Journalists Killed  |  Iraq

Selwan Abdelghani Medhi al-Niem

Voice of America

March 5, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq

Al-Niemi, a freelance translator working for the U.S.-funded Voice of America (VOA), was fatally shot while driving home from a relative's house. His mother and 4-year-old daughter were also killed. VOA said a motive had not been established.

Al-Niemi's wife, Ban Adil Serhan, a former translator for the U.S.-based media company Knight-Ridder, told CPJ that she believes she was also an intended target _ and that the assailants mistook al-Niemi's mother for her.

On the day of her husband's funeral, she said, her brother discovered a handwritten note outside the family's front door. Citing Quranic verses, the note said people who work with "infidels" should be killed and warned that Adil Serhan's "turn will come soon, God willing."

Media Support Worker: In 2003, CPJ began documenting the deaths of vital media employees such as translators, drivers, fixers, and administrative workers.

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