IFJ and EFJ condemn the murder of journalist beaten to death in Poland

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional organisation the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have together joined their affiliate the Association of Polish Journalists (SDP, in Polish) in condemning the killing of journalist Lukasz Masiak last 13 June in Mlawa town, north center of Poland.

According to local media, Lukasz Masiak (31) was covering “controversial issues” on NaszaMlawa.pl, the local news portal he was running. The SDP said that the journalist was performing an important role reporting on local administration in the Mlawa town. An investigation has been launched into his death and so far two people have been arrested and the police are searching for a third man believed to be the perpetrator of the murder, reports add.

“Lukasz Masiak was an esteemed and courageous journalist working for a local news portal. We are very saddened to learn his death and deeply concerned that decisive response of law enforcement authorities comes only after the murder of the journalist,” said the SDP.

Masiak had already reported death threats to the police without any result, the SDP said. “I am sure it was about some texts we have posted on our news portal,” he was quoted as telling reporters following the first attack in 2014.

“We are appalled by this killing and call for a swift and transparent investigation so that the perpetrators feel the full force of the law. Our thoughts are with his beloved ones, “ said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “ It is a tragedy that this journalist who has previously alerted the police about death threats was killed before action was taken.”

European journalists also denounced the killing and expressed their solidarity.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Likasz Masiak,” added the EFJ President Blicher Bjerregård. “He was only 31 years old and leaves a wife and two children who need our support and solidarity now. The EFJ also backed the call for an effective investigation in order to find and prosecute the responsible for this horrible assassination.”

The IFJ and EFJ have also referred this murder to the recently created Council of Europe’s Platform for the protection and safety of journalists and the mapping media freedom platform.

So far 54 journalists have been killed across the globe since the beginning of the year, according to the IFJ statistics.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

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