Iraq : Another Iraqi journalist killed, third since start of protests

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the growing dangers for journalists in Iraq, where the latest fatal victim was Ahmad Muhanna, a photographer who was shot in the back by unidentified gunmen while covering protests in Baghdad’s Al-Khilani Square on 6 December.

Muhanna was the third journalist to be murdered since a major wave of anti-government protests began in Iraq on 1 October. His death triggered an outcry on social networks.

The first journalist to be killed was Hisham Fares Al-Aadhami, a freelance photographer who was fatally shot in the chest by an irregular militia member while covering the protests in Al-Khilani Square on 4 October

The other fatal victim was Amjed Al-Dahamat, a writer and citizen-journalist who, according to the information obtained by RSF, was shot by unidentified gunmen near his home in the southeastern province of Maysan on 7 November.

“Rarely have Iraqi journalists been so exposed to danger and so vulnerable,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “It is unacceptable that reporters in the field should be killed simply for having a camera or video camera. The Iraqi authorities must thoroughly investigate these clearly deliberate murders in order to identify those responsible.”

On the same day that Muhanna was murdered, another freelance photographer, Zaid Al-Khafajiwas kidnapped from his home on his return from covering the protests in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. CCTV camera footage show men entering his home prior to his disappearance.

He was the second journalist to be abducted in recent weeks. The first was Muhammad Al-Shamari, a member of the Iraqi Observatory for Press Freedoms, who was kidnapped on 17 November and was released the next day.

Iraq is ranked 156th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

Source: rsf.org

Categories: Media & Journalists,Middle East

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