IFJ Mourns Five Journalists Brutally Murdered in Iraq

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its deep shock following the news that five Iraqi journalists were killed on Monday, 23 December, when gunmen carried out a suicide attack on the headquarters of Salaheddin TV in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit.

According to reports, two of the four gunmen detonated their explosive vests while security forces shot the other two before they could detonate theirs.

The five Salaheddin TV employees killed by the explosions are reported to be chief news editor Raad Yassin, producer Jamal Abdel Nasser, cameraman Mohamed Ahmad Al-Khatib, presenter Wissam Al-Azzawi and the archives manager Mohamed Abdel Hamid. Four other employees were injured.

"We express our deepest sympathies to the family and colleagues of these journalists who were brutally murdered in cold blood simply for carrying out their jobs," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. We call on the Iraqi authorities to take immediate and effective action to ensure that those who carried out this truly horrific act face the full weight of justice and answer for this utterly appalling crime.  They must be swiftly punished."

The murder of the journalists occurs during an escalation in violence in the country. A total of 11 journalists have now been murdered in Iraq since October.

"Our message is clear: the murder of journalists in Iraq must end now," added Boumelha. "The situation is getting worse every day in the country and more and more journalists are being targeted for their work. Such brutal treatment of the media cannot be tolerated.

"We reiterate our appeal for the authorities in Iraq to set up a special task force to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into these murders and to bring an end to impunity for violence against media workers."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries