Sunday, November 21, 2010

Iraq is worst at solving murders of reporters

Maybe the government's excuse is "Allah will solve it".

'Gunmen killed a young television news reporter in his home in the restive northern city of Mosul on Sunday, in the latest in a series of deadly attacks on journalists in Iraq, police said.

Mazin Mardan, in his mid-20s, was a correspondent for Al-Mosuliyah satellite television channel, covering hard news and carrying out interviews for the city's local station.

"Unknown gunmen raided the house of Mazin Mardan of Al-Mosuliyah satellite channel in the Al-Sadiq neighbourhood, east Mosul," police Major Mohammed al-Hayali said. "They killed him and they escaped."

The shooting occurred at around 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) in the city, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Baghdad, Hayali said.

In October, the International Press Institute press watchdog said more journalists had been killed in Iraq this year than in all of 2009.

The same month, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Iraq a lowly 145th place for media freedom out of 175 countries, and in September said the Iraq conflict has been the deadliest for the media since World War II.

And according to the "Impunity Index" released in April by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Iraq has the worst record of any country for solving the murders of reporters.'


Bruno said...

That's a good post, Mojo.

In particular, I wonder why this murder was never "solved":

"On June 24, Yasser Salihee, an Iraqi special correspondent for the news agency Knight Ridder, was killed by a single bullet to the head as he approached a checkpoint that had been thrown up near his home in western Baghdad by US and Iraqi troops. It is believed that the shot was fired by an American sniper. According to eyewitnesses, no warning shots were fired.

The US military has announced it is conducting an investigation into Salihee’s killing. Knight Ridder has already declared, however, that “there’s no reason to think that the shooting had anything to do with his reporting work”. In fact, his last assignment gives reason to suspect that it was.

Over the past month, Salihee had been gathering evidence that US-backed Iraqi forces have been carrying out extra-judicial killings of alleged members and supporters of the anti-occupation resistance. His investigation followed a feature in the New York Times magazine in May, detailing how the US military had modeled the Iraqi interior ministry police commandos, known as the Wolf Brigade, on the death squads unleashed in the 1980s to crush the left-wing insurgency in El Salvador."

Iraqi Mojo said...

That article was published in 2005. There were 478 suicide bombings in Iraq in 2005.

In 2005 and 2006 a few of my relatives in Baghdad were chased out of their homes and two were murdered for being Shia in Amriya. One was murdered presumably because he was working as a translator for the Americans. I suppose those murders are unsolved as well.

5 years later Sunni fundamentalists (and hardcore Ba3thi bitches, I believe) continue to murder Iraqis and the Iraqi govt is unable to solve the murders and identify the murderers. It is very sad.

Iraqi Mojo said...

But it is also sad and criminal when ISF and US troops have fired on journalists or apprehended them without good reason.

"During the provincial elections of 2009 journalists were subject to harassment, arrest and assault while covering the elections, including by Iraqi security forces and the US military. Some were arrested and held for hours; others were reported to have been prevented from entering polling stations – for example, in Falluja and in al-Hilla - although they had been officially accredited by the IHEC. In Mosul, Iraqi soldiers reportedly fired on journalists’ vehicles.

Before and after the July 2009 elections for the Kurdistan regional parliament, several journalists were assaulted, including Nebaz Goran, editor of Jihan, an independent magazine, who was attacked by three unidentified men outside his office in Erbil."

Iraqi Mojo said...

2010: Iraq: Extremist Groups Targeting Journalists

"The suicide car bombing that destroyed the Baghdad bureau of Al Arabiya News Channel and killed at least six people on July 26, 2010, was an assault on the fundamental principles of freedom of expression and respect for life, Human Rights Watch said today.

The bomber detonated the vehicle in front of the station's bureau in the city center. Three security guards and an office assistant were among the dead, and 10 people were wounded. Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for the Baghdad Operations Command, accused al Qaeda in Mesopotamia of being behind the attack. No group has claimed responsibility yet. Human Rights Watch urged the Iraqi government to take all possible steps to apprehend and hold accountable anyone found to have contributed to the bombing."

Iraqi Mojo said...

"Al-Baghdadi is the second Al-Mosuliya journalist to be killed in the last two months. In September, Safa al-Din Abdel Hamid was gunned down in front of his home by assailants firing from a speeding car. Two other journalists have been killed in Iraq since September. Riad al-Saray, an anchor for Al-Iraqiya TV station was shot the day before Hamid's murder. In October, Tahrir Kadhim Jawad, a freelance cameraman, was killed when a car bomb exploded as he was driving to Baghdad to deliver footage.

Iraq ranks first on CPJ's 2010 Impunity Index, which lists countries where journalists are murdered on a recurring basis and governments are unable or unwilling to prosecute the killers. "

Bruno said...

[mojo] "That article was published in 2005. There were 478 suicide bombings in Iraq in 2005. "

That could well be. But you were posting about journalists getting killed.

For what its worth, I think that pretty much each and every party to the conflict has harassed or killed journos. The only thing with a shorter lifespan than an Iraqi journalist might be a chicken running through Ethiopia.

Bruno said...

Gunmen shot and killed a young journalist at his home in Iraq in front of his family on Sunday, according to an interior ministry official.

Mazin al-Baghdadi was employed as an anchor and reporter for al-Mousiliyya TV in Iraq's northern city of Mosul.

The official said the gunmen told his father they were intelligence officers.