IFJ Mourns TV Journalist Assassinated in Iraq

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined its Iraqi affiliate, the Iraqi Syndicate of Journalists (ISJ), in paying tribute to pioneering TV broadcaster, Mouafac al Ani, who was killed by a grenade attack in western Baghdad last Monday, 6 May, 2013.

"We all mourn the tragic death of the pioneering and inspirational journalist Mouafac al Ani which is another reminder of the risks our colleagues in Iraq continue to face every day," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "Those who deliberately seek to harm journalists need to be condemned unequivocally and hunted down to answer for their crimes."

According to the IJS, an unidentified gunman threw a grenade at worshipers when they were leaving the Ihsan Mosque in Baghadad's Mansour district after evening prayers on Monday, killing Mr al-Ani and his brother, Muzaffar al-Ani. Four other people were killed in the blast and 13 were injured.

The IJS has condemned the broadcaster's assassination and has called for an investigation, stating that criminals in Iraq continue to "bury the truth" and "shut mouths" to achieve their objectives. Mr Al-Ani was born in Baghdad in 1941. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Baghdad and started his work on local radio in the early sixties.

The IFJ has expressed its concerned at the spate of recent attacks against journalists in Baghdad and urged journalists to ensure safety precautions.  

"We are increasingly concerned about the escalation of violence against journalists in Iraq in recent months and we urge journalists not to take risks in dangerous zones," said Mr Boumelha. "No story is worth a journalist's life and people should not take unnecessary risks to their safety and even life."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries