New Delhi: Parents of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Danish Siddiqui will sue the Taliban in the international criminal court for the torture and murder of their son last July.
Siddiqui, 38, was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security personnel and the Taliban in Boldak, Kandahar. As a Reuters photographer, Siddiqui was a veteran of challenging assignments in his career.
A statement from the family read: “On Tuesday, Danish Siddiqui’s parents Akhtar Siddiqui and Shahida Akhtar will initiate legal action to investigate his killing and bring to justice those responsible, including high-level commanders and leaders of the Taliban.”
The statement further said: “On July 16, 2021, Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was illegally detained, tortured and killed by the Taliban, and his body was mutilated. These acts constitute not only a murder, but a crime against humanity and a war crime.”
“This was not an isolated incident. The Taliban’s military code of conduct, published as the Lahya, has a policy of attacking civilians, including journalists. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan documented over 70,000 civilian casualties attributed to the Taliban.”
On the morning of July 16, 2021, Taliban fighters killed Siddiqui after ambushing the Afghan commando team he had accompanied. Initial photos showed his body intact, but by evening when it was handed over to the Red Cross, the body had been badly mutilated.
A graduate of Jamia Millia Islamia, Siddiqui won the Pulitzer in 2018 for his depiction of the Rohingya crisis.
Also read: Reuters probe into Danish Siddiqui death raises questions on how it handles dangerous assignments