Iraq: TV news presenter gunned down in Mosul

New York, June 17, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of Mohieddin Abdul Hameed al-Naqib, a news presenter for the local affiliate of state-run television station Al-Iraqiya TV, who was gunned down by assailants in the Iraqi city of Mosul today.

Al-Naqib, 49, was leaving his house outside Mosul on his way to work at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, when a car with two to three men inside drove by and opened fire at him, killing him instantly, Samir Sloka, the head of Al-Iraqiya TV’s newsroom, told CPJ.

“We condemn this senseless crime and demand that the authorities do everything in their power to locate the perpetrators,” said CPJ Middle East Senior Program Coordinator Joel Campagna. “We send our deepest condolences to Mohieddin Abdul Hameed al-Naqib’s family and friends.”

Since 2005, al-Naqib worked at Nineveh TV, the local affiliate of the state broadcaster Al-Iraqiya TV in Mosul. Prior to 2003, al-Naqib worked for the government-run Al-Iraq TV in Baghdad.

Sloka said al-Naqib was the target of unspecified death threats. Al-Naqib is the 14th journalist from the Iraq Media Network, the state-run media group composed of print and broadcast outlets, to be killed. That number is the highest such tally of any news organization.

Many Iraqi journalists have been killed or kidnapped because of their work for outlets and stations that are perceived as supportive of the Iraqi government and critical of the insurgency. Last month, Sarwa Abdul-Wahab, a female Iraqi journalist who had written critically of insurgent groups was also killed in Mosul after she resisted an abduction attempt by unidentified men. 

Al-Naqib is the 130th journalist killed in Iraq since the U.S. led-invasion of Iraq in March 2003, according to CPJ research. Another 50 media workers have been killed. The vast majority of those killed have been local Iraqis.