Journalist Saif Tallal and cameraman Hassan al-Anbaki working for Sharqiya TV channel were shot dead on 12 January by militiamen near Baquba, the capital of Diyala province in Iraq. They were the first media workers killed in 2016. Tallal and al-Anbaki were killed on their way back from covering attacks on a mosque in the Muqdadiyah area. A staff member from Sharqiya, a Sunni-owned TV channel known for its editorial line opposing the central government, told media that Tallal and al-Anbaki were returning to Baquba from a reporting trip when masked men stopped the vehicle in the village of Abu Saida, ordered the media workers out and executed them. "The Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate strongly condemns this crime which targeted journalists while performing their professional and public role in an accurate and objective way," said the IJS. The IFJ backed the IJS in Iraq, one of the most dangerous countries for the journalists in the world. "We present our condolences to colleagues and families of Saif Tallal and Hassan al-Anbaki and call the authorities to investigate their killings with a view to bringing them to justice," said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. "We stand by our Iraqi colleagues in these difficult moments and fully back their right to report and work without fear." Saif Tallal and Hassan al-Anbaki are the first media workers killed in 2016. Last year, 10 journalists were killed in Iraq, according to IFJ statistics.
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