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Polish journalist Lukasz Masiak beaten to death

This statement was originally published on on 23 June 2015.

According to the Association of Polish Journalists (Stowarzyszenie Dziennikarzy Polskich, SDP), an affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Polish journalist Lukasz Masiak (31), who worked for the popular local news portal, was beaten to death on the night of 13 to 14 June 2015 in the city center of Mlawa, a town located in north-central Poland.

“Lukasz Masiak was an esteemed and courageous journalist working for a local news portal. We are very saddened to learn his death and deeply concerned that [the] decisive response of law enforcement authorities comes only after the murder of the journalist,” said the SDP representative.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Lukasz Masiak. He was only 31 years old and had a wife and two children. They need our support and solidarity now. The EFJ also urged the Polish authorities to carry out an effective investigation in order to find and prosecute the responsible perpetrators for this horrible crime,” said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President.

The EFJ-IFJ will alert the Council of Europe's Platform for the protection and safety of journalists and the Mapping media freedom platform.

The news portal – operated by Masiak himself – performed an important role in monitoring local authorities in Mlawa, a small town in north-central Poland. Masiak received death threats regularly because of his journalistic work. He was beaten up last year and six months ago. An obituary was sent to Masiak's home. Following the first attack, Masiak told the media, “It was certainly not an attack by the robbers. The person attacking me was clearly waiting for me. I'm sure it was about the reports we have published on our news portal.” Masiak has reported every attack and threat he received to the police but the police investigation has led to no result so far.

Polish media reported that “Lukasz Masiak was one of the most recognised journalists in the region. Often he undertook and wrote about difficult and controversial topics. He wrote boldly and honestly, for which he was highly regarded in the journalistic community”.

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