War correspondent crisis as more media staff murdered

By Jon Slattery

Another independent journalist has been abducted and murdered in Iraq.

Fakher Haider, who had worked for more than two years for The New
York Times, was found southwest of Basra with his hands bound and a
single bullet wound to the head.

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.

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.

IFJ is now pressing for a clear statement from the UN Security Council
to highlight the threats facing media staff working in conflict zones.

at least 68 media staff killed across the globe this year, the death
toll is at such levels that the international community must now be
seen to be paying attention to this crisis,” said Shaw.

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