Newsletter No 29 23 May 2006
Press Freedom:
Eight Journalists and Media Workers Killed in Less than a Week in Iraq

Iraq continues to be the deadliest country for journalistsn the last weeks. In five days, eight Iraqi journalists and media assistants have been killed.

On 5 May, the bodies of freelance journalist Abdel Majeed Al Mohammedawi and TV reporter Saud Mahazem Al Hadithi were discovered. Al Hadithi had been kidnapped some days earlier by unknown armed men and his body reportedly presented evidence of torture.

A day later, on 6 May, Iraqi police found the body of Al Iraqiyah TV presenter Saad Shammari. He had been apparently strangled. Shammari’s body was wrapped in a blanket and found on the side of a road in Baghdad. Al Iraqiyah TV is part of the state-run Iraqi Media Network (INM).

The Al Sabah newspaper, another outlet of the IMN, was the target of a car-bomb attack on 7 May. Ismail Mohammed Khalaf, a technician working for the newspaper died and 20 other employees were wounded.

The next day two journalists from the private Al Nahrain TV station and a freelance journalist were found dead.

Mouazaz Ahmad Baroud, a technician, and Leith Mashaan, a reporter had been kidnapped by men wearing police uniforms the day before when they were on their way home south of Baghdad. Their bodies were found on 8 May. They had been shot in the head and presented evidence of torture.

The same day, Abdel Shaker Damili, a freelance journalist who worked for Al Jumhuriya and Al Qadesiyah newspapers and occasionally for Reuters, was found dead in Basra.

Finally, Abbas Ahmed Kazem, journalist for the Al Adala newspaper, with close links to the Shiite Supreme Council for the Islamic revolution, was found dead on 10 May.