UPDATE: According to information received by RSF, Lyra McKee was killed in the course of doing her job as a journalist. RSF awaits the results of the police investigation to clarify further details about the circumstances of her killing.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed that McKee was wounded when a single gunman fired shots in a residential part of the Creggan area of the city around 11 pm on 18 April. She was taken to hospital in a police vehicle, but died from her injuries. It remains unconfirmed whether McKee was covering the unrest as a journalist. The police have stated they are treating it as a “terrorist incident”.
McKee, 29 years old, had signed a two-book deal with Faber, which described her as a “rising star of investigative journalism”. In 2016, she had been named as one of Forbes’ “30 under 30” in media in Europe.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Lyra McKee’s killing; by all accounts she was a talented young journalist with a bright future ahead of her. We are concerned by reports of the incident that resulted in her killing, and are waiting for the police investigation to determine whether she was targeted as a journalist reporting on the unrest”, said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.
McKee’s killing took place the same day as the launch of RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, which saw a seven-place rise in ranking for the United Kingdom, now ranked 33rd out of 180 countries.