Family of murdered photojournalist take legal action against Libya and launch #JusticeforAnton Campaign

Just days before the tenth anniversary of photojournalist Anton Hammerl’s death, his widow Penny Sukhraj-Hammerl has launched a campaign to seek justice for his murder. Anton Hammerl was shot and fatally wounded in Libya by forces loyal to Gaddafi on 5 April 2011. He was covering the 2011 Libyan conflict as a freelancer. Anton’s body has never been located and there has been no investigation into the circumstances of his death, or the aftermath, by the Libyan, South African, Austrian or UK authorities, or any other law enforcement or investigative body.

After a decade with no action, no answers and no accountability, Penny Sukhraj-Hammerl has instructed a legal team from Doughty Street Chambers: Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Tatyana Eatwell and Catherine Meredith. Her intention to renew the pursuit for justice for Anton was announced in an online launch and press briefing earlier today (1 April 2021), hosted by Doughty Street Chambers with participation from Reporters Without Borders (RSF), who are supporting the family. Today, the legal team filed complaints with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Irene Khan, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Dr Morris Tidball-Binz, and the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, requesting that they raise their concerns about Anton’s case with the Libyan authorities; urgently request information from the South African, Austrian and UK authorities; and take steps to ensure an investigation into the circumstances of Anton’s death and disappearance now take place, including an investigation into the whereabouts of his remains so that they may be recovered and returned to his family.

More details about the case are available here, in this press release from Anton’s family, Doughty Street Chambers and RSF; and more details about the campaign are here.

Today’s launch event was chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, and the speakers were Penny Sukhraj-Hammerl, Anton’s widow; Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC; Diane Foley, mother of journalist James Foley and president and founder of the James W Foley Legacy Foundation; and Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s Director of International Campaigns.

The recording of the launch event can be accessed here.