IFJ Calls for Immediate Release of Kidnapped Iraqi Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned two recent kidnappings of Iraqi journalists and called for their immediate and unconditional release.

On Monday, Mohammad Abdul Rahman, an announcer for the Dejla radio station, was kidnapped in the middle of Baghdad by unknown gunmen while he was on his way to the station. He had previously worked for Baghdad Radio and Al Jamaheer Voice.

Ali Kareem, the editor-in-chief of local newspaper Nabed Al Shabab, was on his way to work in eastern of Baghdad on Tuesday when he was kidnapped by unknown gunmen, according to Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate (IJS).

“These latest kidnappings underline the violence and uncertainty that Iraqi journalists face,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “We are calling for their immediate and unconditional release.”

The IJS condemned the kidnappings. IJS General Secretary Moaid Lami called on the Iraqi government to protect journalists in the country.

The IFJ joined the IJS in calling for the immediate release of the two Iraqi colleagues and urged the Iraqi government and the US government to offer better protection to media staff and journalists in Iraq and to end impunity for the people who target them.

Since the conflict in Iraq began in 2003, 140 journalists and other media staff have been killed.

The most recent victim was Jassem Hamad Ibrahim, a driver for the Iraqi state television channel Al-Iraqiya who was shot by unidentified gunmen in Mosul last week. The assailants ambushed Ibrahim at about 2 p.m. as he was running errands for the station, a source at Nineveh TV, the local affiliate of Al-Iraqiya, told the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“The US military forces and the Iraqi government must launch a swift investigation to find these journalists and make sure they get back to their homes and families safely,” said White. “The grave dangers that Iraqi journalists face both on and off the job are a serious threat to press freedom and democracy in the country.”

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ has over 500,000 members in more than 100 countries