Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the killing of Italian freelance
photojournalist Fabio Polenghi, 45, who was shot dead yesterday when armed
forces broke up the stronghold of anti-government protesters in central Bangkok.
Polenghi is the second journalist to
die in violent clashes in Thailand’s
capital since April 10, when Japanese cameraman Hiro Muramoto was killed by
“The death of Fabio Polenghi is a
reminder that journalists continue to put their lives on the line while
reporting close to danger,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
Three other foreign media personnel were
reported injured yesterday. Dutch freelancer Michael Maas was being treated for
a shoulder wound received while working for Dutch national TV. Chandler
Vandergrift, a freelance Canadian writer and photographer, was seriously hurt
in a grenade attack, and an unnamed American journalist was shot in the leg,
according to reports.
As the protesters dispersed, violence
was targeted at media outlets. State-run TV Channel 3 was attacked as
protesters entered the station premises, which were set alight. Many staff were
trapped and reportedly rescued by helicopters, according to news reports.
The offices of sister newspapers the
English-language Bangkok Post and the
Thai-language Post Today were
evacuated as a crowd marched nearby.
Polenghi was among 14 people
reported killed in yesterday’s clashes. The Milan-based freelance
photojournalist was shot in the stomach and died in hospital. He had been wearing
a bullet-proof vest and a helmet when he was shot, hospital sources said.
The IFJ urges media managers in Thailand
to take maximum precautions for the safety of journalists.
“Thai and foreign editors and managers must take responsibility to
ensure that their personnel working in Thailand
adhere to expert advice on reporting safely in areas of conflict, and are
provided with adequate safety equipment in the field,” Park said.
The IFJ urges media managers and
journalists to follow safety protocols for media working in conflict areas,
available at the International News
Safety Institute (INSI) website at:
The IFJ further calls on Thailand’s
authorities to take all action to ensure military and police abide by
international instruments that stipulate the non-combatant status of media
personnel reporting in areas of conflict, in line with United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1738.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide