mid-April, 2005, in Baghdad, IraqAl-Rubai'i, a reporter and editor at the U.S.-backed daily Al-Sabah who also worked in the media department of the Iraqi National Assembly, was abducted and apparently murdered by unknown perpetrators in Baghdad. The circumstances of his abduction and apparent murder are not clear. No body was found.
Iraqi officials told the journalist's family that al-Rubai'i had been murdered, colleagues said. The Washington Post reported on June 6 that "police arrested several members of a criminal gang who admitted to killing several people. Rubai'i's press pass was found among the identity cards in their possession." The Post said the detainees told Iraqi police that al-Rubai'i had been beheaded, although his body was not recovered. CPJ could not corroborate this account.
The Iraqi National Guard and Interior Ministry told Al-Sabah staffers that the perpetrators belonged to the militant group Tawhid and Jihad, and they killed al-Rubai'i because he was a "traitor." Al-Rubai'i worked as a reporter for Al-Sabah. He took a second job as a media officer for the National Assembly five months before his death, staff said.
Beats Covered: War
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Criminal Group
Taken Captive: Yes