BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World: South Asia
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 22 February, 2002, 14:13 GMT
Slaughter of 'the sweetest guy'
Daniel Pearl in a photo released by his kidnappers
Daniel Pearl was kidnapped three weeks ago
News of Daniel Pearl's killing is met with outrage by world leaders and disbelief by his friends.

Tributes to Daniel Pearl, the journalist kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan, have been pouring in from his colleagues in the media.

There is a special place in hell for the people who did this

Alecia Swasy
The Wall Street Journal said it was now a time for grief but Daniel Pearl's life and work would be celebrated in the months to come.

A journalist at the St Petersburg Florida Times who worked Pearl in the 1990s recalled her lovable colleague.

"He was the sweetest guy - you know how some journalists could be such jerks," said Alecia Swasy.

"Well, you could forgive Danny anything because he was such a dear sweet soul. There is a special place in hell for the people who did this."

Daniel Pearl
Daniel Pearl wanted to interview Islamic militants
Terry Anderson, a former Associated Press reporter held hostage for nearly seven years in Lebanon, said he had been a "wonderful reporter and a very decent man".

Anderson said all journalists bore in mind the risks of their profession:

"We take risks, we try to take reasonable risks, but they are risks."

But Daniel Gill, a San Francisco-based friend of Pearl's working for CNN, suggested that Pearl's innocent nature may have been his downfall.

"Danny was an unassuming kind of guy," he said.

"He was an absent-minded professor, a warm disarming man. I believe he thought this was a safe assignment."

Paul Steiger, Wall Street Journal's managing editor
Paul Steiger: "A great reporter and a dear friend"
Self-imposed regulations for US newspapers had been described as strict even before the kidnapping of Mr Pearl. A verbal threat to US journalists working in Pakistan only went to decrease their working area.

And in Afghanistan, the BBC's Marcus George says journalists are taking seriously any threat to their security. Trips outside Kabul are strengthened by contingents of armed guards and some media houses in the city are guarded with weapon bearers.

Brought to justice

Meanwhile, President George W Bush's comment that the killing will not bow the fight against terror has been echoed by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Daniel Pearl in captivity
The kidnappers had issued ultimatums
He expressed "profound grief" at the news of Pearl's death. President Musharraf gave orders to the security forces to "apprehend each and every member of the gang of terrorists involved in this gruesome murder".

The Pakistani leader was quoted by his office as saying he would "stay the course to ensure that his country and indeed this world is free of terror".

A spokesman for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Fred Eckhard, said that Pearl's killing put everyone at risk.

"The secretary general salutes the courage of Mr Pearl and his colleagues around the world, and reiterates his longstanding commitment to the right of journalists to carry out their vital work without fearing for their security freedom or life," he said.

"Where that right is threatened, all of us are placed at risk."

A spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, Bernard Valero, sent condolences to Pearl's family. "We are filled with consternation," he said.

In the US, the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, said that no-one deserved the "barbaric" fate of the Wall Street Journal's reporter.

"New York mourns for the tragic death of this innocent man," he said.

The BBC's Paul Welsh
"The FBI have video tape from Pakistan which proves he's dead"
Pearl family spokesman, Gary Foster
"We are shocked and saddened"
Paul Steiger of The Wall Street Journal
"His murder is an act of barbarism"
See also:

06 Feb 02 | South Asia
Suspect named in reporter's kidnap
14 Feb 02 | South Asia
Pakistan disputes reporter death claim
06 Feb 02 | South Asia
In pictures: Daniel Pearl kidnapping
21 Feb 02 | South Asia
Pearl kidnap suspect admits role
22 Feb 02 | South Asia
Timeline: Daniel Pearl kidnap
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories