Linda Wallace on Tue, 19 Apr 2005 19:02:00 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Five journalists killed in past four days in Iraq


Five journalists killed in past four days      18 April 2005

The ordeal of journalists caught in the Iraq conflict has intensified over 
the last four days with reports of five killings of journalists, says the 
International Federation of Journalists. The IFJ says that safety and 
security for media staff and civil society must be a "top priority" for 
the new government.

Two Al-Hurriya television journalists were killed in suicide bombings 
while on their way to an assignment in Baghdad on April 14th. Producer 
Fadhil Hazim and cameraman Ali Ibrahim Isa were killed en route to an 
event honouring the new president, Jalal Talabani. They were in a car when 
the bombs exploded outside the Interior Ministry. Two other Al-Hurriya 
employees in the car, Shakir Awad and Mohammed Ibrahim, were injured.

Al-Hurriya, a station financed by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, has 
now lost three journalists in the war. Fadhil and Isa are both Iraqi; 
their deaths continue a 16-month trend in which the vast majority of 
journalist fatalities in Iraq have involved local people.

The day after this attack, the IFJ affiliate in the region, the Kurdistan 
Journalists Syndicate, reported the killing of another two television 
journalists, Shadman Abdulla, working for Kirkuk TV, and Laiq Abdulla, 
from Kurdistan Satellite TV (KTV).

The Syndicate also reported that at the weekend another journalist, Ahmed 
al-U'badi, working for al-Sabah newspaper, was beheaded in Baghdad, 
apparently by a group known as al-Jihad and al-Tawhit.

"The death toll among Iraqi journalists continues to rise," said Aidan 
White, IFJ General Secretary. "Some 75 journalists and media staff have 
been killed since the US invasion in March 2003 - and around 55 of them 
have been local Iraqis. It is an appalling level of loss. The new 
government must give top priority to the protection of media staff."

The IFJ backs a statement from the Kurdistan Syndicate protesting over the 
killings and terrorist acts and calling on the Iraqi authorities to ensure 
safety for journalists. The Syndicate is working with the IFJ and other 
Iraqi groups in a programme to assist and protect media staff in the 

* International Federation of Journalists The IFJ 
represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries.

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