“We deplore the brutal killing of Abdel Karim al-Rubai,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “Al-Sabah and its staff have become repeated targets for insurgents. We urge the authorities to bring those responsible for this murder to justice.”
Al-Sabah reported two weeks ago that it had received a death threat via e-mail against al-Rubai and his family signed by the military wing of the Mujahedeen Council, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq. According to the e-mail, the group was angered by the editor’s accusation that they were behind a car bomb attack on Al-Sabah on August 27, which killed a guard and an unidentified man.
Insurgents have frequently targeted Al-Sabah and other state-run media because of their ties to the U.S.-supported Iraqi government. Insurgents have killed at least 18 state media employees since 2004.
In all, 78 journalists including al-Rubai, and 28 media support workers have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, making it the deadliest conflict in CPJ’s 25-year history. The majority of victims have been Iraqis.