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Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans killed in Libya

Dutch freelance photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans
Dutch freelance photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans

Jeroen Oerlemans/Facebook

This statement was originally published non on 2 October 2016.

Dutch freelance photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans was killed today in the Libyan city of Sirte while covering clashes between Islamic State fighters and forces loyal to the Libyan Army, according to Dutch and Libyan news outlets.

"Journalists have recently begun returning in greater numbers to Libya to cover the conflict and political upheaval but it remains an extraordinarily dangerous place," said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. "The death of Jeroen Oerlemans is a reminder that those who bring us images and video from the frontlines often pay the heaviest price."

According to CPJ research, at least 11 other journalists and 1 media worker have been killed on duty in Libya since 1992, when CPJ began keeping detailed records. All but one of those deaths came since the 2011 uprising.

Oerlemans was kidnapped and held for a week by Islamic extremists in Syria in 2012, along with British photojournalist John Cantlie. Cantlie was kidnapped again in Syria in late 2012, and has since appeared in several Islamic State videos.

A recent photo essay by Oerlemans on the fighting in Sirte was published by deVolkskrant in July 2016.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • RSF reiterates call for protective mechanism after Dutch journalist killed in Libya

    “Given the extremely complex political and security situation in this country, his murder – like the nine other murders of journalists in Libya since 2011 ­– will very probably remain unpunished. The existence of an alert mechanism within the UN Security Council, such as the one proposed by RSF, could make a difference.”

  • IFJ/EFJ condemn killing of Dutch journalist in Libya

    In a statement, the NVJ said, “The Dutch Association of Journalists and Photojournalists (NVJ-NVF) express their dismay and shock at the news of the death of photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans, who was a courageous, distinguished and passionate photojournalist. Very professional and always extremely well prepared, Jeroen was aware of the risks he took, yet still wanted to show the world the stories behind his photos. He was a very committed journalist who contributed to the NVJ safety training for journalists. Jeroen had always earned our respect and will be greatly missed."

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