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April 10, 2011

Iraq: Journalist abducted from Baghdad’s Rusafa prison

Saad Al-Awsi , the editor of weekly Al-Shahid Al-Mustaqil (The Independent Witness), was abducted by gunmen on March 25 from Rusafa prison in southeastern Baghdad where he was serving a one-year sentence, according to delayed reports. His family, which has received no news of him since his disappearance, wrote a letter on April 3 to Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and to the head of the intelligence services, Zuhair Gharbawi, who they blame for his abduction. Awsi was arrested during a search of... MORE
April 10, 2011

Iraq: Journalists denied entry to Camp Ashraf after army attack

A news blackout has been imposed by Iraqi authorities on events at Camp Ashraf, a camp in northern Iraq that houses 3,500 Iranian exiles. An attack by the Iraqi army yesterday reportedly resulted in the deaths of around 30 residents and many wounded. According to several news organisations, the camp is surrounded by armoured vehicles and army trucks. Journalists have been forced to remain at the camp gates. No media personnel have been allowed inside. Located 60 km west of the Iranian border... MORE
April 5, 2011

Provincial police spokesman arrested in Iraq for criticising government as journalist

Murtadha Al-Shahtur , the police spokesman in the governorate Dhi Qar who also writes as a journalist for the local newspaper Al-Zaman and other newspapers and websites, was arrested in the provincial capital of Nasariyah (370 km southeast of Baghdad) on April 3 by the central government’s special security forces, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. “This arbitrary arrest is a flagrant violation of Iraq’s laws and constitution, as well as the... MORE
April 5, 2011

Iraq: More attacks on journalists covering demonstrations, TV cameraman missing

Dana Bakir , a cameraman working for Iraq's Naliya Radio and Television (NRT), has been missing since April 1, when security forces attacked journalists who were covering a demonstration in Freedom Square (Saray Azadi) in Sulaymaniyah. NRT director-general Twana Othman said he regarded his cameraman’s disappearance as a case of abduction. Othman told Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) that, according to the latest information, his cameraman appeared to have been... MORE
March 31, 2011

Iraq: Two journalists among scores killed in insurgent operation in Tikrit

Two Iraqi journalists, Sabah al-Bazi and Muammar Khadir Abdelwahad , were among the fatal victims of Tuesday’s devastating insurgent attack on the Salahadin provincial council’s headquarter in the city of Tikrit (160 km north of Baghdad). Agence France-Presse quoted a police spokesman as putting the toll from the attack at least 65 dead and 100 wounded. Saad Khaled , a cameraman working for the satellite TV station Al-Fayhaa, was among the seriously injured. The insurgent operation began in the... MORE
March 25, 2011

Death threats followed by shooting attacks on journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan

Two Kurdish opposition journalists have escaped murder attempts in the past three days in Erbil and Dohuk, places controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party, while other journalists have been briefly detained or have been the target of a kidnap attempt. Many report that they are continuing to receive death threats by SMS, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). Hangaw Hashm , a reporter for Rojname , a weekly that supports the opposition party Gorran, was... MORE
March 9, 2011

Radio station attacked in Iraqi Kurdistan

Nearly a dozen gunmen stormed an independent radio station in Sulaimaniya's Kalar district on Sunday, vandalising the office, breaking most of the equipment, and confiscating the rest, New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists has reported. It is the second armed assault on an independent radio station in Sulaimaniya in a less than a month, according to news reports. Radio Dang Executive Director Azad Osman said he believes the station's coverage of recent anti-... MORE
March 8, 2011

Middle East: Overview of media freedom violations of past few days

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has collated an overview of the acts of violence against journalists and other media freedom violations that have taken place in the pasts few days in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The countries concerned are Libya, Algeria, three Gulf states (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar), Yemen, Iraq (including Iraqi Kurdistan) and Syria. LIBYA Jean-Marie Lemaire , a French journalist working for the 24-hour TV news station France 24,... MORE
March 6, 2011

Libya keeps journalists from protests; Iraqi forces beat five

Authorities in Libya on Friday prevented foreign journalists invited to report in the country from covering the crackdown on protesters in the capital, according to news reports. In southern Iraq, anti-riot police attacked at least five local journalists covering protests in Basra, according to news reports. Hundreds of anti-Qaddafi protesters gathered in Tajoura, a suburb of Tripoli, after Muslim prayers, but security forces quickly dispersed them with tear gas and live ammunition, according... MORE
March 1, 2011

Another journalist killed in Iraq as security forces crack down on media

An Iraqi journalist reporting for the satellite television station al-Ittijah, whose name remains unknown, was among those killed Thursday in a blast that targeted a celebration in the city of Ramadi, Aswat al Iraq news agency reported Monday. The killing occurred only a week after another Iraqi journalist was shot dead in Mosul by a group of unidentified armed men, confirming Iraq as one of the deadliest countries for reporters so far this year. Following alarming highs in the years following... MORE