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RIP: Photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans Killed by ISIS Sniper in Libya


DDG/ECHO - Demining Sirte

“I’m devastated,” wrote World Press Photo Managing Director Lars Boering yesterday upon hearing that talented Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans had been killed in Libya. “Again we lose one of the best and we also lose a very nice human being.”

These words, posted to social media, echo the sentiment of every photographer and photojournalist. Again we lose one of the best…

Oerlemans was shot in the chest by a sniper while covering a government-backed offensive against ISIS in the city of Sirte, 280 miles east of Tripoli. Since the news broke, hundreds of colleagues, admirers, and friends have taken to social media to share condolences and remember the photojournalist’s work.

The 45-year-old photojournalist was kidnapped and wounded by ISIS in Syria in 2012 with friend and colleague John Cantlie, but was released a week later. Despite this experience, Oerlemans didn’t skip a beat. A seasoned photojournalist, he covered wars in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, and recently photographed the plight of migrants attempting to reach Europe.

“Oerlemans is a journalist who kept going where others stopped. Driven to put the news into pictures in the world’s hotspots,” said Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders in a statement. “It is profoundly sad that he has now paid the ultimate price for this.”

Oerlemans is survived by his wife and three small children. He was scheduled to return home today.

Image credits: Photograph of Sirte, Libya by the European Commission DG ECHO.