Danish Siddiqui: Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photographer killed in Afghanistan


Siddiqui was chief photographer for the Indian news agency based in Mumbai. Reuters reported the death of Siddiqui on Friday, citing an Afghan commander who said he was killed while covering fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters.

The commander said Afghan special forces were fighting to recapture a market area near a border crossing with Pakistan when Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported that Siddiqui was stationed with Afghan special forces last week and told the news agency that he was wounded in the arm in an earlier clash on Friday. The news agency said it was “unable to independently verify the details of the renewed fighting described by the Afghan military official”.

“We are urgently looking for more information and are working with the authorities in the region,” said Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni in a statement posted on Twitter.

“Danish was an excellent journalist … a devoted husband and father and a popular colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time, ”they added.

Siddiqui has been a photographer for Reuters since 2010, documenting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, protests in Kong Kong and taking on assignments in India ranging from religious celebrations to the country’s fight against the coronavirus.

He was part of a Reuters team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his work on the Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar. The judges described the work as “shocking photographs exposing the world to violence” with which the minority group was confronted.

According to a profile on Reuters’ website, Siddiqui received his first formal education in photography at film school.

“Although I enjoy covering the news – from business to politics to sports – what I enjoy most is capturing the human face of a groundbreaking story,” said Siddiqui in profile. “I take photos for the common man who wants to see and feel a story from a place where he cannot be there himself.”

The Dane Siddiqui was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his work on the Rohingya refugee crisis.  This photo shows a Rohingya woman who touches the shore after crossing the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Press Club of India said in a statement that it was “shocked” by Siddiqui’s death.

“Real journalism takes courage, and the work of Danish is proof of that,” it said. “Words fail us.”

Friends and colleagues paid tribute to Siddiqui on Twitter.

“Danish was a lovely man. When he came back from his duties in the office, reporters greeted him like a rock star, who he really was. He was just different. For him, news wasn’t just news. He saw the people behind it and wanted you give a feeling, “said the journalist Rahul Bhatia.
Henry Foy The Financial Times described Siddiqui as “a brilliantly talented photographer and wonderful former colleague”.

“His humor and charm made the room shine again and again, and his work brought important stories to mind. An absolute professional, one of a kind: a massive loss for journalism, ”said Foy.

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