Jeroen Oerlemans was born on 15 May 1970 in Vught in the North Brabant province of the Netherlands. He studied political science at the Amsterdam University and thereafter photojournalism at London College of Communication.

As a freelance photographer he covered several areas of conflict: Afghanistan, Haiti, Pakistan and nearly all countries of the Near East (Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian Territories). In his latter years he was mostly active in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. His photographs were published in NewsweekTimeThe GuardianInternational Herald TribuneThe Sunday TimesCourrier International and elsewhere. He was represented by Panos Pictures' Panos Network, and by de Beeldunie.


Jeroen lived in Amsterdam with his wife and children, Yves (2007), Anna (2009) and Nanouk (2011).

In July 2012, Oerlemans and the British photographer John Cantlie were kidnapped in northern Syria and detained for one week. They were freed by fighters of the Free Syrian Army


On 2 October 2016 the NOS reported the fatal shooting of Jeroen Oerlemans in the Libyan city of Sirte, Islamic State’s last bastion in the chaos-wracked north African country. Jeroen was killed while he was out with a team that clears mines in the part of the city that has been freed from Isis control, according to Dutch national broadcaster Nos and Belgian publication Knack.


According to fellow journalist Joanie de Rijke of Knack, who was reporting with Jeroen in Libya, Jeroen was wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet, ″but the bullet hit him on the side, just at the opening of his vest. [...] The only consolation is that he was immediately dead, he did not suffer in any case.″

Jeroen at work

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