Iraq: IFJ urges extreme caution to reporters covering the battle for Mosul after killings of a journalist and a cameraman

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The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today asked journalists and media workers covering the fighting around the northern city of Mosul to be extremely cautious following the killings of a journalist and a cameraman during clashes last weekend.

Reports said that journalist Ahmed Hajr Oglo, working for Turkmen Eli TV channel, was killed on 21 October by a gunshot in the chest from a sniper while he was covering fighting after the raid by the so called Islamic State (IS) on the city of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq, currently controlled by the governments forces. The following day, cameraman Ali Resan of Alsoumariya TV was also killed in the south of Mosul while covering the military offensive to retake the city from the IS.

Furthermore, a reporter and a cameraman working for WAAR TV were injured on 20 October from explosive devices while a reporter and a cameraman working for Speda TV were injured as they were covering clashes on the same day in the outskirts of Mosul.

The IFJ joined its affiliates, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate (IJS) and the Kurdistan Journalists’ Syndicate (KJS), in sending condolences to the families of the colleagues and relatives as well as urging all journalists and media workers to be very cautious and follow the safety procedures while covering current events.

“We are appalled by the killings of these Iraqi colleagues, who have paid with their lives the ultimate price. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues in such difficult moments,” said IFJ President, Philippe Leruth. “Due to the extreme dangers journalists covering this conflict around Mosul are facing, we join the call of our affiliates and urge journalists and media workers to take all necessary precaution to stay safe. We also remind employers of their duty of care to their staff, who should not be sent to the frontline without having appropriate safety gears and without receiving proper safety training before.”

These killings take to seven journalists and media workers killed in Iraq in 2016, according to IFJ figures.


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