Haidar al-Hussein

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Al-Hussein, a 37-year-old journalist who worked for the Baghdad-based daily Al-Sharq, was found dead in Buhrez, Diyala province, three days after he was abducted by armed men.

Al-Hussein was seized in the al-Tahrir area of Baqouba while on his way to work at around 8 a.m. Al-Sharq Editor-in-Chief Abdul Rasool Zyara said Al-Hussein's body showed signs of torture and had a bullet wound to the head.

According to Zyara, al-Hussein was kidnapped last year but released after he promised kidnappers that he would leave the city of Baqouba. He went to Baghdad for a time, but returned after the Iraqi government announced that Baqouba had been made safer. He was a Shiite working in a predominantly Sunni area.

"The kidnappers wanted to send a message to those who have the guts to be from an opposing sect yet are able to write reports appreciative of the Iraqi government," Zyara told CPJ. Much of the paper's coverage is pro-government.

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