn from Afghanistan, journalists are still working in Afghanistan, posing a great risk to their lives.
According to CPJ, Siddiqui was associated with Afghan special forces at the time of his death and was covering the ongoing fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters. Earlier reporting that he had sustained a shrapnel injury to his hand, he had resumed his work after receiving medical treatment.
An Afghan commander told Reuters that Siddiqui was talking to shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked and later died in the gunfire. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters the group was not aware that a journalist was at the scene and said it was unclear how Siddiqui was killed.