International media development and press freedom organisations call upon the Iraqi Government to allocate all the resources needed to investigate the recent killings of Iraqi journalists Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali in Basra and hold those behind the crime accountable.
Outcry from the journalistic community
On January 10th, after a day of demonstrations in Basra, the journalists Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali were shot dead in their car. Both journalists work for Dijlah TV and have been reporting on the protests and the repressive ways in which security forces had suppressed them.
The killings sparked widespread outcry from the Iraqi journalistic community. The Minister of Interior of Iraq held a crisis meeting to discuss the killings and ordered the special investigative unit dealing with crimes against journalists to dispatch an investigation team to Basra. According to the local police they have evidence that might lead to the perpetrator(s). This evidence maintains their hope that the criminals will be found.
Justice for journalists
These recent targeted killings of journalists show the deteriorating safety situation for those reporting on the recent social protests in Iraq. Right now it is of utmost importance that impunity will not prevail. The Iraqi government must guarantee that the investigation is thorough, transparent and results in justice for both Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali. The Iraqi government has a clear opportunity to show its commitment to fighting violence against journalists in Iraq by achieving justice for the slain journalists.