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
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
civiliansresearcher Noriaki Imai and aid worker Nahoko Takatowas
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
On April 15, Al-Jazeera reported that Koriyama, Imai, and Takato were
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
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
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 information...as 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
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
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
DETAINED, THREATENED, HARASSED
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
SEPTEMBER 4, 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.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2004
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
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
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
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
NOVEMBER 11, 2004
Posted: November 12, 2004
A new directive from Iraqi authorities warned that news organizations
must reflect the government's positions in their reporting or face unspecified
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."