IFJ Condemns Murder of Cameraman in Iraq

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the killing of Tahrir al Halbousi, an Iraqi cameraman working for al-Hurra, a TV network funded by the United States, who died on Monday 4 October in a booby-trap attack in the Garma area of Iraqi city of Fallujah.

"Iraqi journalists are in the grip of violence which is reminiscent of the sectarian unrest which targeted media in the past," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Unless these attacks stop, progress towards democracy and the rule of law will remain difficult if not impossible."

According to the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate (IJS), an IFJ affiliate, al Halbousi was killed when he got into his car to go to work, setting off a bomb which had been attached under the car.

This is the latest in a series of attacks against media in Iraq over recent weeks involving explosive devices attached to journalists' cars. Last week,al-Iraqiya television journalist Alaa Muhssein was wounded in the blast caused by a sticky bomb attached to his car. Two other journalists from al-Araqiya television were murdered in September.

The IFJ, which is backing the IJS' demands for urgent measures to protect journalists in Iraq, says that mob rule is filling a vacuum left by politicians who have shown little urgency in tackling attacks against media.

"We have not seen any credible evidence that politicians appreciate the gravity of risks to journalists," added White. "Failure to act with the required urgency fuels violence on journalists and that must change."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 125 countries