Al-Batat, a correspondent at Al-Nakhil TV and Radio, was
shot and killed by unidentified gunmen while walking in the town of Al-Qurna,
north of Basra.
Four masked men shot al-Batat six times as he was
walking in Al-Qurna market, station head Adnan al-Yasiri told CPJ.
he believes that al-Batat was targeted because of his work for the
which he said supported the government.
Al-Nakhil TV and Radio, which began broadcasting three
months after the invasion in 2003, is affiliated with Iraqi Shiite leader Abdul
Aziz al-Hakim’s Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.
According to the station’s office manager, Ali Hussein Juda,
the station received an e-mail threat during May clashes in Basra between
government forces and the Mehdi Army. He said the e-mailer demanded the
station stop advocating for the government or it would face attack.
A friend of al-Batat told CPJ that the journalist had expressed
concern for his safety because of his job at a “political TV station.”