JUNE 18, 2005
June 24, 2005

Jawad Kadhem, Al-Arabiya

Kadhem, an Iraqi correspondent for the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya. Kadhem was seriously injured in a shooting believed to be the work of insurgents.

Najib Bencherif, Al-Arabiya’s head of correspondents in Dubai, told CPJ that the shooting occurred as Kadhem left a popular restaurant near the German embassy. The neighborhood is outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, but is normally a well-guarded area.

Bencherif said that two armed men ordered Kadhem to go with them in an apparent kidnap attempt. When Kadhem refused, the men shot him in the neck and the chest. A third shot struck Kadhem in the spine as he attempted run back into the restaurant. Kadhem taken to a hospital in Amman, Jordan, after getting initial treatment in Baghdad, Bencherif told CPJ.

Bencherif told CPJ that an obscure Sunni group calling itself Jund Al-Sahaba claimed responsibility in an Internet posting. Agence France-Press reported that the group claimed that Kadhem is “a malicious Shia,” accused the station of “treason,” and said that journalists who supported the United States or antagonized the Sunnis of Iraq would “face the same fate as Jawad Kadhem.” The group also accused Al-Arabiya of being a “mouthpiece of the Americans.” The statement’s authenticity could not immediately be confirmed.