Soran Mama Hama

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Mama Hama, 23, a reporter with the Sulaymaniyah-based Livin magazine, was shot by unidentified gunmen in front of his home. He had received threatening messages before the slaying, local journalists told CPJ, and had written articles critical of local authorities.

His last article in Livin recounted the prevalence of prostitution in Kirkuk and the alleged complicity of police and security officials. In the article, which was reviewed by CPJ, Mama Hama claimed that he had collected the names of "police brigadiers, many lieutenants, colonels, and many police and security officers" who were clients.

Ahmed Mira, Livin's editor-in-chief, told CPJ that the slaying was designed to "silence the free voices in Kirkuk." He called the murder "a very dangerous" development for the region's media.

Kirkuk Police Brig. Jamal Tahir told CPJ that the department had launched an investigation. He called it a "serious situation" that would get "special attention."

The shooting occurred at around 9 p.m. in the Shorija neighborhood, which was considered a relatively safe area. Initial accounts varied as to how many times Mama Hama was shot. Local journalists said the gunmen were driving a BMW.

The Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate said Mama Hama had received a threatening message from an unidentified person on May 15.

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