Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 14:34 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2010 - Motive Confirmed: Hiro Muramoto

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2011
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2010 - Motive Confirmed: Hiro Muramoto, January 2011, available at: [accessed 20 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

April 10, 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand

Muramoto, 43, was shot in the chest in Bangkok's Old Town area while covering armed clashes between security forces and red-shirted protesters with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, or UDD, according to news accounts and CPJ interviews.

A 15-year Reuters veteran based in Tokyo, Muramoto was pronounced dead at a Bangkok hospital. He was one of two foreign journalists killed during violent political unrest that gripped the capital for several weeks. Fabio Polenghi, an Italian freelance photographer, was killed in crossfire in May.

A Reuters investigation, which drew on information from two unidentified witnesses, found that Muramoto "was shot almost certainly by a high-velocity bullet fired at street level while standing in a street between Thai troops and red shirt protesters." A summary of the Reuters inquiry, reviewed by CPJ, said that Muramoto "was not shot at close range" and that "both troops and protesters had high-velocity weapons at the time of Hiro's death and there were casualties on both sides that night." The findings contradicted initial government assertions that Muramoto had been shot by a UDD sniper positioned on a nearby rooftop.

By December 2010, Thailand's Department of Special Investigation was focusing on security forces as the likely source of fire. Reuters, quoting from a leaked department report, said the death "was caused by a high-velocity bullet as gunfire flashed from the direction of soldiers." Reuters called for the report to be publicly released.

Medium:Television, Internet
Job:Camera Operator
Beats Covered:Politics
Local or Foreign:Foreign
Type of Death:Dangerous Assignment
Suspected Source of Fire:Unknown Fire
Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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