New York, February 28, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by the murder of Raeda Wazzan, a news anchor with the Iraqi state TV channel Al-Iraqiya who was kidnapped on February 20.
Wazzan’s body was found on Friday, February 25, on a roadside in Mosul, where the journalist had lived and worked, according to press reports citing her husband. She had been shot in the head repeatedly. Gunmen kidnapped Wazzan, as well as her young son, but he was released days later.
According to The Associated Press (AP), Wazzan’s husband said that his wife had received several death threats with demands that she quit her job. The station is funded by the Iraqi government. The station where Wazzan worked also came under mortar attack last week, injuring three technicians, according to press reports. The AP reported that al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attacks in Internet postings, but that there was no way to verify those claims.
Wazzan is the 37th journalist to be killed in Iraq since March 2003.
In a separate incident on Friday, Mohammad Sherif Ali, an Iraqi journalist working for Al-Hurra, a U.S.-funded Arabic television station, was seriously injured after gunmen attacked his car in Iskandiriyah, a town about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Baghdad. According to CNN’s Arabic Web site, Ali’s driver was killed in the attack.