Secretary-General of the United Nations
President of the European Parliament
International Federation of Journalists – ifj
Reporters Without Borders
German Federation of Journalists
German Union of Journalists – Verdi
Association of foreign press in Germany
Federation of Arab Journalists – faj
Iraq Journalists Syndicate
National Union of Journalists – Iraq
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
internationaler Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte
Press and media agencies
Ladies and gentlemen:
Since the Iraq invasion in 2003 till this day, Iraqi journalists are being murdered, prosecuted, kidnaped and arrested, in the beginning by the American army forces, later by the terror organization “Islamic State”, the militias of the ruling parties and criminal gangs.
More than 460 Iraqi and foreign journalists and media workers, working in Iraqi and foreign media, were shot down since 2003 by the American and the Iraqi armed forces, as well as by the “Islamic State”. Besides, 74 photographers and journalists were killed or kidnapped, whose remain is still unknown. Neither the justice nor the police has disclosed the names of the perpetrators.
The increase of murders in Iraq by muffler guns as well as the intimidation and incitement campaigns for murdering of journalists have made the Iraqi people shocked, as since the begin of the uprising on October, 1st , 2019, the assaults against journalists and media workers, who are covering the demonstrations in Iraq, have reached more than 100 journalists. 6 of them were killed. While the editor-in-chief of a local newspaper has escaped an assassination attempt in the center of Baghdad by chance. However, the young war photograph Ahmed Al-Mohanna is murdered by a knife attack in the Al-Khullani Square in Baghdad in the night of December, 6th, 2019, as gunmen entered the square. That happened two days after the murdering of the journalist Abdul Hussain Abud Razzaq, and the kidnapping of the journalist Zaid M. Al-Khafajy by an armed gang, suspected to be belonging to the militias of the ruling parties, on his way home. He is still disappeared till now. At the same time, the photographer Mustafa Al- Rikabie was hit in the head by an attack of anti-riot-force in Sumawa. Besides, Ahmed Al-Ghalib was kidnaped on January, 8th, 2020 by an unknown group, and his remain is still unknown.
In Basra, armed men attacked in the night of January, 10th 2020 the journalist Ahmed Abdul-Samad (37 years old) and his photographer Safaa Al-Timimy (26 years old) by a barrage of bullets. Abdul-Samad died at once, while his photographers passed away in hospital.
According to the latest news, “on January, 20th 2020” the photojournalist Yussuf Sattar has been killed and the photograph of Baghdadia Channel Udai Akab is wounded, while covering the demonstrations nearby Khullani Square in Baghdad. Also on Tuesday, 28 January 2020, unknown armed men attacked, in the morning, a professor of information at Al-Mustansiriya University, and a member of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, Dr. Muhammad Hussein Alwan, in front of his house, north of Baghdad, when he was leaving his car and opened fire on him in front of his daughter, so they shot him Dead.
In “UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity”, in the introduction, Paragraph 1 is mentioned: “Every journalist killed or neutralized by terror is an observer less of the human condition. Every attack distorts reality by creating a climate of fear and self-censorship”.
While, we strongly condemn the murders and abuses of Iraqi journalists, feel bitter and are terrified of the obvious practice of violation of human rights, we appeal to you, to act rapidly to stop all the abuses of journalist and media workers and to condemn the atrocities, which are executed by gangs belong to the militias of the ruling parties in front of sight of the authorities and security forces. And we ask you to support the building of an international committee for finding to press the Iraqi government to disclose the identity of the perpetrators, independently of their position, and bringing them to justice to get their legal reward.
Bagdad – Forum für Kultur und Kunst e.V., Berlin
i.A. / Isam Al-Yasiri – Chairman
January, 28 2020
(Baghdad Forum for Culture and Arts, reg. association in Germany)