'An irreplaceable loss': Editors Guild condoles death of Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan

By PTI
NEW DELHI: The Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Saturday condoled the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan, saying his demise was “an irreplaceable loss” to journalism.

In a joint statement, the Press Association and the Indian Women Press Corps said Siddiqui’s death while on duty in a conflict situation has once again highlighted the poor safety conditions of the scribes.

They also condemned the “hateful campaign” being run against Siddiqui on social media after his demise.

Siddiqui, in his early 40s, was killed in Afghanistan on Friday while covering the fighting between Afghan troops and the Taliban.

“We condemn the killing of Danish Siddiqui. His demise on duty in conflict situations has once again highlighted the poor safety conditions of the scribes,” read the joint statement.

“We pray for the departed soul. We also condemn the hateful campaign running on social media after his death,” the journalist bodies added.

The Guild, in a statement, said, “EGI condoles the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist on July 16 in Afghanistan, while he was covering a clash between Afghan security forces and the Taliban near a border crossing with Pakistan.”

“Siddiqui’s death is an irreplaceable loss to journalism.”

At the same time, the Guild said it is “deeply disturbed by the vicious and highly regrettable racist campaign” being run against him by some sections of the social media.

His death is an occasion to remember him and all the journalists who have died in conflict reporting, it said.

Over the past decade, Siddiqui had covered some of the most heart-wrenching stories of conflict and humanitarian crisis from South Asia and the surrounding regions, the EGI noted.

It said his work was a living testament to the axiom of photojournalism, “if your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”.

“Siddiqui’s death is a stern reminder of the great risks journalists take to report from the frontline of conflict,” it added.