The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has reiterated its deep fear for the safety of journalists reporting in Syria and Iraq following the brutal murder of Iraqi journalist Raad al-Azzawi by the so called IS group.
According to reports, IS terrorists publicly executed news cameraman al-Azzawi, along with his brother and two other civilians in the city of Samra, east of Tikrit, on Friday, 10 October. Azzawi, 37, worked for the local news channel Sama Salaheddin. Reports say he was executed because he refused to work for IS.
The Iraqi Journalists Syndicate (IJS) has joined the IFJ to condemn the murder and has called for action to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“We send out deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the journalist Raad al-Azzawi who refused to let IS undermine his values and violate his profession,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.
“Local journalists in Iraq and Syria continue to bare the greatest burden of the IS war of terror, with many journalists living with intimidation, abuse and torture, while many others are imprisoned. International action must be taken to protect these local journalists who are risking their lives every day to ensure the truth is told.”
The IFJ has also joined international condemnation of the latest propaganda video issued by IS which again features British journalist John Cantlie delivering a script under duress while aware that his life is under threat.
“This latest video once again shows John Cantlie being forced to deliver a message to deliver IS propaganda knowing that his life is on the line. To use a journalist as political fodder is an abhorrent action and we join international condemnation of this act,” said Boumelha.
He added: “The latest IS actions are part of the continued to intimidate and strike fear into journalists covering the region and to prevent them from reporting the truth. International governments must stand up and protect journalists so they can continue to do their jobs.”
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries