HFHR comments on killing of journalist from local news portal
The HFHR has issued a statement on the killing of Łukasz Masiak, journalist of Naszamlawa.pl news portal. The Foundation called for an effective investigation into the reporter’s death, which would explain all circumstances surrounding the crime. In its statement, the HFHR emphasised that the key issue is to determine whether the killing was related to the professional activities of the slain journalist.
The Foundation pointed out that journalistic work often involves addressing difficult and inconvenient topics, which makes journalists a professional group that is especially exposed to different kinds of attacks. At the same time, creating conditions in which media professionals can safely do their jobs is a fundamental pre-requisite for unrestricted news reporting and the effective performance of the “public watchdog” function.
“This is why the state is obliged to protect members of the media against threats in order to guarantee freedom of expression. What is more, public authorities must take adequate explanatory action to explain circumstances of any acts of violence directed against journalists. Therefore, it is crucial that any such incident, especially a tragedy like this one, be thoroughly investigated and explained and the perpetrators held accountable”, reads the statement.
In its letter, the HFHR also cited instruments of international human rights organisations that contain detailed standards of effective investigations in cases involving attacks against journalists. Moreover, the Foundation undertook to monitor further authorities’ inquiry into the killing of Mr Masiak.