On World Press Freedom Day, Honoring Journalists & Activists Lost in the Pursuit of Truth
Thursday, May 3, 2018, is World Press Freedom Day and we are honoring all journalists and media professionals who have lost their lives in their pursuit of press freedoms. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has documented the deaths of more than 1400 journalists and media professionals since 2000, some killed with clear motives and others with still murky motives.
We regret we cannot name and honor each of the 1400 plus individuals lost, but we ask you to join us today on World Press Freedom Day in remembering and sharing the names of the media professionals who lost their lives too soon. To name more journalists, go to the CPJ website and search their database for the individual stories of each life lost.
Alison Parker, journalist and Adam Ward, cameraman shot dead in Virginia on August 27, 2015, while filming a live interview celebrating the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake. The shooter was a disgruntled former reporter for the same network.
Serena Shim, American journalist for Press TV in Turkey. Died in a suspicious car accident in 2014, just days after Turkey called her a spy. She reported on Turkey’s use of humanitarian aid trucks to smuggle weapons out of Turkey into ISIS supported factions that opposed Assad in Syria.
Marielle Franco, Brazilian activist assassinated in 2018 while riding home from a meeting calling out Brazilian police brutality.
Yar Mohammad Tokhi, Ghazi Rasooli, Nowroz Ali Rajabi, Saleem Talash, Ali Saleemi, Mahram Durani, Ebadullah Hananzai, and Sabawoon Kakar all killed in a double suicide bombing in Afghanistan on April 30, 2018. The first bomb went off then about 30 minutes later a man disguised as a member of the media covering the first bombing set off a second bomb among the crowd of journalists killing all nine.
Ahmad Shah, BBC journalist killed April 30, 2018 in eastern Afghanistan. Shah was on his bicycle when shot by unnamed men; a motive is still being investigated.
Edmund Sestoso, Filipino journalist and radio broadcaster shot on April 30, 2018, and died days later. Sestoso’s wife reported he had received death threats shortly before his murder.
Caruana Galizia, journalist and activist in Malta who reported on government corruption, nepotism and money laundering. Killed in a car bomb in late 2017.
Paúl Rivas, Javier Ortega and their driver Efrain Segarra abducted by a drug trafficking group in Ecuador on March 26th, 2018 and killed sometime around April 10th. All three were covering drug-related border violence for El Comercio.
Robert Stevens, photo editor at The Sun in Boca Raton, Florida died from inhaled anthrax on October 5th, 2001.
William Biggart, freelance news photographer, killed September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center.
Michael Hastings, journalist for Rolling Stone and Buzz Feed, died in suspicious car accident in Los Angeles in 2013. Hastings embedded with U.S. General Stanley McChrystal in Iraq and exposed the Generals disdain for the White House and civilians. Hastings also wrote about the restrictions of the freedom of the press under Obama. His last story was published on Buzzfeed, Why Democrats Love to Spy On Americans. Many suspect he was the victim of a cyber attack.
Pamela Montenegro, Mexican journalist and satirical YouTube commentator killed in Acapulco on February 5, 2018. The local attorney general said Montenegro had received death threats in the weeks before being shot in the restaurant she owned with her husband. Montenegro covered local politics and often mocked politicians.
Jefferson Pureza Lopes shot dead while watching TV at his home in Brazil on January 17, 2018. Lopes was critical of local politicians on his radio show and friends reported he had received threats and intimidations for a year before his death.
Jan Kuciak, Slovak journalist and his girlfriend, Martina Kušnířova, were found murdered in Kuciak’s home on February 25, 2018 in Slovakia. Kuciak exposed political corruption and ties between the Slovak government and Italian mafia. His death resulted in protests around the country and the resignation of Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico.
Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh, murdered in India when an SUV hit their motorbike from behind and ran them over. According to local reports, the local village head and his son were in the SUV. The sides were believed to be in an argument over Nischal’s reporting on child marriage and the village head’s role in land divisions in the area.
Yaser Murtaja, photojournalist and cameraperson for the Gaza-based media production company Ain Media, was mortally injured on April 6, 2018, when a live round hit him in the abdomen while he was covering protests in the area east of Khan Younis city, the local press freedom group Palestinian Center for Media Development (MADA) reported.
Abdul Manan Arghand, Afghan journalist, killed by unknown gunmen while driving to work for Kabul News TV in Afghanistan. Arghand had received death threats before his death. Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry sent a letter to local police warning the Taliban had picked Arghand as a target for assassination.
Gauri Lankesh, Indian journalist and activist, shot to death in 2017 on her front doorstep as she returned home from work. She wrote about women’s issues, opposed the caste system and campaigned against right-wing Hindu extremism.
Join us in remembering and honoring these journalists and all journalists lost in the pursuit of truth and press freedom by sharing their names on social media. Go to the Committee to Protect Journalists for a full list of journalist and media professional’s who lost their lives in the line of duty as well as those currently or formerly incarcerated.