York, October 4, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the killing earlier today of freelance
cameraman Tahrir Kadhim Jawad, 27, and expressed concern over the rising trend
of fatal attacks on journalists in Iraq.
Jawad died instantly after a bomb attached to his car
exploded in Garma, 50 miles west of Baghdad
in volatile Anbar province, according to local press freedom groups and online
news reports. Jawad was driving to the capital to deliver footage when the bomb
exploded. Security forces swiftly cordoned off the blast site and initiated an investigation,
but made no arrests at the scene.
Jawad had worked as a journalist for seven years, first as
an editor with the weekly Al-Karma, and then as a freelance cameraman
who supplied numerous television broadcasters with footage. The slain
journalist was "a courageous cameraman" who obtained distinguished footage
"where others had failed to do so," according to Mohammad al-Jamili, the Baghdad bureau chief for
U.S.-government-backed Al-Hurra television, one of Jawad's employers. Jawad is
survived by his wife and five children.
"We extend our
condolences to the family of our fallen colleague Tahrir Kadhim Jawad," said Mohamed
Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa
program coordinator. "As the country's internal security situation has steadily
deteriorated over the past months, we have witnessed Iraq's rapid degeneration into one
of the most dangerous places for journalists to work, and this only after a
short-lived period of relative calm. Jawad is the third journalist to be
murdered in Iraq
in less than a month."
was the deadliest country for journalists every year from 2003 to 2008,
according to CPJ research. It avoided the dishonor in 2009, reflecting an
improvement in overall security throughout the country. But as U.S. military
operations have drawn to a close and Iraqi political factions have failed to
form a government, violence has increased.
Attacks on journalists and other media workers have spiked, resulting
in at least six deaths in the past five months. An independent Kurdish
journalist was killed
in May. In July, three media support workers died in a suicide attack
on the Baghdad
offices of the Arabic-language satellite news channel Al-Arabiya. Two
television journalists were also killed
days in September. Other forms of press suppression have also been on the
rise, including physical violence against journalists and incommunicado
detention, CPJ research found.