Jalaa al-Abadi

Beats Covered:
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Jalaa al-Abadi, an Iraqi cameraman, was shot dead more than a month after he was kidnapped by Islamic State militants in the city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province, according to his outlet, the Nineveh Reporters Network, and the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate.

A representative of the Nineveh Reporters Network told CPJ that al-Abadi worked for the group. He said that on June 4 Islamic State fighters kidnapped al-Abadi from his home in Mosul and seized his computer and phone.

According to the network and the journalists’ syndicate, al-Abadi was accused of leaking information about Islamic State-occupied Mosul to the Iraqi media, a charge the Islamist group has levied against numerous other journalists it has kidnapped from the city. After the journalist was executed by firing squad, his family was asked to collect his remains from the city morgue, news reports said citing unnamed security and medical sources.

The Nineveh Reporters Network is made up of a group of local journalists who report anonymously on life under Islamic State rule in the city of Mosul. The network’s contributors post stories and photographs on its Facebook page. Most of the contributors are anonymous out of fear of reprisal by the Islamic State.

In June 2014, Islamic State militants swept into the city, routing Iraqi security forces and imposing authoritarian order on the city. Militants raided and shut down numerous news outlets, including Al-Mosuliya TV, etc. An unknown number of journalists were abducted, with reports conflicting as to whether they are alive or dead.

Before working for the Nineveh Reporters Network, al-Abadi worked for several local outlets, including Al-Mosuliya TV station. In May 2014, the month before Islamic State took over Mosul, Al-Mosuliya broadcast videos filmed by al-Abadi about Mosul residents preparing for the year’s harvest and students studying for upcoming exams.

Murad Ghazi, deputy manager of Al-Mosuliya, told CPJ in 2013 that the channel often reported critically on the local government and had been targeted by a smear campaign that accused it of serving U.S. interests. Militant groups like Islamic State have historically targeted journalists in Mosul whom it considers collaborators with the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, according to CPJ research.

Al-Abadi, who was in his twenties, left behind a wife and two children, news reports said.