Remembering Iraq, a forgotten war

By Kavita Menon/CPJ Senior Program Officer on June 13, 2013 12:19 PM ET

As growing sectarian violence across Iraq renews fears of civil war, journalists gathered in New York this week to talk about their experiences reporting in the country over the past decade.

"No conflict has been as dangerous or as deadly for journalists as the war in Iraq," said CPJ board member Rajiv Chandrasekaran, senior correspondent and former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post. Since the U.S. invasion in March 2003, CPJ has documented the cases of 150 journalists and 54 media workers killed in Iraq. The vast majority were local reporters covering their communities, and most of them were deliberately targeted for their work.

The event on Monday, hosted by New America NYC in collaboration with CPJ, featured journalists Hannah Allam, Ahmed Fadaam, and Michael Kamber.

Read more about the event here.

Listen to a podcast of the event here.


Do you know that Iraqi authority has been detaining three Iraqi journalists for more than ten days now under flimsy pretext. Those three journalists are accused of stealing a notebook agenda of Iraq acting defense minister. I don't want to go deep into details of this incident that it was approved it is not true, but I want to say that the real threat Iraqi journalists are facing now is the Iraqi authority. It does not admit and recognize the freedom of journalism in Iraq. It does not give tangible evidence to prove otherwise.
Detaining those three journalists is a best example of what is said now.
At the end of April Iraqi Communication and Media Commission (CMC) suspended the work of ten TV channels in Iraq under false accusations. All these channels are apposing the Iraqi policy government. As an Iraqi journalist, I feel that there is no real freedom for journalism in Iraq. Few days aqo an Iraqi journalist named Zamel Khanam Al-Zobaai was kidnapped in the middle of Baghdad and his body was found two days after that in western Baghdad. Signs of torture and wounds of bullets were seen on his corpus. Iraqi government said no word regarding what happened despite the statement made by Iraqi journalism syndicate calling the related governmental departments to investigate and declare the circumstances of this event and disclose the parties stood behind it. All what is said is just a little of many other evidences show that the real threat face Iraqi journalists is the Iraqi authority who does want to recognize the Freedom of journalism in Iraq. You are called now more than any other time to support Iraqi journalists. It is your responsibility to do that and we are looking forward to see some results.

Hi Waleed - thank you for your message. CPJ is investigating the death of Zamel Khanam Al-Zobaai, and we will look into your report about the three detained journalists. We are very concerned about ongoing threats facing Iraqi media, so please stay in touch if you hear about new attacks on the press. You can reach Mideast researcher Jason Stern at [email protected]

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