IFJ Calls on Iraqi Politicians to Oppose Violence against Media after another Journalist is Gunned Down

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on all political groups in Iraq to voice their opposition to violence against media following the murder of Safaa al-Khayat by gunmen in the main northern city of Mosul yesterday morning.  The victim, who worked as a presenter of religious programmes on Al- Mosuliyah satellite television, was the second journalist to be killed in as many days following the death of Ryad al-Saray who was shot dead on Tuesday  morning in Baghdad.

"Iraqi journalists are once again being targeted and killed for their work," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Politicians from all sides must declare their intention to stamp out violence against media and eradicate the impunity for those who target journalists."

Media reports say that Safaa al-Khayat was shot dead as he was leaving his house to work at the Al-Mosuliyah television where he presented religious programmes devoted to mosques and shrines.

The Iraqi Journalists' Syndicat, an IFJ affiliate, condemned his murder and called on the authorities to bring his killers to justice and speed up the passage of the law on the protection of journalists.

The IFJ supports the IJS demands and says the incoming government in Iraq must redress the poor record of its predecessors in the fight against impunity for attacks on media.

"There needs to be drastic change in the government's attitude towards crime against Iraqi journalists," added White. "The country has had the highest death toll of media victims during the last decade and yet none of these crimes has been solved."

For more information contact the IFJ at   +32 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide