In Iraq, driver for state-owned TV gunned down

New York, October 6, 2006-The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of Jassem Hamad Ibrahim, a driver for the Iraqi state television channel Al-Iraqiya who was shot by unidentified gunmen in Mosul on Wednesday. The assailants ambushed Ibrahim at about 2 p.m. as he was running errands for the station, according to a source at Nineveh TV, the local affiliate of Al-Iraqiya. His body was found riddled with bullets, according to the source and news reports.

Earlier that day, the source said, Ibrahim had driven several camera operators around Mosul to film footage. The slaying occurred about 30 minutes after Ibrahim dropped off the camera operators at the station. They later reported that they believed they had been followed during the assignment, the source said.

“We deplore the senseless murder of Jassem Hamad Ibrahim,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “The killing of journalists and media workers is making it impossible for the Iraqi people to tell their story.”

Insurgents have frequently targeted Al-Iraqiya and other state-run media because of their ties to the U.S.-supported Iraqi government. Insurgents have killed at least 19 state media employees since 2004.

On September 9, Abdel Karim al-Rubai, 40, a design editor for Iraq’s state-run daily Al-Sabah, was shot while traveling to work in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood known as Camp Sara by several gunmen. In late August, a deadly car bomb attack on the daily, killed two people, injured 20 others, and caused severe damage to the newspaper building in Baghdad’s northern Waziriya district.

In all, 80 journalists and 29 media support workers, including Jassem Hamad Ibrahim, have been killed in Iraq since the war began on March 20, 2003, making it the deadliest conflict in CPJ’s 25-year history.

See a statistical breakdown of journalists killed:

See a breakdown on media support workers killed: