Kaveh Golestan, the Iranian photojournalist who died last week while working in northern Iraq for the BBC, was a courageous reporter who won a Pulitzer prize for his coverage of the Iranian revolution.
Golestan, brought up in Tehran and England, followed his father into journalism and covered the troubles in Belfast before going to Tehran to work for Time and AP as a photographer. It was for this work that he was awarded the Pulitzer prize.
Golestan was killed by a landmine when his BBC team arrived at Kifri, a town in the southern part of the Kurdish area of Iraq, on a filming trip. He stepped out of the car on to the mine and was killed instantly. Producer Stuart Hughes was caught by the blast and injured his foot. Correspondent Jim Muir and the local translator were unhurt. BBC director of news, Richard Sambrook, said: “Kaveh Golestan was an outstanding photojournalist who had worked in support of freedom of expression in his native Iran and elsewhere and was well known to many western news organisations. He had worked with the BBC for many years. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends. This once again underlines the dangers faced by news teams covering the war in Iraq.”
John Simpson, who worked with Golestan during the Iran-Iraq war in the late Eighties, said: “Kaveh Golestan was already well-known as a photographer and filmmaker in his native Iran when he became a cameraman for the BBC.
“He brought an artistic quality and great sensitivity to his news filming and editing, and moral courage too. It is not always easy for an Iranian to work for the BBC in Iran, where the government regards it with habitual suspicion.
“This has been a terrible war for television news. In 14 days we have lost two correspondents, Terry Lloyd and Gaby Rado from Independent Television News in Britain, an Australian cameraman and now Kaveh. Significantly, all four were operating independently of the coalition forces and three of them were working in northern Iraq.”
Golestan is survived by his wife Hengameh and their 19-year-old son Mehrak.