International Law

Sandesh Sivakumaran on Killing Journalists in Wartime

By Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 11:33 AM

Over at the OUPblog, Sandesh Sivakumaran has a post entitled “Killing Journalists in Wartime: A Legal Analysis.” Sivakumaran, who teaches at the University of Nottingham, is the author of The Law of Non-International Armed Conflict, published by Oxford University Press. The post opens,

The last couple of years have been bad for journalists. I’m not referring to phone-hacking, payments to police, and the like, which have occupied much attention in the United Kingdom these last months. Rather, I’m referring to the number of journalists who have been killed in wartime.

These last two years alone have seen eminent journalists such as Marie Colvin and Tim Hetherington killed while reporting on armed conflicts. Just last month, two journalists were killed while reporting in Syria. Deaths of journalists during conflicts are not new — Robert Capa and Gerda Taro both died while serving as war photographers. Increasingly, though, we are witnessing the targeting of journalists because they are journalists.