Journalist murdered in Iraq

Another independent journalist has been abducted and murdered in
Iraq. Fakher Haider, who had worked for over two years for the New York
Times, was found with his hands bound and a single bullet wound to the
head southwest of Basra.

Haider is the second journalist to be
kidnapped and killed in Basra in the past two months. Steven Vincent,
an American freelance reporter who had written an opinion piece for the
New York Times criticising the Basra security forces, was kidnapped and
found shot dead in August.

According to local sources, both
killings were connected to investigations into local security forces
being under increasing control of militias loyal to two competing
Shi’ite political groups.

Robert Shaw, International Federation
of Journalists information officer, said: “The wave of terror against
independent reporting is now at its most intense. It has been
impossible for some time for foreign media to work freely in Iraq and
now it has become even more dangerous for Iraqi journalists working for
international media.”

Haider is the 96th journalist to be
killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003 and the 25th to
be killed this year.

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