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Reporters beheaded by merciless IS

Posted September. 04, 2014 05:58,   


It is convenient to watch NBC News of the U.S. using the smartphone. Reading NBC News while commuting to office on Wednesday, this reporter learned that second American reporter was beheaded by the terrorist group Islamic State. Immediately after filing a brief lead suggesting that reporter Steven Sotloff had been beheaded, the correspondent stated, “Brian, I must say this. He was very courageous till the last moment” before presenting details on the news. As I could sense how grave fear Sotloff would have felt at sword point of the murderer, I felt deeply saddened.

Sotloff was only 31 years old. He went missing about a year ago, while gathering news in Syria as freelancer. His execution was warned when American freelancer photographer James Foley was beheaded two weeks ago. Last week, her mother earnestly appealed IS to display mercy on her son, to no avail. However, some analysts say that her appeal was useless in the first place because Sotloff had already been murdered around the time of Foley’s beheading, and only video clips of his murder has been released belatedly. British Prime Minister Cameroon said the act was “absolutely disgusting and despicable.”

According to the Committee to Project Journalists in the U.S., the number of reporters who were murdered from 1992 to present amounted to 1,073 in total. The most recent victim on the list was James Foley who was beheaded two weeks ago. If Sotloff is added to the list soon, the number will increase to 1,074. This list does not include any single ethnic Korean while six Japanese journalists are found on the list. Can we say it is fortunate or something to be shameful (that there is no Korean victim)?

The 33 reporters who were killed this year mostly died in countries in conflict, including the Gaza Strip, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya. I have read foreign news reports for a long time, but have never witnessed such extremely violent groups as IS, which has been active in Iraq and Syria recently, and Boko Haram in Nigeria. These terrorist groups have gone beyond the level of mercilessness shown by Al Qaeda and Taliban, which had influence on the former. We pay respect and condolences to reporters who are dealing with extremely vicious groups without having the protection under the Geneva Convention in many parts of the world.