Monday, February 26, 2024

Rohingya group condoles killing of Danish Siddiqui

Image credit: Bernat Parera

India based Rohingya group, Rohingya Human Rights Initiative (ROHRIngya) Organization, expressed “pain” and “Shock” to learn about the killing of photojournalist Danish Siddiqui. The 38-year-old was killed on Friday in Kandahar, Afghanistan during an assignment for Reuters news agency.

In a statement released on Saturday, the group expressed their gratitude to the award-winning journalist for “turning his camera towards the plight of the persecuted and stateless Rohingya people and taking our stories far and wide”.

United Nations General Secretary, António Guterres, joined the rally of people to express grief at the killing of Siddiqui, who was part of the group that won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 2018.

“The Secretary General grieves the journalists killed or indeed harassed anywhere in the world and the case of Danish Siddiqui is one such case,” Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, said at the daily press briefing on Friday.

Meanwhile, several journalists have expressed discontent towards the Indian Prime Minister and other high order personnel who remain silent on the killing of Siddiqui.

Siddiqui won the Pulitzer Prize for covering the exodus of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Southeastern Bangladesh as a result of the violent military campaign of the Burmese army.

The mortal remains are expected to reach Delhi for finals rites on Monday, according to close friends.

Read the full statement here:

We, at Rohingya Human Rights Initiative (ROHRIngya) Organization, are pained and shocked to hear of the death of Indian journalist, Danish Siddiqui, on 16 July in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Siddiqui, who was a photojournalist with Reuters, was on an assignment to cover the resurgent conflict between the Afghan forces and the Taliban when he was killed. His untimely demise is a massive loss to the Indian and international journalistic fraternity. Our Deepest Condolences to his family.  A brave heart.

Siddiqui was an internationally acclaimed photojournalist who has covered several key global events, including the conflict in Iraq, Hong Kong protests and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Notably, he was a part of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist team at Reuters which received the award for covering the exodus of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Southeastern Bangladesh as a result of the violent military campaign of the Burmese army. His powerful photographs depict the extraordinary suffering and pain of the Rohingya people as they found themselves expelled from their own homes. We are deeply grateful to him for turning his camera towards the plight of the persecuted and stateless Rohingya people and taking our stories far and wide.

We strongly condemn the ongoing violence in Afghanistan, and especially, the Taliban’s disregard for civilian lives in the combat theatre. Under no circumstances, should journalists covering a conflict be targeted by any party. It is only because of courageous people like Siddiqui who put their lives at risk that the entire world can bear witness to truths and realities that would otherwise remain hidden. Hence, it is on the warring parties to ensure that no harm comes to them when they are doing their job. We also urge all parties to end the violence through a political settlement so that journalists are able to work without serious danger to their lives.

Siddiqui leaves behind a stellar body of work that is both evocative and important. We hope that his legacy inspires many others to tell stories that matter through photographs or words. We express our sincere condolences to the bereaved family of Siddiqui in this difficult time and wish them immense strength.

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