October 5th, 2016
Dutch Photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans Shot Dead
Revered Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans has been killed on Sunday after an Islamic State sniper fatally shot him on his chest in the Libyan city of Sirte. Oerlemans was shot while he was out with the team that clears mines in the part of the city, that is still a stronghold of the IS group. Dr Akram Gliwan, the spokesman for a hospital in Misrata, told the AFP news agency that Oerlemans was shot in the chest by an Islamic State group sniper. The photographer’s body had been transferred there from Sirte.
Since the news broke, hundreds of colleagues, admirers, and friends have taken to social media to share condolences and remember the photojournalist’s work. “Your photographs of Sirte, Libya and other places will live on forever,” the Dutch ambassador to Libya, Eric Strating, said on Twitter. “Condolences to all who loved him.”
“Rest in peace Jeroen Oerlemans,” Yvette van Eechoud, director of European and International Affairs at the Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs, tweeted. “Thank you for shining your light on the misery of others.”
Very upset to learn that the photographer Jeroen Oerlemans was killed in Libya. A wonderful person, too briefly acquainted. Remember him.
— Ben Taub (@bentaub91) October 2, 2016
Oerlemans was abducted and wounded in Syria in 2012 with British photographer John Cantlie and freed a week later. Cantlie was later abducted again and is believed to be still in captivity. Oerlemans had acumen in covering war. He had covered wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya and the journey of migrants to Europe. He was a student of photojournalism at the London College of Communication.
Sunday’s outbreak killed at least 10 IS fighters and eight pro-government fighters around Sirte, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) said. It is especially challenging and dangerous for journalists to work in Libya, in chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. However, Syria has been recognised as the deadliest country to work for journalists. Since 2012, 93 journalists have been murdered in Syria.
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