Dutch Journalist Killed By ISIS Sniper in Sirte

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)


A prominent dutch photojournalist was killed by ISIS snipers in Sirte on Sunday while he was covering events in Sirte.

Jeroen Oerlemans was killed by a shot to the chest said Akram Gliwan, a doctor from the Misrata hospital where the journalist’s body was taken to after he was shot.

The journalist was shot while accompanying a team of soldiers who were clearing mines.

Oerlemans death was confirmed on Sunday by Knack magazine, a  Belgian weekly publication, which was one of the organizations that Oerlemans worked for in Libya.

He also reported on the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and wrote stories about the plight of refugees making their way to Europe.

The publication’s website posted a message confirming the death, saying it “wishes his family strength.”

Many on social media were mourning the death of the dutch photojournalist, posting messages of condolences and sharing Oerlemans’ work to keep his memory alive.

“Your photographs of Sirte, Libya and other places will live on forever. Condolences to all who loved him,” posted Eric Strating, the Dutch ambassador to Libya on Twitter.

“Rest in peace Jeroen Oerlemans. Thank you for shining your light on the misery of others,” tweeted Yvette van Eechoud, the director of European and International Affairs for the Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Bert Koenders, the dutch Foreign Minister, remembered Oerlemans as “a journalist who kept going where others stopped.” He said Oerlemans was “driven to put the news into pictures in the world’s hotspots. It is profoundly sad that he has now paid the ultimate price for this.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said about 11 more journalists and a media workers were killed in Libya according to its records, which began documenting deaths of journalists in 1992. Ten of the deaths took place after the 2011 Libyan uprising began.

“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 the CPJ’s 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.”

Oerlemans, along with British photojournalist John Cantlie, was held hostage by ISIS in 2012 and was released after a week. The British journalist was taken by ISIS again and is reported to still be held hostage.

During intense battles on Sunday, 10 ISIS fighters and eight Libyan soldiers were killed.

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