New York, March 29, 2001 — CPJ deplores the death of a British journalist this morning in the Kosovo village of Krivenik, near the Macedonian border.
Kerem Lawton, 30, a British national and producer for Associated Press Television News, died from shrapnel wounds sustained when a shell struck his car. At least two other civilians are feared dead in the attack, and at least ten others were injured.
“We are saddened by the tragic death of our colleague Kerem Lawton, which reminds us of the risks that journalists around the world take every day to cover the news,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “CPJ urges all parties to investigate this incident and determine the source of the attack.”
On Wednesday, the Macedonian Army launched a mini-offensive against Albanian insurgents in the village of Gracani in northern Macedonia. Just across the border in Kosovo, NATO-led peacekeepers stepped up patrols to intercept Albanian guerrillas crossing into Macedonia.
At the time of his death, Lawton had just arrived in Krivenik to cover the deployment of additional NATO-led peacekeeping forces. Both Macedonian military officials and ethnic Albanian insurgents denied responsibility for Lawton’s death and the other civilian casualties. It also remains unclear whether the casualties resulted from a deliberate attack.
Of the 24 journalists killed on the job in 2000, 15 died covering violent conflicts around the world, according to CPJ’s research.