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

24 June 2015

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 on 13 June in Mlawa in 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.

The SDP said:

"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."

The journalist had already reported death threats to the police without any result, the SDP said.

Masiak was quoted as telling reporters following the first attack in 2014:

"I am sure it was about some texts we have posted on our news portal"

Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, said:

"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,
"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.

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ president, said:

"We send our deepest condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Likasz Masiak"

"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 International Federation of Journalists.

Tags: , journalists killed, safety, poland, efj, ifj, council of europe, association of polish journalists, europe