MARCH 14, 2005
Posted: June 17, 2005

Hussam Sarsam, Kurdistan TV


Sarsam, a cameraman working with Kurdistan TV, a station affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), was shot and killed by suspected insurgents a day after they kidnapped him in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Sarsam was abducted on March 13 in front of Mosul University. The following day his captors returned him to the same location where they shot and killed him in front of a number of pedestrians, several Iraqi sources told CPJ.

Colleagues and a family member said burn marks were found on Sarsam’s upper body, an indication of possible torture. The family member told CPJ that the camerman’s Kurdistan TV identification cards and a media card issued by U.S.-backed coalition forces were placed on his corpse by his killers.

One Iraqi journalist told CPJ that the militant group Ansar al-Sunnah had issued a statement claiming responsibility for Sarsam’s murder. However, CPJ could not verify his account and Sarsam’s family and colleagues were unaware of any claim of responsibility.

Sarsam had worked with Kurdistan TV since January 2004. It is unclear whether he received prior threats for his work; however, CPJ sources said Sarsam had videotaped confessions of insurgents held by Iraqi police in Mosul that were aired on a program on Kurdistan TV called al-Irhab ala Haqiateh (Terrorism Exposed). His colleagues and a family member suspect his murderers were motivated by his filming of the detainee confessions.