IFJ Issues Call to ‘End Impunity’ in Iraq Following Latest Journalist Murder

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has warned of the increasingly dangerous situation for journalists in Iraq following the murder of journalist Alaa Edwar on Wednesday, 27 November, in Mosul, the capital of the country's northern province of Niveneh.

According to IFJ affiliate, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate (IJS), Edwar, 41, a cameraman for local TV station Nivenehe Al-Ghad, was shot three times in the head and chest by unidentified gunmen and died on the spot. He had previously worked for Al-Rashid TV and for other TV stations as a freelance cameraman.

Another journalist, Wadah el Hamdani, a reporter for the Baghdad TV channel, was killed accidentally by a random bullet fired during a funeral in Basra yesterday, Thursday 28 November. Hamdani was shot in the neck by a random bullet fired by mourners shooting randomly as an expression of grief at the funeral of the Sheikh Ghanim clans.

According to the latest IFJ statistics, six journalists have now been killed in Iraq this year. To mark International Day to End Impunity, the IFJ last week sent a letter to the Ambassador of Iraq to Belgium, Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Alhumami, urging the Iraqi government to address the issue of impunity for violence against jounalists in the country. The letter was sent as part of the IFJ high profile 'End Impunity' campaign which is calling for the governments of Iraq, Russia and Pakistan to investigate killings of journalists and bring their perpetrators to justice.

"We express our deepest sympathies to the family and colleagues of the journalists Alaa Edwar and Wadah el Hamdani," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "While it appears that Hamdani's death was accidental, Edwar was brutally murdered in cold blood simply for doing his job as a journalist.

"We are deeply concerned about the escalation of violence against the media in Iraq in recent months. Our End Impunity is calling for an end to violence against journalists in the country where it is estimated that at least 300 journalists have been killed since the US invasion in 2003.

"We believe that the lack of accountability for acts of violence against journalists in Iraq reinforces the culture of impunity and is the main reason why journalists in the country remain in the firing line. We urge the Iraqi authorities to do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators of these horrific acts to swift justice."

On October 28, the IFJ called on the Iraqi government to set up a special task force to conduct a detailed and independent investigation into the murder of journalists in Mosul following the murder of three journalists in that month alone, while Al-Mosuliya TV cameraman Bashar Abdulqader Najm Al-Nouaymi was murdered on 24 October and Al-Masar TV correspondent Falah Hassan was badly wounded on 27 October.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries