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.
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-Khafaji, was 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.