Iraq / Middle East & North Africa

Journalists attacked in Iraq since 1992

  
Freelance photographer and videographer Zmnako Ismael (left) is seen covering the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo via Ismael)

Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan tell CPJ of obstruction and opportunities covering COVID-19

On May 10, Saman Barzinji, the health minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government, announced that the COVID-19 pandemic no longer posed a threat to the region, and that the area would gradually reopen, according to news reports.

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A journalist films outside the Sulaymaniyah International Airport in January 2019. Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan say disputes between the region's main political parties, the PDK and PUK, leave the press vulnerable. (AFP/Shwan Mohammed)

Press freedom on ‘brink of extinction’ in Iraqi Kurdistan, journalists say

“Ever since I started working as a journalist nine years ago, I have been under constant pressure from my family, my tribe, and my community to give up journalism. Friends have been asked by security forces to sever ties with me,” said freelance journalist Guhdar Zebari, when he met with CPJ in the empty lobby…

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A cafe in the old city of Erbil, in September 2018. Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan say they are under pressure from authorities. (Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani)

In Iraqi Kurdistan, journalists are victim of political tension

Mission journal: Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan are under pressure from authorities in the autonomous northern Iraqi region, with news outlets shuttered and critical reporters arrested. With government formation talks underway, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado travels to Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok to hear from local journalists on how the partisan…

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A protester uses his cell phone to film at a demonstration in Basra in January. Militias and Iraqi security forces are attacking and detaining journalists who cover protests in the city. (AFP/Hussein Faleh)

Iraqi militias use threats, violence to keep Basra press in line

“You work against us. In your work, you criticize militias. We watched your videos and you talk against us. You will pay the price for it,” an anonymous voice said on the other end of the line to freelance reporter Azhar Al-Rubaie.

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Members of the Popular Mobilisation Units pose with the Iraqi flag in Tal Afar. Authorities in Iraq and Syria who relied on militias to help fight Islamic State must now decide what to do with the groups. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

Islamic State recedes but threats to journalists in Iraq and Syria remain

After three years of fighting in Iraq and Syria, the militant group Islamic State has been forced out of large swathes of territory. But local journalists and press freedom groups with whom CPJ spoke said that the defeat of Islamic State doesn’t necessarily mean that journalists will be any safer.

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Iraqis flee their Mosul homes during fighting in May. Local journalists say they went into hiding to survive during the takeover by Islamic State militants. (AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye)

For Mosul journalists, no work or safety in post-Islamic State Iraq

For nearly three years, Mosul journalist Mohammad Talal al-Nuaimi lived in constant fear of being discovered and killed. The seizure of Mosul by the militant group Islamic State, or IS, in early June 2014 and the subsequent targeting of local journalists had forced him into hiding. He was unable to do any media-related work under…

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Infographic: Islamic State’s assault on the press

When Mosul fell to Islamic State on June, 10, 2014, it sparked one of the biggest attacks on press freedom in recent times. Newspapers were shuttered, TV channels were ransacked, radio stations disappeared from the airwaves, and dozens of journalists vanished. Within days, the militants had a monopoly on information output.

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The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of…

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From Charlie Hebdo in Paris to bloggers in Bangladesh, extremists target press

Thursday marks one year since two gunmen burst into the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire. Over the following year, CPJ documented the deaths of 28 journalists who were killed for their work by Islamic militant groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. This StoryMap charts the deadly attacks that took…

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Photos of children who lost their documents while fleeing militants in Mosul are displayed at an Iraqi passport office. Many journalists fled the violence but the fate of those who remained is hard to determine. (AFP/Safin Hamed)

Chasing ghosts: Tracking Iraq’s missing journalists in Islamic State stranglehold of Mosul

Amar hasn’t left his house in five days. Every evening he fears a knock on the door will bring militants who have been searching for him. He hasn’t earned a salary in more than a year and relies on a few trusted neighbors to bring him food.

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