The family of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was shot dead by the Taliban last year, on Monday said that they will move the International Criminal Court on March 22 against the insurgent group in relation to the matter.
Siddiqui, 38, was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan Pakistan on July 16. He was covering the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan for Reuters news agency.
“This was not an isolated incident,” his family said in a press release on Monday. “The Taliban’s military code of conduct, published as the Layha, has a policy of attacking civilians, including journalists.”
Siddiqui’s parents said they will initiate legal action to investigate their son’s killing and bring those responsible, including high-level commanders and leaders of the Taliban, to justice. The family said that Siddiqui’s killing not only amounted to murder, but also a crime against humanity and a war crime.
Initial reports after Siddiqui’s killing suggested that the journalist, along with a senior Afghan military officer, were killed in crossfire when the Taliban was trying to recapture the main market area of Afghanistan’s Spin Boldak district.
However, an investigative report published by Reuters in August had said that Siddiqui was killed after he was left behind with two soldiers of the Afghan Special Forces while others in the same group had retreated during an attack by the Taliban.
The news agency could not verify all the details that led to the journalist’s death, but a ballistic expert had confirmed that Siddiqui was shot multiple times after he was killed.
An investigation by The New York Times had said that Siddiqui’s body was badly mutilated while in the custody of the Taliban.
The report had quoted an unidentified Indian official saying that the photojournalist’s body had nearly a dozen bullet wounds and tyre marks on the face and chest. The Taliban had denied claims that they had killed Siddiqui knowingly.