Iraqi journalists are unsung heroes. July 13, 2007

Khamail Khalaf

New York, April 5, 2007—
“The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of an abducted Iraqi journalist who was found dead by Iraqi police in Baghdad.

Radio Free Iraq reporter Khamail Khalaf, who was kidnapped April 3 from Baghdad’s Yarmouk district, was found dead in Baghdad’s Jamia neighborhood today, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and CPJ sources. Police received an anonymous call informing them that there was a body on the street. They came under heavy fire by unidentified assailants when they went to retrieve her body, according to RFE/RL and CPJ sources.”


The streets of Iraqi cities are no safer for journalists. The Toronto Star (July 13, online) has a report of another journalist, shot dead.


“Khalid W. Hassan, 23, a reporter and interpreter, was shot and killed in the south central Seiydia district…” ( Photo from


According to the Toronto Star article, “Hassan, who worked for the paper in Baghdad for four years, “was part of a large, sometimes unsung community of Iraqi news-gatherers, translators, and support staff, who take enormous risks every day to help us comprehend their country’s struggle and torment,” Bill Keller, the Times executive editor, said. “Without them, Americans’ understanding of what is happening on the ground in Iraq would be much, much poorer.””


The article goes on to say that “[a]t least 110 journalists and 40 media support staffers have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, according to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists. More than 80 percent of media deaths have been Iraqis.”


They work to help us understand what is happening to their country. Do we care? 



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Filed under Committee to Protect Journalists, Iraq War, Toronto Star

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