Tags: Iraq | War on Terrorism | Iraq | jihadists | politicians | menace

Jihadists, Politicians in Iraq Menace Journalists

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Dec 2013 09:25 AM

Journalists have increasingly become a target of the mounting violence that has engulfed Iraq, with some likening the practice of their profession to suicide. The danger was vividly displayed on Monday, when five suicide bombers attacked a television station in Tikrit, killing five journalists there.
 
Just last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)  had reported no “work-related fatalities” for journalists in Iraq for the first time since 2003. But today, according to the New York Times, the only place in the world more dangerous for journalists is Syria.

The northern city of Mosul has become an al-Qaida stronghold in the past year, with jihadists controlling entire neighborhoods and extorting from local residents. Five journalists have been killed in the area in the past three months.

While raiding jihadist hideouts there, security forces have found  death lists of journalists and many of the latter have stopped leaving their offices to do reporting.

A growing number of journalists, fearful for their safety, have fled Mosul for the relative security of the nearby Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq.

Salar Ahmed, a cameraman at a Mosul television station, left the city recently for the Kurdish area. He is afraid for his safety and  angry at the Iraqi government for failing to protect the media from terror.

“To work as a journalist is tantamount to suicide,” he said. “The government and the security forces are incapable of protecting us. They haven’t been able to catch one person involved in any of the killings so far.”
 
Journalists in Iraq must also deal with intimidation.

In Baghdad, journalist Halem Hassan was visited at home by a local politician he had mentioned in a story about corruption. The politico’s bodyguard threatened to kill him if he continued writing such stories.
 
“No one can protect me from these people,” he said. “They have all the power.”
 
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there have been zero convictions in at least 93 unsolved murders of journalists in Iraq dating back to 2003.

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Journalists have increasingly become a target of the mounting violence that has engulfed Iraq, with some likening the practice of their profession to suicide. The danger was vividly displayed on Monday, when five suicide bombers attacked a TV station in Tikrit, killing five journalists.
Iraq,jihadists,politicians,menace
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2013-25-25
Wednesday, 25 Dec 2013 09:25 AM
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