Iraqi Journalists and Political Activists in Deadly Peril

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KT News:

On Wednesday 12th May, Salah Hassan, the prominent TV broadcaster and journalist from the city of Diwanya in the south of Iraq was shot in the head in front of his home. Due to his critical condition, he was transferred to hospital in Baghdad.

Salah Hassan’s brother Ahmed told a local news agency that his brother has no grudge with anybody and was just doing his job. He said that, a few days before the attack, Salah told his mother that “he had no fear of coming back late at night because he was doing his duties and he loves his own people and the people love him.“

Since October 2019,  80 political activists have gone missing in the south of Iraq. There have been 70 assassination attempts on activists, in which 25 people were murdered. Four committees have been set up by the Iraqi interior minister, but they have not produced any results, according to the Human Rights Commission in Iraq. Iraqi government spokesman, Khalid Almahana, told Rudaw TV station that groups and militias are governing Iraq and they are behind all the assassinations of journalists and political activists. For this reason, a lot of political activists have taken refuge in the KRG area.

The Iraqi government needs to toughen the law for protecting journalists and free speech.

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