Al-Saray, 35, an anchor for state-owned Al-Iraqiya television, was killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car in western Baghdad. He was gunned down about 6 a.m. while en route to Karbala in southern Iraq, according to news reports.
Al-Saray, who joined Al-Iraqiya in 2005, hosted religious-based programs that generally promoted reconciliation between Shiites and Sunnis, according to news reports and CPJ interviews.
Iraqi Vice President Adel Abd al-Mehdi called on police to solve the killing. “The murder of journalist Riyad al-Saray requires urgent investigation by the security services to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” he said in a statement. He called the killing of journalists “shameful.”
Al-Iraqiya, part of the state-run Iraqi Media Network, has had the highest death toll of any media organization in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, CPJ research shows. Al-Saray was survived by a wife and three children.