A renowned two-time Pulitzer-winning photojournalist, Danish Siddiqui, was captured, tortured, executed and badly mutilated by the Taliban in Spin Boldak near Kandahar, Afghanistan on 16th July 2021.

Every year, countless attacks occur worldwide against journalists to prevent the flow of information and suppress the truth. Journalists are society’s eyes and ears and play a vital role. They should be accorded safety and a protective environment to work. People targeting them for simply doing their jobs should be held accountable and brought to justice by governments and organizations.

Danish was killed for simply doing his job of showcasing the truth. A loving son, father, husband, brother, and friend, he leaves behind a rich legacy of work.

Danish parents have filed a petition in the International Criminal Court in this regard and strongly hope that the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice.

They also await answers from Reuters on a full, transparent inquiry and release of documents on why their son was exposed to unacceptable risks on his assignment.

International CRIMINAL COURT

Call for Investigation

To the Office of the Prosecutor,

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, has long campaigned for justice in the cases of murdered journalists. From 2011 to 2021, no one has been held to account in 81 percent of the journalist murders worldwide, according to CPJ research. This widespread failure of governments around the world to hold the perpetrators of attacks against journalists to account is a key factor undermining global press freedom.

Given the need for credible investigations and justice as a deterrent in journalist killings, CPJ strongly supports the submission by the family of photojournalist Danish Siddiqui calling for a formal investigation into the circumstances of his death by the International Criminal Court.

Siddiqui was killed on July 16, 2021, in the Spin Boldak district of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, while covering the conflict there with the news agency Reuters. On March 22, 2022, Siddiqui’s family filed a petition with the ICC against several senior Taliban leaders and calling for an investigation to identify those who carried out the killing. The family’s submission presents a compelling set of facts that, as described in the petition, concern “the attack on, torture, and unlawful killing of war correspondent, Mr. Danish Siddiqui.” CPJ urges the ICC to act on this petition in order to seek justice for Siddiqui’s family.

An ICC investigation into this case and the search for justice is especially important considering the conditions in Afghanistan, where human rights are suffering a massive reversal. In CPJ’s 2021 impunity rankings, which measure the countries where the killers of journalists most often go free, Afghanistan ranked fifth. There is now little prospect that the 17 journalists murdered for their work in the last 10 years will see even a semblance of justice in an Afghan court.

Since the Taliban took control, CPJ has documented a steady increase in a range of attacks on journalists who are simply reporting the news, including arbitrary detentions and sometimes severe physical abuse. In an extremely worrisome trend, increasingly, attacks on journalists are perpetrated by the Taliban General Directorate of Intelligence, as CPJ has documented.

The launch of an ICC investigation into Siddiqui’s death would serve as an unmistakable signal that journalists should not be targeted, and the deadly silencing of their reporting will not be tolerated by the international community.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Robert Mahoney
Executive Director
Committee to Protect Journalists

"The way his (Danish's) body was mutilated is condemnable," says Afghan Journalists' Safety Committee chief Najeeb Sharifi.
"He was not simply killed in a crossfire, nor was he simply collateral damage; rather, he was brutally murdered by the Taliban"
"His Body Was Mutilated; Head, Chest Crushed Under an SUV by the Taliban. Even after his barbaric killing, the body was dragged mercilessly & mutilated"
"His face was unrecognizable, that there were dozens of bullet holes in his body, and that there were tire marks on both his face and chest."


Killed By The Taliban​

Indian Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui's Death During His Coverage Of The Taliban War In Afghanistan Is Shrouded In Mystery. As His Family Seeks Crucial Answers, News9 Plus Carries Out This Eye-Opening Investigation.

Episode 1

Family and journalists reveal chilling details about the brutal murder of Danish Siddiqui

Episode 2

New9 Plus digs deeper into the circumstances leading to Danish Siddiqui's death on the frontline