Iraq - Iraqi reporter working for Washington Post shot dead in Baghdad, freelance reporter killed in north



    MONTREAL, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is appalled by
the murders of Salih Saif Aldin, an Iraqi reporter employed by the Washington
Post bureau in Baghdad, and freelance journalist Dhi Abdul-Razak al-Dibo in
the part 24 hours. Their deaths bring to 205 the number of journalists and
media assistants killed in the course of their work in Iraq since the start of
the US-led invasion in March 2003.
    "There is not letup in the violence on the ground and Iraqi journalists
are continuing to pay dearly," the press freedom organisation said.
"Eighty-eight per cent of the media workers killed in Iraq in the past four
years have been Iraqi. Those working for foreign news media are in even
greater danger. With Saif Aldin, 10 in this category have been killed since
the start of the year."
    Reporters Without Borders added: "We call on the Iraqi authorities to
carry out a thorough investigation and arrest those responsible for Saif
Aldin's murder. It took place in broad daylight in front of dozens of
witnesses, so there is no good reason for it to go unpunished."
    Saif Aldin was shot in the south Baghdad neighbourhood of Sadiyah. His
newspaper said he had gone there to interview residents about violence between
Shiites and Sunnis. His body was found in the street covered with newspapers.
Police who went to the scene said he was shot at close range in what appeared
to be an execution-style murder. He was killed by a single shot to the
forehead.
    Aged 32, Saif Aldin had worked for the Washington Post since 2004. In
today's issue, the newspaper said he received threats in 2005, when he was
working in his home town of Tikrit, and that as a result the newspaper
transferred him to Baghdad. In 2006, a 35,000-euro bounty was said to have
been placed on his head after he reported that officials in Tikrit had looted
a former palace.
    Al-Dibo, a 32-year-old freelance reporter, was killed in an ambush by
unidentified gunmen today near the city of Kirku, 180 km north of Baghdad. His
two bodyguards were injured in the attack.
    At least 54 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq
since the start of the year. Ten of them worked for foreign news media (Radio
Free Europe, Newsweek, ABC, APTN, Reuters, New York Times and Washington
Post).

    Reporters Without Borders defends imprisoned journalists and press
freedom throughout the world. It has nine national sections (Austria, Belgium,
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). It has
representatives in Bangkok, London, New York, Tokyo and Washington. And it has
more than 120 correspondents worldwide.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, Directrice générale, Reporters
Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514) 521-7771,
rsfcanada@rsf.org

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