European Federation of Journalists

Poland: Journalist Lukasz Masiak beaten to death

According to the Association of Polish Journalists (Stowarzyszenie Dziennikarzy Polskich, SDP), an affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Polish journalist Lukasz Masiak (31) working for the popular local newsportal has been beaten to death in the night of 13 to 14 June 2015 in the city center of Mlawa, a town located in north-central Poland.

“Lukasz Masiak was an esteemed and courageous journalist working for a local newsportal. We are very sadened to learn his death and deeply concerned that decisive response of law enforcement authorities comes only after the murder of the journalist,” said the SDP representative.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Lukasz Masiak. He was only 31-year-old and had a wife and two children. They need our support and solidarity now. The EFJ also urged the Polish authorities to carry out an effective investigation in order to find and prosecute the responsible perpetrators for this horrible crime,” said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President.

The EFJ-IFJ will alert the Council of Europe’s Platform for the protection and safety of journalists and the Mapping media freedom platform.

The newsportal operated by Masiak himself was performing an important role monitoring local authorities in Mlawa, a small town in north-central Poland. Masiak was regularly receiving death threats because of his journalistic work. He has been beaten up last year and six months ago. An obituary was sent to Masiak’s home. Following the first attack, Masiak told the media, “It was certainly not an attack by the robbers. The person attacking me was clearly waiting for me. I’m sure it was about the reports we have published on our news portal.” Masiak has reported every attack and threat he received to the police but the police investigation has led to no result so far.

Polish media reported that “Lukasz Masiak was one of the most recognised journalists in the region. Often he undertook and wrote about difficult and controversial topics. He wrote bodly and honestly for which he was highly regarded in the journalistic community”.

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