Mama Hama, 23, a reporter with the Sulaymaniyah-based Livin magazine, was shot by
unidentified gunmen in front of his home. He had received threatening messages
before the slaying, local journalists told CPJ, and had written articles
critical of local authorities.
His last article in Livin
recounted the prevalence of prostitution in Kirkuk and the alleged complicity of police
and security officials. In the article, which was reviewed by CPJ, Mama Hama
claimed that he had collected the names of "police brigadiers, many lieutenants,
colonels, and many police and security officers" who were clients.
Ahmed Mira, Livin's editor-in-chief,
told CPJ that the slaying was designed to "silence the free voices in Kirkuk." He called the
murder "a very dangerous" development for the region's media.
Kirkuk Police Brig. Jamal Tahir told CPJ that the department
had launched an investigation. He called it a "serious situation" that would get
The shooting occurred at around in the Shorija neighborhood, which was
considered a relatively safe area. Initial accounts varied as to how many times
Mama Hama was shot. Local journalists said the gunmen were driving a BMW.
The Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate said Mama Hama had
received a threatening message from an unidentified person on May 15.
Receive news about press freedom directly in your inbox.
Sign up for emailed alerts and newsletters to track global developments in press freedom. Be notified whenever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed. Or get a monthly newsletter to keep up with CPJ’s efforts to defend journalists around the globe.