WASHINGTON, D.C. – Slain VOA reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif-one of 82 journalists from around the world who lost their lives in 2012-was honored in Washington Monday as the Newseum added new names to its memorial for fallen journalists.
“This is a solemn and sad occasion in many ways,” said VOA Director David Ensor, “but the recognition of our colleague on this memorial is also a source of great pride for all of us.”
Keynote speaker Richard Engel, the Chief Foreign Correspondent for NBC News, told the gathering of family, friends and colleagues at the Washington D.C. news museum that journalists take risks because they want “to understand the world and how it changes.”
Engel, who was himself kidnapped and held for five days in Syria last year, said the reporters being honored “died doing what they loved. They died in the line of duty with their boots on and their pen in hand.”
The Taliban took responsibility for the killing of Aatif, who was shot while he prayed at a mosque near Peshawar in January of 2012. Aatif, a local reporter for VOA’s Deewa radio and television, had been repeatedly threatened, but refused to stop reporting the news from the rugged tribal areas of Northwestern Pakistan.
Since the Journalists Memorial was unveiled at the Newseum in 2008, the names of 2,244 reporters, photographers, broadcasters and news executives have been added to the soaring glass panels that make up the monument. In addition to the 82 journalists killed last year, 6 others from previous years were also honored during Monday’s ceremony.
During the event, a bell sounded after the name of each fallen journalist was read aloud. Family members later placed flowers at the base of the monument.
For more information about this release, contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about VOA, visit the Public Relations website at www.insidevoa.com, or the main news site at www.voanews.com.
(This release was originally published on insidevoa.com.)