Six more journalists killed in Iraq

Dominic Ponsford

Six journalists have been killed in Iraq in an “unprecedented
atmosphere of intimidation and terror”, according to the International
Federation of Journalists.

The IFJ claims that the latest murders bring to around 120 the
number of journalists and media staff killed in the country since the
2003 invasion. According to the IFJ, Laith Mashaan, a Nahrein
Television correspondent, and Muazaz Ahmed, a technician at the
station, were stopped on their way home in the south of Baghdad on
Sunday by people dressed as policemen who stopped them and asked for
their papers.

The IFJ said their bodies were found yesterday.

Photographer, Abed Shaker al Delaimi, who worked for the al
Jumhureyya and al Qadeseyya newspapers and was an occasional freelance
for Reuters, was also killed on Sunday in Basra according to the IFJ.
He was said to be an active member of Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate.

The IFJ said it has also been told in recent days of the
killing of a print shop worker in a bomb blast near the offices of
state-run Al-Sabah newspaper. And it said that Saad Shammari, a TV
journalist who hosted a show on the Al-Iraqiyah channel, and been found
dead apparently strangled by a roadside in Baghdad.

Another journalist, Saud M’Zahim Al-Hedaithi, working for Baghdadiyah TV, was reportedlyalso killed on the same day.

IFJ general secretary Aidan White said: “The Iraq story cannot
be told in truth when a climate of violence, threats and suspicion
surrounds the work of media. Urgent action needs to be taken by the
authorities to ease the situation.”

PICTURE: Sabah Hamid, Reuters

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