Gunmen murder Iraqi journalistPosted Feb 23 2011
Hilal Al-Ahmadi died after being hit by gunfire from a passing car as he left his home in an eastern suburb of Mosul, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Al-Ahmadi worked for two local weeklies, the Mosul Echo and the Iraqiyoun. “Colleagues said his newspaper articles drew attention to corruption and the lack of social services in the region,” according to Reporters Without Borders. He was recently dismissed as head of the Ninawa provincial government’s communication and media department. Al-Ahmadi is survived by four children.
Jean-Francois Julliard, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general, said in a press release that the “murders of journalists in Iraq are not letting up and generalized impunity is fueling the cycle of violence. Very few of the 232 murders of media personnel in Iraq since 2003 have been thoroughly and conclusively investigated.”
On Feb. 10, demonstrators began demanding better social services, stable food prices and corruption investigation, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Hassan Khazali, an Al-Sharqiya television correspondent, “was dragged into a building by unidentified individuals while covering a demonstration in Samawah,” according to Reporters Without Borders. His footage was deleted and some equipment was confiscated.
Reporters for another TV station, Al-Hurra, were not allowed to the Samawah demonstration. Security agents at the city entrance turned them away.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region in northern Iraq, there were clashes between supporters of opposing political groups. “The authorities were refusing to let journalists enter hospitals and take photographs for their coverage of the demonstrations in Sulaymaniyah, said Reporters Without Borders.
Hemin Latif, photographer for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s weekly Chawder, was injured during an attack by demonstrators on the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s headquarters in Sulaymaniyah, according to Reporters Without Borders. Another photographer for the Iraqi news agency Metography was also injured.
Overall, at least 40 people have been injured and five killed during the clashes in Sulaymaniyah, according to Reporters Without Borders.