Carsten Thomassen


January 20, 2022

Carsten Thomassen (born 15 May 1969, died 14 January 2008 in Kabul, Afghanistan) was a Norwegian journalist and foreign reporter for Dagbladet. He had worked for Dagbladet for nine years when he was shot and killed in connection with the terrorist attack on Kabul Serena Hotell.

Personal background

Thomassen grew up in France, Tjøme and Madagascar, where his father was a missionary. He was a former student at Oslo Cathedral School where he graduated from third grade in 1988. He was educated at Gimlekollen Media Center and had a basic history. He started his journalistic career in the editorial office of Nature and Youth. In the 1990s, he started in the newspaper Klassekampen, where in connection with the newspaper conflict in 1997 he also became a current candidate for the editorial job. For a short period he worked in the position of acting editor. However, he did not want to run as an editorial candidate, and after the conflict chose to leave the newspaper. He worked for a time as a freelancer for Dagens Næringsliv, and for Vårt Land in the summer of 1998. Thomassen worked for Dagbladet from 1999, and was permanently employed in 2001. He worked in the newspaper's social and foreign affairs department.

The 2004 tsunami disaster

Thomassen was one of several journalists and photographers who covered the tsunami disaster (in 2004-2005) for Dagbladet, through reporting assignments in the field, both from Thailand and Indonesia. Afterwards, together with journalist Gunnar Ringheim and photographer Jan L. Dahl, he edited the documentary Bølgen which hit us all.

The terrorist attack on Serena Hotell

Thomassen was one of several Norwegian journalists and photographers who took part in the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre's visit to Afghanistan in January 2008. At the Kabul Serena Hotel, the Norwegian delegation was attacked. Thomassen and an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were shot by a terrorist dressed in a police uniform when they got out of the elevator at the hotel. The two Norwegians were transported to a Czech ISAF field hospital in Kabul, where Thomassen later died on the operating table as a result of the splinter injuries he received. Carsten Thomassen left a cohabitant and two daughters.


Jonas Gahr Støre commented on Thomassen's death as follows: "Carsten was one of the Norwegian journalists. He combined solid journalistic work with integrity and great knowledge. He has accompanied me on many journeys and he was until recently filled with his work as a journalist. Those who were with Carsten in Kabul on January 14 are filled with sadness and despair. My thoughts go to his closest and all his friends and colleagues. "Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg reminded Thomassen with these words:“ I got to know Carsten Thomassen as a skilled journalist and a good person through many years of cooperation. My thoughts go to his cohabitant, two children and the other relatives ». Stoltenberg also said this about Thomassen: “He was a committed, knowledgeable person who was concerned with the important issues of our time. At the same time, he was a cheerful man with whom it was pleasant to work. "Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen said:" This is absolutely horrible and unbelievably sad. Many of us in the central political environment knew Carsten well. We had contact with him no later than Saturday. I had great respect for the knowledgeable, experienced and reflective journalist he was. "Rødt's leader Torstein Dahle reminded Thomassen as follows:" It was unbelievably sad to receive the news that Carsten Thomassen was killed during a reportage assignment in Kabul. Carsten Thomassen was a journalist who combined professional skill with great personal integrity and a deep-felt commitment to injustice and oppression. He wanted something with what he did in his job, at the same time as he was careful about accountability and professional quality. His death once again puts the spotlight on the safety of journalists during the exercise of their profession. He will be deeply missed as a journalist and as a warm and caring fellow human being. We are many who will think of him for a long time - take it

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