Baghdad Shooting of Journalist Sparks Anger Over Iraqi Failure to Combat Impunity

The International

Federation of Journalists has condemned the attempted assassination of a leading Iraqi television

journalist and accused the Iraqi Government of ‘scandalous negligence' over its

failure to challenge impunity in the killing of journalists in Iraqi media.

According

to local reports Imad al Ibadi, director of Al Diyar TV, was yesterday shot

three times in the head, the neck and the chest. He is in a stable but critical

condition in hospital.

Al

Ibadi is a strong critic of the American occupation of Iraq and has

exposed financial corruption in the presidential office as well as taking aim

at the Iraqi security apparatus, which he has claimed often acts illegally and outside

the Iraqi constitution.

His

forthright journalism, whether broadcast, online, or in local newspapers has

made him a prime target, says the IFJ.

 "This

attack reveals how dangerous life has become for independent journalists in Iraq," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "The IFJ

supports the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate's demand that these attackers are

found and brought to justice."

 However,

the IFJ is concerned that the Government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is

not up to the job and says that the record of unsolved murders of media people

over the past few years shows a lack of urgency over the media safety crisis. The

murder of ShihabTamimi, President of the Iraqi journalists' Syndicate, in

February 2008 led to a Prime Ministerial order to establish a special

investigation, but family members today complain that the killing has been

quietly forgotten.

 "The

fact is that there is a pattern of scandalous negligence in the failure of the

Iraqi authorities to investigate killings and to provide protection to

journalists," said White. "Government promises to investigate and report on

killings of journalists have turned out to be empty words. It is intolerable

that journalists are still being picked off on the streets without any proper

response by government."

The

IFJ says that the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior, Jawad al-Bolani, should both take

responsibility for the failure of the Government to act. "This latest attack

illustrates that there needs to be an urgent response," said White.


For more information

contact the IFJ at   +32 2 235 2211     

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 123 countries worldwide