Gunmen kill Iraqi journalist near his home in Mosul

New York, October 25, 2013–Iraqi authorities must immediately identify the motive behind the killing of another journalist in the northern city of Mosul and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. At least two other Iraqi journalists have been killed in Mosul this month.

Unidentified gunmen shot dead Bashar al-Nuaimi, a cameraman for the local Al-Mosuliya TV channel, near his home in the Al-Nabi Sheet neighborhood on Thursday, news reports said. Murad Ghazi, the deputy manager of Al-Mosuliya, told CPJ that the channel often reported critically on the local government and had recently been targeted by a smear campaign that accused it of serving U.S. interests. He did not offer further details.

Two other Iraqi journalists were killed in Mosul on October 5, according to news reports. Mohammed Karim al-Badrani, a correspondent for Al-Sharqiya TV channel, and cameraman Mohammed Ghanem were shot dead by unidentified assailants while filming in a local market. While the journalists were clearly targeted, the motive of the attack and the identity of the perpetrators are not clear. Authorities have not made any arrests in the case.

“Iraq’s unwillingness and inability to investigate and prosecute the killers of journalists emboldens would-be assailants,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “Authorities should conduct thorough and impartial investigations and hold the killers of Bashar al-Nuaimi, Mohammed Karim al-Badrani, and Mohammed Ghanem to account in a court of law.”

The deaths of al-Nuaimi, al-Badrani, and Ghanem come amid escalating violence in the country that has left more than 5,000 dead this year, Agence France-Presse reported. The city of Mosul, known for sectarian tensions, has witnessed a particular spike in violence, with almost daily attacks by armed militias, according to news reports.

At least two other Al-Mosuliya journalists have been killed for their work since 2007. CPJ continues to investigate whether the 2010 killing of another journalist for the channel was related to his work. The perpetrators have not been brought to justice.

With no sign that authorities are investigating to solve any of the more than 90 journalist killings in the past decade, Iraq ranks the worst in the world on CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free.

  • For more data and analysis on Iraq, visit CPJ’s Iraq page here.