Reporters Without Borders is dismayed to learn that Mohamed Baidawi, Radio Free Iraq’s Baghdad bureau chief, was shot dead in Baghdad on 22 March, while Radio Babel journalist Raji Hamadallah was badly injured in a shooting attack yesterday in Babil province.
Baidawi was trying to enter the high security “Green Zone” where the Radio Free Iraq’s office is located when he got into an argument at a checkpoint with a member of the presidential guard, who hit him several times and finally shot him in the head.
This well-known journalist’s murder has shocked Iraqi media workers. The presidential guardsman has been arrested and an investigation is under way to determination the circumstances of the shooting. Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to the victim’s family and colleagues.
Hamadallah was badly injured in a targeted shooting yesterday outside his home in Qada Jalba, in Babil province, 90 km south of Baghdad. Unidentified gunmen shot him several times before fleeing.
“We condemn the repeated attacks on journalists in Iraq and we urge the competent authorities to carry out independent and impartial investigations in order to shed light on the circumstances and identify those responsible,” said Lucie Morillon, head of research and advocacy at Reporters Without Borders.
A total of 14 journalists have been killed in the past five months. Five were killed in a suicide attack on Salaheddin TV in Tikrit in December, and three were the collateral victims of suicide bombings or car bombs . Six journalists were killed in targeted attacks and two others survived murder attempts.