On the death of Danish Siddiqui: Capturing the human in breaking news

India is not alone in feeling great sadness today over the death of renowned Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui. He was killed in Afghanistan during clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban.

Through his photos, Siddiqui covered the major news situations in South Asia in recent years: the plight of the Rohingya, heated Indian elections, protests against India's controversial CAA citizenship law, farmers' protests, the flight of migrant workers during India's harsh corona lockdown; he was in COVID-19 hospitals and the overcrowded crematoria, documenting religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims, and most recently the activities of the Taliban with the withdrawal of international troops in Afghanistan. It was his last assignment for Reuters.

It is a great loss. His images prompted us to reflect on the human condition – one reason he won so many awards for his work, such as the Pulitzer Prize for his documentation of Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh. It was also Siddiqui who captured the provocative actions of Hindu nationalists in New Delhi, a photo that caused uproar in India, no to mention that of a Muslim man who was brutally beaten up.

"You showed the world its true, darker side," one acquaintance has said of him. But much more than the dark, he revealed the truth, which sometimes lies hidden. Siddiqui died doing what he cared so much about: capturing the human in breaking news.

In India in particular, corona has recently caused many deaths among journalists and photographers, more than 500. On the other hand, it shows how dangerous the situation in Afghanistan is for media workers. According to Reporters Without Borders, he was the 17th foreign journalist to be killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

Siddiqui worked in Iraq, Hong Kong and North Korea, in addition to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.    (Deutsche Welle)

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