Journalists who were killed.

Social Media could be such a great tool to unite the world, instead it has divided it. There are now people who only believe the ‘news’ they see on Social Media and take it as gospel, no matter how manipulated it is. Then there are those who solely trust other news outlets, often referred as the Mainstream Media. Luckily there are still some who have the ability to do some critical thinking.

Regardless what you think of this so called Mainstream Media, there is one point that can not be disputed. Between 1992 and 2021,1411 reporters from the ‘Mainstream Media’ were killed. Where as no keyboard warrior Social Media reporter has ever been killed.

I am not going through all the reporters that were killed. I just focus on a few of them. However I will have the list of all killed reporters and journalists at the end of the blog.

Ulf Strömberg

Strömberg, a cameraman for the Swedish channel TV4, was murdered in the early morning during a robbery at the house in Taloqan, Afghanistan where he and several other journalists were staying.

At around 2 a.m., armed gunmen broke into the house and entered the room where two journalists from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet were sleeping. The intruders demanded money, which they were given, and also stole equipment including cameras, computers, and a satellite phone, according to Aftonbladet.

The robbers threatened to kill the two journalists-Martin Adler, a photographer, and Bo Liden, a correspondent-but left the room after an Afghan translator intervened on their behalf, according to a Reuters report. The gunmen then proceeded to the room Strömberg was sharing with his TV4 colleague Rolf Porseryd, a correspondent. Porseryd told reporters that Strömberg went to the door and slammed it shut when he saw the gunmen, who fired several shots before fleeing.

Strömberg, 42, was apparently hit in the chest by a bullet fired through the door. Though colleagues rushed him to a local hospital, his wounds were fatal.

If you ever needed evidence that history repeats itself. Strömberg was killed in Taloqan, Afghanistan on November 26, 2001.

Veronica Guerin

Guerin, a crime reporter for the Sunday Independent, was shot dead by assailants on a motorcycle as she was stopped in her car at a traffic light in Dublin. She had been repeatedly targeted for physical attacks, a shooting, and death threats because of her incisive, continuing investigation into Ireland’s criminal underworld that had garnered her CPJ’s 1995 International Press Freedom Award.

Two men, Brian Meehan and Paul Ward, were convicted for her murder in 1999 and 1998. Ward’s conviction was overturned in 2002, but he remains in prison, where he is serving a 12-year sentence for taking part in a prison riot. John Gilligan, a known Dublin drug trafficker, was also charged but was acquitted because of lack of evidence on March 16, 2001, despite the judge’s assertion that there were “grave suspicions” of Gilligan’s complicity in the killing.

On October 23, 2020 Spanish police arrested Gilligan at his villa in Alicante in southeastern Spain as part of an investigation into suspected trafficking of marijuana and prescription drugs from Spain to Ireland and the U.K., the BBC reported. During the raid, police recovered a Colt Python revolver which was buried in the garden of the villa — the same model that was used in the journalist’s murder, The Guardian reported. According to that report, Spanish and Irish police were examining the weapon to determine whether it was used in the assassination.

Veronica Guerin worked for the Sunday Independent. She was killed in Dublin, Ireland June 26, 1996.

Daniel Pearl

U.S. government officials confirmed on February 21, 2002, that Pearl, kidnapped South Asia correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, had been killed by his captors.

The exact date of his murder was uncertain, but authorities announced his death after receiving a graphic, three-and-a-half minute digital videotape containing scenes in which one of the killers slits Pearl’s throat, and then someone holds his severed head. The faces of the assailants are not visible on the video. This, and other details below, are documented in an extensive report on Pearl’s murder, entitled The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl, published in 2011 by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and The Center for Public Integrity.

Pearl, 38, went missing on January 23, 2002, in the port city of Karachi, Pakistan, and was last seen on his way to an interview at the Village Restaurant, downtown near the Metropole Hotel. According to The Wall Street Journal, Pearl had been reporting on Richard Reid, a suspected terrorist who allegedly tried to blow up an airplane during a transatlantic flight with a bomb in his shoe.

Four days after his disappearance, a group calling itself “The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty” sent an e-mail to several U.S.- and Pakistan-based news organizations claiming responsibility for kidnapping Pearl and accusing him of being an American spy. The e-mail also contained four photographs of the journalist, including one in which he is held at gunpoint and another in which he is holding a copy of the January 24 issue of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

The e-mail contained a series of demands, including the repatriation of Pakistani detainees held by the U.S. Army in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The sender or senders, who used a Hotmail e-mail account under the name “Kidnapper guy,” said Pearl was “at present being kept in very inhuman circumstances quite similar in fact to the way that Pakistanis and nationals of other sovereign countries are being kept in Cuba by the American Army.”

Another e-mail was sent on January 30, also including photographs of Pearl held captive. This e-mail accused him of being an agent of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, and said he would be killed within 24 hours unless the group’s demands were met.

After scrutinizing the videotape that officials received weeks later, authorities believe that Pearl may have been murdered before the second e-mail was sent. During that footage, Pearl is forced to identify himself as Jewish and to deliver scripted lines reiterating some of the demands made in the e-mails, according to an FBI analysis of the tape that was provided to the Journal.

On February 12, 2002, before Pearl’s murder was discovered, Pakistani police announced the arrest of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, whom they identified as the prime suspect behind the journalist’s kidnapping.

On March 14, a U.S. grand jury indicted Saeed, charging him with hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking resulting in Pearl’s murder. U.S. prosecutors also unsealed a secret indictment filed against Saeed in November 2001 accusing him of participating in the 1994 kidnapping of U.S. tourist Bela Nuss in India. Pakistan refused to extradite Saeed, possibly to avoid damaging disclosures of links between the country’s intelligence agencies and militant Islamist groups that the United States wants to see eliminated.

In April, Saeed and three accomplices–Salman Saqib, Fahad Naseem, and Shaikh Adil–were charged with Pearl’s kidnapping and murder before Pakistan’s special anti-terrorism court. The trial, initially convened at Karachi’s Central Jail and later moved to a heavily guarded prison in Hyderabad due to security concerns, was closed to journalists and the public.

In mid-May, as the trial was under way, police found a dismembered body believed to be Pearl’s buried in the outskirts of Karachi on property owned by the Al-Rashid Trust, an Islamic charity that the United States has accused of funneling money to al-Qaeda. Police were reportedly led to the shallow grave by Fazal Karim, a member of the banned militant Sunni Muslim group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. At year’s end, Karim had not been charged, and though it has been widely reported that he was detained, authorities have never officially acknowledged his arrest.

On July 15, 2002, the anti-terrorism court announced that Saeed and his accomplices were guilty of Pearl’s kidnapping and murder. Saeed, who was accused of masterminding the crime, was sentenced to death by hanging; Saqib, Naseem, and Adil each received 25-year prison sentences. They appealed the ruling.

Shortly after the ruling, U.S. officials announced DNA test results confirming that the body found in May was indeed Pearl’s.

In mid-August, 2002, The Associated Press published a detailed account of Pearl’s kidnapping, citing two investigators who spoke on condition of anonymity. The officials said that, according to Karim (who had led police to the journalist’s body in May) and two others held in unofficial custody, Pearl was shot and wounded on the sixth day of his capture when he tried to escape and was murdered on the ninth day. The AP identified the two other detainees as Zubair Chishti and Naeem Bukhari, who is also known as Attaur Rehman and is a leader of the sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The men also said that three Arabs, possibly from Yemen, were brought to the hideout on the ninth day, and that they were involved in filming and carrying out the execution.

Karim later identified one of the Yemenis among those arrested in a September 11, 2002, raid in Karachi, during which U.S. and Pakistani authorities detained several suspected al-Qaeda members, including Ramzi Binalshibh, allegedly a senior al-Qaeda leader who has claimed a central role in coordinating the September 11 attacks.

In 2007, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, suspected of masterminding the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., was reported to have confessed to a U.S. military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to personally having slit Pearl’s throat, according to news reports. A trial date for Mohammed’s role in the 9/11 attack has been set for January 11, 2021, although it’s not certain if the trial will proceed, according to news reports.

A former U.S. intelligence officer, Robert Baer, told the United Press International (UPI) news agency in 2002 that he had given Pearl information about Mohammed, and that he believes it was the journalist’s investigations of Mohammed that may have cost him his life. Baer, who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for more than 20 years in Asia and the Middle East and wrote the book See No Evil, which criticizes the CIA, told UPI, “I have heard from [intelligence] people who follow this closely that it was people close to Mohammed that killed him, if it wasn’t Mohammed himself.”

UPI quoted a Wall Street Journal spokesperson as saying that, “Everything we know from before and after Danny’s murder indicates his reporting effort focused on [alleged shoe bomber] Richard Reid.”

On April 2, 2020, the Sindh High Court overturned the murder convictions of the four men accused in Pearl’s killing, according to news reports. The decision found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had previously been sentenced to death, guilty only of kidnapping Pearl and reduced his sentence to seven years, which he has already served. The Pearl family and the Sindh provincial government appealed, and the four men remained imprisoned as of October 2020, awaiting further action by the Supreme Court, according to news reports.

Daniel Pearl worked for The Wall Street Journal. He was killed in Karachi, Pakistan, between January 23 and February 21, 2002.

Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak

Khpalwak, 25, a BBC and Pajhwok Afghan News reporter, was
among at least 22 people killed after gunmen and suicide bombers launched a combined attack on government buildings including the governor’s office and police headquarters in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province, local and international news reports said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the series of explosions and subsequent gun battle with Afghan and NATO security forces, the reports said. News reports said Khpalwak was killed in crossfire after the
initial bomb blasts.

Khpalwak was in the local branch office of state broadcaster Radio and Television of Afghanistan when the attack began, according to Danish Karokhel, the director of Pajhwok. Khpalwak, who had office space in the building, was filing his morning report at the time.

In a statement released on September 8, 2011, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan said one of its
soldiers had shot Khpalwak because he thought he was an armed insurgent
reaching for a bomb under his vest. “He was unarmed; no weapon was found nearby. It appears all the rounds perceived as coming from him were instead fired by U.S. soldiers,” the ISAF statement said. Investigators concluded troops may have mistaken a press card Khpalwak was holding up as identification for a bomb trigger.

The BBC reported that Khpalwak sent his brother two text
messages shortly before his death. The first read: “I am hiding. Death has
come.” In the second, he wrote: “Pray for me if I die.”

Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak worked for Pajhwok Afghan News, BBC .He was killed in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan on July 28, 2011

Danish Siddiqui

Danish Siddiqui was killed on July 16, 2021, while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the town of Spin Boldak, near the border with Pakistan, according to news reports and Reuters, citing Afghan military officials.

Siddiqui, 38, was embedded with Afghan special forces at the time of his death, according to those reports. He told his employer that he had been wounded in the arm by shrapnel earlier that day while reporting and had resumed work after receiving medical treatment.

Siddiqui was talking to shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked, and was killed in a subsequent crossfire, an Afghan commander told Reuters.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the militant group had not been aware there was a journalist on the scene, and said it was unclear how Siddiqui was killed.

Siddiqui was a member of the Reuters photography team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for “shocking photographs that exposed the world to violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar.”

A Reuters spokesperson told CPJ via email that the outlet is working to verify the facts surrounding Siddiqui’s death and has engaged outside experts to conduct an independent review of the circumstances leading up to, around, and after his death. Reuters is also conducting an internal review, the spokesperson said.

CPJ emailed Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior for comment, but did not receive any response.

Danish Siddiqui worked for Reuter. He was killed in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan on July 16, 2021.

So the next time you complain about or even ridicule the so called ‘Mainstream Media’ just remember the sacrifices they have made. Sacrifices which will never be made by these ‘experts’ on social media.

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