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

Unending conflict: Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of two suicide bombers attacks in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, December 27, 2010.

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 the US-led invasion of Iraq, the number of journalists killed in Iraq had dropped in recent years to four in 2009. However, the number rose to six last year, and the two killings of journalists within a week this year point to an alarming resurgence in violence against media workers.

Over the weekend, a number of journalists were detained during and after their coverage of the mass demonstrations that took place in central Baghdad's al-Tahrir Square. During a news conference held on Sunday, four journalists – Hussam Saraie of Al-Sabah Al-Jadid newspaper, Ali Abdul Sada of the Al-Mada daily, Ali al-Mussawi of Sabah newspaper and Hadi al-Mehdi of Demozee radio – reported being handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened by security forces. They also claimed they were held in custody for nine hours and forced to sign a document, the contents of which were not revealed to them.

Aswat al Iraq news agency reported that the journalists will file a court case against the executive authority in response to the alleged violations of their civil rights. This episode is the latest in a series of repressive measures adopted by security forces in order to stifle media reports about the current political and social unrest.

Date posted: March 1, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 191