Middle East and North Africa cases 2004: Country List    I   Middle East and North Africa Regional Home Page
How CPJ investigates and classifies attacks on the press

JANUARY 27, 2004
Posted: January 28, 2004

Duraid Isa Mohammed, CNN
Scott McWhinnie, CNN

Mohammed, a producer working for the U.S. cable news network CNN and his driver, Yasser Khatab, were killed in an ambush in an ambush on the outskirts of the capital, Baghdad, CNN reported.

The network said that Mohammed, who also acts as a translator, and Khatab died of multiple gunshot wounds in the afternoon after the two-car convoy they were traveling in came under fire by unidentified assailants. Cameraman McWhinnie, who was traveling in the second vehicle, was grazed in the head by a bullet, CNN said, but the remaining members of the convoy—two CNN journalists, a security adviser, and the second driver—were unharmed. McWhinnie was treated at a nearby military base.

According to CNN, the vehicles were headed north toward Baghdad when a rust-colored Opel approached from behind. A single gunman with an AK-47, positioned through the sunroof, opened fire on one of the vehicles. CNN's vice president for international public relations, Nigel Pritchard, told CPJ that both CNN cars were unmarked and the attackers may not have been aware they were journalists.

JANUARY 29, 2004
Posted: February 3, 2004


The U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council's (IGC) barred the Qatar-based satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera from covering official IGC activities in Iraq for one month, from January 28 to February 27. Al-Jazeera's Baghdad bureau chief, Majid Khader, told CPJ that he was informed of the decision via e-mail on January 29. Khader said Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha were informed of the decision in a fax.

Khader and Al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout said that journalists from the station were prevented from covering a January 29 press conference held by then IGC President Adnan Pachachi in Baghdad.

The Associated Press reported that the IGC had issued a statement on Saturday saying Al-Jazeera was banned from government offices and official press conferences because it had shown "disrespect to Iraq and its people and harmed prominent religious and national figures."

Al-Jazeera's Khader said the e-mail he received from the IGC pointed to a controversial January 27, 2004, episode on its popular talk show, "Opposite Direction," as the reason for the ban. The show, titled "Israeli Infiltration in Iraq," featured an Iraqi Communist Party spokesman and an IGC spokesman and included allegations of Israeli attempts to assert political influence in Iraq. The Communist Party spokesman alleged, among other things, that some IGC members and Iraqi political figures have had relations with Israel or visited the country. He had even alleged that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had secretly visited Baghdad in December 2003.

MARCH 28, 2004
Posted: July 19, 2004



The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) closed the Iraqi weekly newspaper Al-Hawza for allegedly inciting violence against coalition forces.

On March 28, dozens of U.S. troops sealed the offices of the Baghdad weekly, which is affiliated with radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, and ordered the paper closed for 60 days. A letter signed by CPA Administrator L. Paul Bremer was hand-delivered by a CPA spokesman to the paper's staff saying that the publication had violated a CPA decree promulgated last June that prohibits "incitement" in the media. Specifically, the letter said the paper had published "many articles" containing false information and intended to "disturb public order and incite violence against the coalition forces and the employees of the CPA."

Specifically, the letter mentioned a February 26 Al-Hawza article about a deadly car bomb in a Shiite city south of Baghdad that the article said was actually a rocket fired by a U.S. Apache helicopter. It also cited an article in the same paper's edition, titled "Bremer Follows the Steps of Saddam," which alleged that the CPA was "implementing a policy of starving the Iraqi public." The letter also stated past examples of what the CPA says was the paper's false reporting in two articles from August 2003. One article accused the United States of waging a war on Islam, and the other said the United States wanted to steal Iraqi oil rather than depose Saddam Hussein.

The letter said that these "false articles not only mislead readers but constitute a real threat to violence against coalition forces and Iraqi citizens who cooperate with the coalition in the reconstruction of Iraq."

The newspaper's closure triggered widespread protests among al-Sadr's followers and several weeks' of clashes with U.S. forces ensued.

On July 18, Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi issued a decree allowing the newspaper to reopen.

APRIL 6, 2004

Posted: March 14, 2005

Stephen Farrell, The Times of London
Orly Halpern, Freelance

Farrell, a reporter for The Times of London, and Halpern, an American freelancer, were abducted by gunmen near the Iraqi city of Fallujah on April 6. They were released the same day.

APRIL 6, 2004

Posted: April 7, 2004

John Burns, The New York Times

In the April 7 edition of The New York Times, Times correspondent John Burns reported on an April 6 incident in which he and several Times employees from the paper's Baghdad bureau were detained in Kufa, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the capital, by al-Sadr's forces. Burns wrote that the staff was suspected "of being Special Forces operatives or intelligence agents for the United States, Spain or Israel." He said the group was held for eight hours and then released.

APRIL 7, 2004
Posted: April 7, 2004

The Associated Press

According to The Associated Press (AP), one of its photographers and his driver were detained in the southern city of Kut by militiamen loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The gunmen accused the two men of being "traitors" and bound and blindfolded them, the AP reported. They were later released after another Shiite cleric vouched for the two men. The AP also reported that its stringer in Karbala, also in southern Iraq, was told on April 6 by al-Sadr supporters in the city to leave and has not been allowed to return.

APRIL 7, 2004
Posted: April 7, 2004

The New York Times

A New York Times spokeswoman, Catherine Mathis said that a reporter, photographer, driver, and translator all working for the Times were abducted at gunpoint outside of Baghdad. They were held for several hours and released unharmed. CPJ is seeking further details.

APRIL 7, 2004

Posted: March 14, 2004

Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times
Lynsey Addario, Freelance

Gettleman, a reporter for The New York Times, and Addario, a freelancer on assignment for The Times, were abducted by gunmen on April 7 outside Baghdad. They were released the same day.

APRIL 8, 2004
Posted: April 8, 2004
Update: April 15, 2004

Soichiro Koriyama, Asahi Weekly

According to several press reports, Koriyama, along with two Japanese civilians—researcher Noriaki Imai and aid worker Nahoko Takato—was kidnapped in Iraq by an unknown group calling itself the Mujahedeen Squadrons.

It was not clear where the three were when they were abducted or where they were held. The Qatar-based news channel Al-Jazeera broadcast footage of the three captives and reported the captors' demand that Japanese troops leave the country or the three hostages would be burned alive in three days. The Al-Jazeera video showed the three captives, their Japanese passports, as well as a knife being placed against the neck of one of the hostages. The captors also showed a press card issued in Koriyama's name.

Koriyama is a freelance photographer on assignment for the Tokyo-based Asahi Weekly, said Koji Igarashi, the New York bureau chief for the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun, which publishes Asahi Weekly. Reports have described the remaining captives as either aid workers or journalists.

On April 15, Al-Jazeera reported that Koriyama, Imai, and Takato were released.

APRIL 11, 2004
Posted: April 14, 2004

Alexandre Jordanov, Capa Television

Jordanov, with TV news agency Capa Television, was abducted near Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. Jordanov and his cameraman, Ivan Cerieix, were filming clashes between U.S. troops and Iraqi insurgents after an attack on U.S. convoy. Ceriex, who was taken captive by a group of insurgents, was released the next morning.

Agence France-Presse cited a joint statement by Capa and French TV channel Canal Plus reporting that the two journalists were in Iraq working on a documentary film for Canal Plus, and that the men were separated when they took cover during the fighting.

Jordanov was released on April 14.

APRIL 11, 2004

Michal Kubal, Czech Television
Petr Klima, Czech Television
Vit Pohanka, Czech Radio

Kubal and cameraman Klima, both of the public network Czech Television, and Pohanka, of public station Czech Radio, were abducted outside the capital, Baghdad, while en route to Amman, Jordan, according to press reports. The journalists left Baghdad's Palestine Hotel in a hired vehicle at about 7 a.m.

News sources quoted the driver of the three as saying that armed Iraqi insurgents kidnapped the journalists.

The journalists were released on April 16. Reuters quoted a Czech Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that the three journalists are in good health at the Czech Embassy in Baghdad.

APRIL 14, 2004
Posted April 19, 2004

Jumpei Yasuda, freelance


Yasuda, a journalist with the Tokyo Shimbun, was detained along with Nobutaka Watanabe by an armed group outside Baghdad while driving to Abu Ghraib, west of the capital, to film a downed U.S. Apache helicopter.

The Japanese Visual Journalist Association, a Tokyo-based journalists group, told CPJ it received an e-mail from an Iraqi who had witnessed the abduction. In the e-mail, the witness said that a "big disaster happened" when armed gunmen abducted the two at gunpoint.

Yasuda and Watanabe were freed on Saturday, April 17, three days after they were abducted. Both men were reported to be in good health.

APRIL 19, 2004
Posted: April 23, 2004

Asaad Kadhim, Al-Iraqiyya TV

Kadhim, a correspondent for the U.S.-funded Al-Iraqiya TV, and his driver, Hussein Saleh, were killed by gunfire from U.S. forces near a checkpoint close to the Iraqi city of Samara, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Baghdad. Cameraman Jassem Kamel was injured in the shooting.

On April 20, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the deputy director of operations for coalition forces in Iraq, confirmed that U.S. troops killed the journalist and his driver. According to media reports, Kimmitt said that coalition forces at the checkpoint warned the journalists' vehicle to stop by firing several warning shots. When the vehicle ignored those shots, Kimmitt said, forces fired at the car.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Kimmitt said there were signs in the area indicating that filming was banned at both the base and the checkpoint. According to the AP, Kimmitt said the signs were designed to prevent Iraqi insurgents from canvassing the area.

Cameraman Kamel told the AP that no warning shots had been fired at the vehicle.

CPJ is currently investigating this case.

MAY 7, 2004
Posted: May 7, 2004

Waldemar Milewicz, TVP
Mounir Bouamrane, TVP

Milewicz, one of Poland’s most experienced war correspondents, and his producer, Bouamrane, both employed by Polish state television TVP, were shot at by armed gunmen, presumably Iraqi insurgents, while riding in their car at around 9:30 a.m. in Latifiya, Iraq, about 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of the capital, Baghdad.

The journalists were headed toward a Polish military base in Babylon, south of Baghdad, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

TVP cameraman Jerzy Ernst, who was also a passenger in the car along with an Iraqi driver, was injured in the arm during the attack. Press reports quoted Ernst as saying that the main southbound highway out of Baghdad was closed, so their driver took an alternate route he thought would be safe. Ernst said that the car, a sedan, came under fire from behind, and that Milewicz and Bouamrane were sitting in the back seat. After Milewicz was shot, the other passengers exited the car, but the gunfire continued, killing Bouamrane and injuring Ernst.

According to press reports, the journalists had only been Iraq for a few days. Award winning Milewicz and Bouamrane, who also has Algerian citizenship, were the first non-Iraqi journalists killed this year.

MAY 21, 2004
Posted: May 21, 2004

Rashid Hamid Wali, Al-Jazeera

Wali, assistant cameraman and fixer for the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, was killed by gunfire early in the morning in the Iraqi city of Karbala, the station reported.

According to a statement on Al-Jazeera’s Web site, Wali was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head when he peered over the edge of the rooftop of the Khaddam Al-Hussein Hotel, where an Al-Jazeera news team was covering fighting between U.S. troops and members the Al-Mehdi army, which is loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

According to Al-Jazeera, there is "no verifiable to the source of the bullet." CPJ continues to investigate the incident.

MAY 27, 2004

Posted: June 4, 2004

Shinsuke Hashida, freelance
Kotaro Ogawa, freelance


Hashida and his nephew Ogawa, both freelance journalists, were killed along with their Iraqi translator when their car came under attack by Iraqi gunmen in Mahmoudiyya, 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of the capital, Baghdad, according to news reports.

Bangkok-based freelancer Hashida and Ogawa had been traveling to Baghdad from the southern city of Samawah, where Japan has deployed hundreds of troops, when the attack occurred. Agence France-Presse (AFP) listed the translator as Mohamed Najmedin.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that both men were working for the Japanese tabloid daily Nikkan Gendai covering Japanese troops stationed in the southern city of Samawah. Japanese TV channel NHK reported that the two journalists had also worked for several other Japanese news organizations.

According to press reports, the journalists' car burst into flames after the attack. AFP and Reuters news agency reported that the car was hit by rocket propelled grenade fire. The driver, an Iraqi who survived the incident, told NHK that he was able to exit the car before it exploded.

Hashida's body was badly burned in the fire. The AP reported that Ogawa's body was found six miles (10 kilometers) from the wreck. Japanese press reports stated that Ogawa may have been executed by the gunmen after fleeing or being taken away from the scene.

Hashida was an experienced journalist who had covered several conflicts as a television reporter, according to Japanese media reports.

Posted: March 14, 2005

James Brandon, Freelance

Brandon, a British freelance reporter, was abducted by gunmen from his hotel in Basra on August 12. He was released the following day.

Posted: March 14, 2005

Micah Garen, Freelance

Garen, an American freelance journalist and filmmaker, and his interpreter were abducted by gunmen on or about August 13 in Nasiriyah. Both were freed on August 22.

AUGUST 15, 2004
Posted: August 16, 2004

All journalists

Local Iraqi authorities in Najaf ordered all journalists to leave the city, citing concerns for their safety, according to international press reports. Most journalists were forced to leave the city as a result of the ban, although a number of reporters managed to remain.

According to the New York Times, Najaf police chief, Gen. Ghaleb al-Jazairi, summoned journalists to the outskirts of Najaf's Old City and gave them two hours to leave. He threatened to arrest Iraqi translators and drivers working for Western media outlets. Al-Jazairi cited an alleged bomb threat to the Bar Najaf Hotel, where most journalists were residing.

The U.K. Independent reported that Iraqi police subsequently "made two visits during the afternoon and early evening to the Bar Najaf Hotel" and ordered journalists to leave or face arrest. The newspaper said that the hotel later came under fire, noting that "although there was no confirmation that the bullets had been fired by police, the hotel is only a few hundred meters from the local police station and much farther from the main positions of [Shiite cleric Muqtadah al-]Sadr's insurgents."

The Independent and other British newspapers reported that in a separate incident the office of Najaf Governor Adnan Zurfi, where journalists had congregated to protest the ban, a plainclothes security officer warned journalists to leave in two hours or they would be "shot."

CPJ is investigating reports that Iraqi police temporarily detained a photographer for a Western news agency and an Iranian television journalist.

On August 16, Iraqi police informed some journalists in Najaf that the ban was no longer in effect, but that officials could no guarantee their safety.

AUGUST 15, 2004
Posted: August 18, 2004
Updated: August 20, 2004

Mahmoud Hamid Abbas, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

Abbas, 32, an Iraqi cameraman working for the German television station Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) was killed while on assignment in Fallujah, said Ulrich Tilgner, ZDF's Baghdad bureau chief. He said Abbas called the station to say he had filmed the bombardment of a house in Fallujah by U.S. forces and that he would be returning to Baghdad.

Abbas called the station back a half hour later to say he had been caught in heavy fighting, before the phone line went dead, Tilgner said. The station learned of Abbas' death the next day, after his body was brought to a Fallujah mosque. Abbas also worked as a producer and editor for ZDF, a public television broadcaster.

Tilgner said the station does not know the precise details of Abbas' death. CPJ will continue to investigate the circumstances.

AUGUST 15, 2004
Posted: September 1, 2004

Isam al-Shumari, Sudost Media

Al-Shumari, a cameraman for Sudost Media, a small production company that provides footage to Germany's N24 television, is believed to have disappeared in Fallujah on August 15. His disappearance came the same day his friend, cameraman Mahmoud Abbas, who was working with the German television station ZDF, was killed while on assignment. Al-Shumari's relatives told an N24 journalist in Baghdad that he had traveled to Fallujah with Abbas on August 15. Although al-Shumari was not on assignment for Sudost Media or N24, he may have been assisting his friend, Abbas, with his work. CPJ is currently seeking more information about his disappearance.

AUGUST 20, 2004
Posted: March 15, 2005

Christian Chesnot, Radio France-Internationale and Radio France
Georges Malbrunot, Le Figaro and Ouest France

Chesnot, a reporter with Radio France-Internationale and Radio France, and Malbrunot, a reporter with the French dailies Le Figaro and Ouest France, were abducted on August 20 while traveling to the southern city of Najaf. A group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq claimed responsibility for their abduction in videotapes aired on Al-Jazeera.

The journalists' driver, Muhammed al-Jundi, was also abducted. He was found shackled in a house run by insurgents in Fallujah in November, according to the U.S. Marines.

The two journalists were released on December 21. The kidnappers said they freed the journalists after confirming that the two were not U.S. spies. According to Al-Jazeera, the statement also said that the journalists were freed because of appeals by Islamic groups, "in appreciation of the French government's stand on the Iraq issue," and the journalists' position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

AUGUST 25, 2004
Posted: August 27, 2004

Journalists from Knight Ridder, BBC, Getty photo agency and others


Iraqi police, some masked and firing weapons, threatened and detained dozens of journalists at a hotel in the southern city of Najaf, where U.S. forces had battled with Shiite insurgents for several weeks.

Police stormed the Bahr Najaf Hotel, which housed a large contingent of international media, according to CPJ sources and international press reports. The Knight Ridder news service reported that police, some wearing ski masks, fired shots and detained some 60 journalists.

Knight Ridder quoted one of the officers shouting, "All the journalists, out now or we'll kill you!"' as the man kicked doors and pulled reporters out of rooms. The journalists were transported in flatbed trucks to a local police station where they were held for an hour, Knight Ridder reported. None were charged.

The journalists were told by Iraqi police that they had been detained in response to a report broadcast by the Dubai-based satellite news channel Al-Arabiyya saying that senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani was to arrive in Najaf to lead a demonstration. Police claimed the report caught them off guard, caused disruption in Najaf, and incited violence, Knight Ridder reported.

Journalists from Knight Ridder, the Getty photo agency, and the BBC were among those detained, sources told CPJ. Journalists told CPJ that police confiscated some reporters' satellite phones and computer equipment.

AUGUST 26, 2004
Updated: August 27,2004

Enzo Baldoni, freelance

Baldoni, 56, an Italian freelance journalist, was murdered by kidnappers from a militant group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq.

Baldoni, 56, who normally wrote advertising copy, had gone to Iraq to do research for a book on militant groups, said Enrico Deaglio, editor of the Milan-based weekly magazine, Diario della Settimana. He said Baldoni had agreed to contribute freelance articles to Diario della Settimana from Iraq.

The Italian Foreign Ministry reported Baldoni missing on August 20. He was believed to be heading toward the southern city of Najaf, where U.S. forces had battled with Shiite insurgents for several weeks.

In a video released on August 24, the kidnappers demanded Italy withdraw its 3,000 troops from Iraq, and said it would not guarantee Baldoni's safety if the demand was not met.

On August 26, the Qatar-based news channel Al-Jazeera reported that it received a video from the kidnappers that showed Baldoni after the killing. The network did not air the videotape, it said, out of sensitivity to his family. Italian officials confirmed Al Jazeera's report, according to Italy's Ansa news agency.

AUGUST 7, 2004
Posted: September 9, 2004



Iraq's interim government announced September 4 that it had imposed an indefinite ban on newsgathering by Al-Jazeera in Iraq, extending a 30-day suspension imposed a month earlier. Al-Jazeera said Iraqi police sealed the station's Baghdad office that same day to ensure compliance.

In a statement, the interim government said Al-Jazeera failed to provide a written explanation for its coverage, which Iraqi officials deemed to be against the Iraqi people and government. The government also accused Al-Jazeera of ignoring the earlier ban by conducting interviews with people in Iraq, the station said.

On August 7, the interim government barred Al-Jazeera from working in Iraq for 30 days, accusing the station of incitement to violence and hatred. Officials asserted that Al-Jazeera's reporting on kidnappings had encouraged Iraqi militants. Other Iraqi officials accused the station of being a mouthpiece for terrorist groups, creating a negative picture of Iraq, and contributing to instability.

The ban was implemented without due process, press advocates noted, and Iraqi officials have not provided details to support their allegations.


Posted: March 14, 2005

Scott Taylor, Freelance
Zeynep Tugrul, Sabah

Taylor, a Canadian freelance reporter, and Tugrul, a staff reporter for Turkey's Sabah daily, were abducted by a group calling itself Ansar al-Islam on the evening of September 7 in Tal Afar in northern Iraq. Tugrul was released on September 10, and Taylor was released on September 11.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2004
Posted September 13, 2004

Mazen al-Tumeizi, Al-Arabiya
Seif Fouad, Reuters Television
Ghaith Abdul Ahad, Getty Images

Mazen al-Tumeizi, a reporter for Al-Arabiya television was killed after a U.S. helicopter fired missiles and machine guns to destroy a disabled American vehicle, international news reports said. Seif Fouad, a camera operator for Reuters Television, and Ghaith Abdul Ahad, a freelance photographer working for Getty Images, were wounded in the strike.

Fighting broke out on Haifa Street in the center of Baghdad around dawn, when a U.S. Bradley armored vehicle caught fire and its four crew members were evacuated with minor injuries, according to news reports. As a crowd gathered, one or more U.S. helicopters opened fire.

Video aired by al-Arabiya showed al-Tumeizi was preparing a report nearby when an explosion behind him caused him to double over and scream, "I'm dying, I'm dying." He died moments later, the Dubai-based station reported.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan told The Associated Press that a U.S. helicopter fired on the disabled Bradley vehicle to prevent looters from stripping it.

Reuters quoted a statement it said was issued later by the military, which offered a different account. "As the helicopters flew over the burning Bradley they received small-arms fire from the insurgents in vicinity of the vehicle," the statement said. "Clearly within the rules of engagement, the helicopters returned fire destroying some anti-Iraqi forces in the vicinity of the Bradley."

Fouad, a camera operator for Reuters Television was hospitalized after being wounded in the attack, the news agency said, but the precise nature of his injuries was not immediately disclosed. Ahad, a freelance photographer working for Getty Images, suffered head wounds while covering the clashes and the helicopter attack, the AP reported.

In all, at least 25 Iraqis were killed and more than 100 injured in what was described as the heaviest fighting in the capital in weeks. A militant group linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said it carried out a coordinated campaign of violence that day.

OCTOBER 10, 2004

Posted: March 14, 2005

Paul Taggart, Freelance/World Picture News

Taggart, an American freelance photographer, was abducted by armed men in Baghdad. He had been driving to the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City. Taggart was released on October 12.

OCTOBER 14, 2004
Posted: October 19, 2004

Dina Mohammed Hassan, Al-Hurriya

Hassan, an Iraqi reporter for the local Arabic-language television station Al-Hurriya TV, was killed in a drive-by shooting in front of her Baghdad residence in the city's Adhamiya district. Hassan had been waiting for a company car to transport her to work, station staff told CPJ. The identities of the attackers are unknown and police were investigating, according to international press reports.

Hassan's colleagues told The New York Times that the journalist had received three letters warning her to stop working for Al-Hurriya. A colleague who was with Hassan when the attack took place told The Times that a blue Oldsmobile with three men pulled in front of them, when a man opened fire at Hassan with a Kalashnikov rifle. He shouted "Collaborator! Collaborator!" the newspaper reported.

Nawrooz Mohamed Fatah, director of Al-Hurriya, told CPJ that militant groups might perceive Al-Hurriya as sympathetic to the United States since its financial backer-the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)-has friendly U.S. relations. Iraqi journalists frequently receive death threats and are often viewed by insurgents as working for foreign interests or as spies.

OCTOBER 14, 2004
Updated: October 18, 2004

Karam Hussein, European Pressphoto Agency

Hussein, an Iraqi photographer working for the German-based European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), was killed by a group of gunmen in front of his home in the northern city of Mosul. The precise motive was not immediately known, but Hussein's colleagues believe it was connected to his work for a foreign news organization.

The gunmen attacked Hussein as he returned home from an Internet café across the street, according to a colleague who spoke to the journalist's family. The colleague said Hussein was shot first in the leg before assailants pursued him and shot him dead at close range.

Another colleague told CPJ that Hussein had received a written threat about six months ago when he worked for another international news organization. The threat, according to the colleague, warned Hussein to stop his work and accused him of being a "traitor."

Iraqi journalists said the security situation in Mosul had deteriorated and journalists felt increasingly at risk. Several have stopped working altogether or keep a low profile for fear of retribution from insurgents, who they say perceive journalists as working for foreign interests or as spies.

OCTOBER 16, 2004
Posted: March 14, 2005

John Martinkus, SBS Television

Martinkus, a journalist working for Austrialia's state-funded SBS Television, was abducted by gunmen near his Baghdad hotel. He was held for about 24 hours and released unharmed by his captors.

OCTOBER 27, 2004
Posted: October 28, 2004

Liqaa Abdul Razzak, Al-Sharqiya TV

Abdul Razzak, an Iraqi news anchor working for a local, private, Arabic-language TV station was killed in the capital, Baghdad, by gunmen. Local journalists told CPJ that Abdul Razzak was traveling in a taxi with two companions when gunmen in another car opened fire on them. She and at least one of the other passengers, a translator, were killed. The gunmen have not been apprehended or identified.

Journalists told CPJ that the motive for Abdul Razzak's killing is unclear. Her husband, a Tunisian national, worked as a translator for the U.S.-backed coalition until he was killed a few months ago, according to the sources. Abdul Razzak had worked at the coalition-backed Al-Iraqiya TV but left the station and joined the private Al-Sharqiyah about a month ago. According to press reports, Al-Sharqiyah is owned by the London-based Azzaman group, which also publishes a popular daily newspaper in Iraq.

The sources say they are not aware of Abdul Razzak receiving any death threats before the shooting. CPJ is investigating to determine if Abdul Razzak's killing was connected to her journalistic work.

OCTOBER 30, 2004
Posted: November 3, 2004


Ali Adnan, Hassan Alwan, Ramziya Moushee, Alahin Hussein, Nabil Hussein

A car bomb exploded in front Al-Arabiya's Baghdad bureau, killing Adnan, a security guard; Alwan, an engineer; kitchen staff members Moushee and Hussein; and Hussein, a gardener. Al-Arabiya said 14 other bureau employees, among them five journalists, were wounded in the blast. The bureau, in the upscale Mansour neighborhood, was used by two other Saudi-owned news stations-the satellite channel Al-Akhbariya and Al-Arabiya's sister channel, Middle East Broadcasting (MBC).

Al-Arabiya's Web site reported Sunday that a previously unknown group calling itself the "Jihad Martyrs Brigades" claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on the Internet. The statement called Saturday's attack "just a warning" and threatened more attacks on Al-Arabiya and other media outlets in Iraq. The statement's authenticity could not be independently verified.

Earlier, a group calling itself the 1920 Brigades said it had carried out the attack, but Al-Arabiya later reported that the same group denied responsibility in a recorded tape.

About 35 staffers were meeting on the first floor when the bomb exploded directly outside the bureau's front entrance. The blast, which took place in a neighborhood that also houses Iraqi officials and government buildings, left a large crater in the street outside and collapsed the building's first floor, causing a fire.

Al-Arabiya's Web site reported that the station has received numerous threats from those describing themselves as supporters of "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" protesting its coverage, and demanding that the station support the "jihad" against the U.S occupation and Iraqi government.


Wadallah Sarhan, Akhbar al-Mosul

Sarhan, editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Akhbar al-Mosul, a local newspaper in the city of Mosul, was gunned down by assailants near his home, which doubled as the newspaper's office, according to local journalists and one local government official familiar with the case. The sources could not provide a precise date for his death.

Those sources said Sarhan may have been targeted because of suspicions that his newspaper had received U.S. funding. According to one Mosul reporter, Sarahan's name was included on an insurgent "hit list" of local journalists that was posted in some local mosques in 2004.

NOVEMBER 1, 2004
Posted: November 1, 2004

Dhia Najim, freelance

Najim, a freelance cameraman who worked for Reuters and The Associated Press, among other outlets, was shot in the head while covering fighting in his hometown of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, Reuters reported. The exact circumstances of his death are unknown, and CPJ is currently seeking more information.

Najim is the 36th journalist to be killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Another 18 media workers have been killed during the same time period. In 2004, at least 23 journalists and 16 media workers have been killed. Iraqi journalists, 17 of whom died on duty this year, now comprise nearly half of the overall toll.

Of the 36 journalists killed, 19 died from insurgent actions ranging from gunfire to suicide bombings to targeted killings. At least eight journalists were killed by fire from U.S. forces, the second highest cause of death. The remainder died at the hands of Iraqi armed forces during the combat phase of the war, or in crossfire from unclear sources.

CPJ is investigating three other deaths to determine whether the victims were killed for their journalistic work. At least two journalists remain missing.

NOVEMBER 11, 2004
Posted: November 12, 2004

All media

A new directive from Iraqi authorities warned that news organizations must reflect the government's positions in their reporting or face unspecified action.

The warning came in a statement released on November 11 but dated November 9 by the government regulatory Media High Commission. The commission cited the 60-day state of emergency, declared when U.S.-led forces began their offensive in Fallujah in early November, The Associated Press and Reuters reported. The state of emergency covers all of Iraq except the Kurdish north, giving the prime minister additional powers to quash the insurgency before elections in January.

Directing the news media to differentiate between "innocent citizens of Fallujah" and insurgents, the commission instructed journalists not to attach "patriotic descriptions to groups of killers and criminals," according to the statement, obtained by CPJ. The statement also asked the media to "set aside space in your news coverage to make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the aspirations of most Iraqis, clear."
"You must be precise and objective in handling news and information," the statement said. "We hope you comply ... otherwise we regret we will be forced to take all the legal measures to guarantee higher national interests," it added.

NOVEMBER 11, 2004
Posted: November 17, 2004

Abdel Kader Saadi, The Associated Press, Al-Arabiya

Abdel Kader Saadi, a freelance journalist working for The Associated Press and the Arabic-language, Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya was detained by U.S. troops in Fallujah, according to staff at Al-Arabiya.

Najwa Kassem, a correspondent for Al-Arabiya, told CPJ that the station lost contact with Saadi, a reporter and photographer who works and resides in Fallujah, that day. She said that Al-Arabiya staff did not know what had happened to Saadi for three days.

Kassem said that the station staff became aware of Saadi's detention on November 14, when a correspondent for the station who entered Fallujah with the Red Crescent reported that Saadi had been arrested inside a Fallujah mosque, along with several other civilians who had been asked by the U.S. military to go there.

According to a statement posted on Al-Arabiya's Web site on November 17, Saadi was working when he was detained in the mosque and was wearing a flak jacket with the word "Press" on it in Arabic and English. The statement also said that the U.S. military admitted to detaining Saadi and said that he would be released after "completing procedures."