Gunmen kill 2 journalists covering Iraq protests

Unknown gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Dijlah TV reporter Ahmed Abdul Samad and camera operator Safaa Ghali, who were covering protests in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. (File/AFP)
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Updated 11 January 2020

Gunmen kill 2 journalists covering Iraq protests

Gunmen killed two journalists working for the Iraqi broadcaster Dijlah TV on Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported.

Unknown gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Dijlah TV reporter Ahmed Abdul Samad and camera operator Safaa Ghali, who were covering protests in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

The CPJ urged Iraqi authorities to immediately open an investigation and hold those responsible to account.

“No journalist should have to fear for their safety or be singled out for attack over their coverage of protests,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado.

“We call on the Iraqi authorities to immediately open an investigation into the killing of Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali and to do their utmost to ensure journalists can cover the protests freely and without fear of reprisal,” Delgado added.

British ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, also condemned the killings.

"It is extremely important that the Iraqi authorities now begin investigating this issue and holding the perpetrators accountable, as no individual or group can rise above the rule of law," Hickey said on his Twitter account. 

A video posted on Dijlah TV’s website and widely circulated on social media showed Samad slumped in the passenger seat, with a bullet wound to the right side of his head. The video shows at least three bullet holes in the right front door of the car.


Mexican journalists protest over colleague’s murder

Maria Elena Ferral. (Social media)
Updated 01 April 2020

Mexican journalists protest over colleague’s murder

  • Ferral had many times complained of death threats and aggressions she suffered from local political figures

COATZACOALCOS, MEXICO: Journalists in Mexico’s eastern state of Veracruz protested on Tuesday against the murder of a reporter, demanding justice in a country that is notoriously dangerous for the press.
Maria Elena Ferral, a correspondent for the Diario de Xalapa daily newspaper, was shot by two assailants on motorbikes when getting into her car, local officials said on Monday.
Carrying banners and placards, journalists blocked a motorway, demanded justice and asked for police to use Ferral’s work as a starting point for their investigation.
Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters, with more than 100 murdered since 2000.
This was the first such murder recorded in the country this year, though.
The Veracruz journalists network released a statement asking Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to “investigate the threats and background that she denounced previously.”
The local public prosecutor promised there would be “no impunity” for Ferral’s murderers.
Ferral had many times complained of death threats and aggressions she suffered from local political figures.
She worked in the Papantla mountainous area, around 300 kilometers from the port of Veracruz, known for the regular disappearance of people at the hands of the police.