Head of satellite TV station, Taha Al-Alawi was murdered on 8th April in Southern Baghdad. Gunmen opened fire on his car, killing him. Al-Alawi is the fifth journalist to die in Iraq this year.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recently (May 19th) issued an Impunity Index which highlighted Iraq as three times worse than any other country in terms of journalist deaths. None of the 92 murders of journalists that have been committed in the last 10 years have been solved.
There is also a huge problem with libel. In the first five months of this year government officials brought forth 90 cases against journalist. In most democratic nations journalists cannot be accused of libel against the government.
According to the CPJ’s research, more journalists are murdered than die in all other circumstances combined, reporters and editors being the most targeted, followed closely by photographers. The Iraq News Network lost more than twice the number of reporters than the next worst hit organisation.