Sunday, February 01, 2015
Kenji Goto san
The International Communications Forum wishes to express its sadness at the killing of Kenji Goto san and our grave concern at the continued kidnapping and execution of journalists and aid workers by the militant group Daish a.k.a. Isis. We were particularly saddened by the execution of the inspired and courageous aid worker Peter Kassig who was well known to friends of the NCF and now we are doubly saddened by the barbaric execution of the outstanding Japanese freelance journalist and film-maker Kenji Goto san whom we had hoped might be released unharmed as a consequence of the Herculean efforts of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to intervene.
Kenji Goto san is a writer of great stature. His work on aids, on blood diamonds, on Afghanistan and on exposing other key issues has been seminal. His work emphasises humanity with titles such as: "We want peace not diamonds" or "Born in an aids village" or "Prayers of Rwanda" or "If I could go to School". He is 47 years old and is survived by a wife and two children, one of whom is a babe in arms.
In a recent interview with a Japanese news site, Kenji Goto san is quoted by the BBC as having said he wanted to help people in conflict areas.
"The places I visit to report face unbearable hardship, but even there people live their daily lives," he said. "Those people always have something to say, a message they want conveyed. If I can help relay their message to the world, it might lead to a solution of some sort. If that happens, perhaps I can say my job was a 'success'."