Media Death Toll in Iraq Hits 152 after Murder of Radio Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the murder of Iraqi journalist Raed Qaies, bringing to 152 the number of journalists killed in Iraq since the start of the war in 2003.

Qaies, 29, was killed on Saturday in southern Baghdad, according to Iraqi Journalists Syndicate (IJS). He worked for the radio station Sawt Al Iraq (Voice of Iraq). He also worked as a producer of economic news for Somer Radio, which is owned by the Somer satellite TV channel.

“The unrelenting tide of violence in this undeclared civil war continues to sweep over media,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “With the security situation sliding out of control, journalists risk being killed by any number of groups. This makes critical or investigative reporting impossible. Every day brings fresh news of casualties. It constitutes a terrible assault on press freedom and democracy in Iraq.”

Qaies was the 14th media worker to be killed this month. Last week 11 employees were killed in an attack on the Al Shaabiya satellite channel.

On 11 October, the body of Azad Mohammad Hassan, who worked for radio station Dar Al Salam, was found in Baghdad a week after he was abducted by unknown gunment. On 4 October, Jassem Hamad Ibrahim, a driver for the Iraqi state television channel Al-Iraqiya, was shot by unidentified gunmen in Mosul.

Journalists in Iraq work under the constant threat of kidnapping, assault and murder from various groups. The Iraqi and US military have also been detaining journalists for months or even years without charges.

The IFJ is calling on the Iraqi government and the US government to make a commitment to protecting journalists and freedom of the press and bringing to justice those who target journalists in violent attacks.

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 235 2207
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 100 countries worldwide