The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for intervention by the United Nations and other members of the international community to ensure protection for journalists in Iraq after Mohammad Abbas Al Hamad became the latest victim on a growing list of media staff killed during the three-year conflict there.
Al Hamad, 28, was shot in his house by gunmen earlier today in the Al Adel district of Baghdad, the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate (IJS) said. According to the IJS, Al Hamad was working as a journalist for the Iraqi newspaper Al Baiyenah Al Jadeda, which is critical of political corruption and the political parties in Iraq.
The death of Al Hamad brings to 135 the number of journalists and media staff killed in Iraq since the US invasion in March 2003.
“This crisis of targeting journalists in Iraq has reached such proportions that the international community needs to react up to the level of the United Nations to put pressure on Iraq and the military authorities to provide more protection for journalists under attack,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White.
Last week, three Iraqi journalists were killed in what appeared to be targeted attacks. The IFJ has called on the Iraqi government and the military authorities to end the targeted attacks on journalists and to make a full investigation into every unsolved attack on media staff.
The IFJ and the Iraqi Journalist Syndicate believe that the international community must put pressure on authorities in Iraq to improve the safety of journalists.
“The IJS condemns the killing of our colleague Mohammad and shares his family’s pain and offers its condolences,” said IJS General Secretary Moaid Lamy. The IJS is “calling upon the Iraqi Government to investigate these recent killing and provide the needed protection to journalists…We call upon the IFJ, the Federation of Arab Journalists and all journalists’ organizations and human rights groups to put pressures on the government to stop these attacks against journalists and to protect them while they conduct their jobs.”
For further information contact the IFJ: +32 2 235 2200
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries