Yahya Abdul Hamid

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Abdul Hamid, the director of Radio Rasheed in Mosul, was murdered by Islamic State militants in September 2015, a colleague at the independent station told CPJ, confirming news reports.

The colleague, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution from Islamic State, said Abdul Hamid’s home was raided on September 12. The militants searched his computer and phone before taking him away. Several hours later, the family was called to the morgue to identify his body. They were told by Islamic State militants that Abdul Hamid had been convicted of “collaborating with the Iraqi security forces” at an unofficial court set up by the militants.

The press freedom group Iraqi Observatory for Journalistic Freedoms cited unnamed sources as saying jewelry and gold were stolen from Abdul Hamid’s house during the raid.

The colleague with whom CPJ spoke said Abdul Hamid had previously worked for the Iraqi government, in its press corps, traveling on a mission to the United Nations in New York several years earlier.

Yasser Hamdani, of the Baghdad-based press group Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association, and a representative from the Nineveh Media Network, a small monitoring group that has a strict criteria in its methodology for killed journalists, told CPJ during a meeting in Irbil that Abdul Hamid was a victim of Islamic State’s campaign against journalists.

Radio Rasheed and its sister channel Rasheed TV have covered Iraqi and international news from their headquarters in Baghdad since 2009. Because the station is not based in Mosul it was able to continue broadcasting when other stations in the city were forced to close by Islamic State.