Concern about fate of Iraqi journalists held hostage after kidnapped journalist found dead

first_imgNews News IraqMiddle East – North Africa February 15, 2021 Find out more RSF_en RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Help by sharing this information Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” December 16, 2020 Find out more April 11, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Concern about fate of Iraqi journalists held hostage after kidnapped journalist found dead Reporters Without Borders today voiced deep concern about the fate of the 12 media personnel held hostage in Iraq after the security forces found the body of Othman Al-Mashhadani, the correspondent of the Saudi daily Al-Watan.“The figures are horrendous, but measures still have not been taken to put an end to the butchering of journalists and their assistants,” the press freedom organisation said. “The level of violence against media personnel is unprecedented. They are followed, kidnapped, tortured and then executed in a cowardly fashion, and none of the abductors is ever arrested. We call on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to do more than just pay homage to the slain journalists. He should mobilise his government to stop them being killed and protect the work they do.”Mashhadani’s body was found in Baghdad on 6 April. He had been shot in the head and body after being kidnapped on 4 April in the north Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Ghazaliyah. The abductors had demanded a ransom but Mashhadani’s family had lost contact with them. Aged 29, Mashhadani had worked for Al-Watan since October 2006.The circumstances of his death are very similar to those of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent Khamail Khalaf, who was kidnapped by gunmen as she left her office in the west Baghdad university district on 3 April. Her bullet-riddled body was found on 5 April in another part of the capital. She had worked since 2004 for the Arabic service of RFE/RL, a US-funded station based in Prague.A second person has meanwhile died as a result of the 5 April attack on the headquarters of the Sunni television station Baghdad TV, in which a truck laden with explosives was driven at the building and then other assailants opened fire, killing deputy director Thaer Ahmed Jabr and injuring at least nine others, three of them seriously. The station announced that one of the latter died as a result of their injuries, but it did not give the victim’s name.The station is owned by the Iraqi Islamic Party and is run by Vice-President Tareq al Hashemi. Its regular programming was suspended for the rest of the day after the attack, replaced by readings from the Koran. A total of seven of its employees have been killed as a result of the war since 2003.Prime Minister Maliki paid tribute on 5 April to the Iraqi journalists who have fallen victim to the war. At the same time he again defended the restrictions imposed on the media, which included a ban on Al-Jazeera two years ago. “To protect our territory and in the public interest, the government has had to take limited measures against a number of media… that use a provocative and partisan language, full of arrogance and hate,” he said.List of journalists currently held hostage in Iraqcenter_img Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan News Follow the news on Iraq to go further IraqMiddle East – North Africa December 28, 2020 Find out more News Organisation Receive email alertslast_img

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