The incident heightens concern for the safety of Iraqis working for international media in the country. On March 5, a freelance translator working for the U.S.-funded Voice of America (VOA), Selwan Abdelghani Medhi al-Niemi, was shot and killed in Baghdad along with his mother and five-year-old daughter. He had been driving home from a relative’s house. According to VOA, a motive has not been established.
Several sources have told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that Iraqis working for international media have also received anonymous threats. These appear to be part of a larger effort by insurgents to intimidate Iraqis who work for foreign organizations, including Coalition-supported and private media. CPJ will continue to monitor developments regarding these threats to the media.