Mort au Combat
Meet Véronique Robert, Franco-Swiss journalist, mortally wounded in Mosul, Iraq on 19 June 2017 and who died in a Paris hospital 5 days later.
We do not immediately think of Journalism as being a dangerous profession but the statistics suggest it is one of the most dangerous professions, especially if you are a war correspondent.
Véronique wasn’t the only person to be mortally wounded in Mosul that day. Her colleague from Envoyé Special, Stephane Villeneuve was also killed. As was the Iraqi journalist Bakhtiyar Haddad.
According to the Manchester Guardian, 115 journalists were killed in 2016 for merely doing their jobs.
I painted Véronique because I saw her on the front page of Le Monde under the headline “Mort au Combat”. Even though she was not a soldier they still listed her as killed in action. They didn’t say she was collateral damage or died in an accident. They were making a statement. They were saying “she was one of us and she was killed in action, doing her job. Bringing the truth to the world”.
I was quite moved by it.