Iraq one of the deadliest countries for journalists26/02/2012 20:29
ERBIL, Feb. 26 (AKnews) - Iraq continues to be a danger zone for the press, as five journalists and a media worker were killed and 66 journalists attacked last year.
Despite a law passed in August intended to provide more protection for journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists' yearly survey ranks Iraq as one of the worst countries for journalists in the world.
Since 2003, 150 journalists have been murdered, the highest number for a single country. However not one conviction has been made, ranking the nation fourth from the bottom in the survey, in terms of unsolved journalist killings.
The six victims from 2011 include correspondents Muammar Khadir Abdelwahad, Sabah al-Bazi, and Mohamed al-Hamdani, radio show host Hadi al-Mahdi and cameraman Alwan al-Ghorabi. Four of the killings happened during terrorist attacks.
CPJ research, released last week, also shows that Iraqi and Kurdish journalists are highly vulnerable to attacks, threats, arrests, harassment and beatings - which sometimes involve the government or political parties.
Last year there were 10 assaults, six injuries, three drive-by shootings, five raids and 26 detentions.
Cases highlighted in the press include the raiding and torching of an independent TV station in Sulaimaniyah by gunmen believed to be linked to the government and prominent founder and editor of the independent Awene newspaper, Asos Hardi (pictured, right) being badly beaten.
The survey puts the global number of journalists killed at 46, while 179 were imprisoned.
Pakistan continues to rank as the number one deadliest country in the world for journalists, with 7 deaths last year.
While more than 301 African journalists have fled their homelands over the last 10 years fearing violence or imprisonment - double the number of any other region.
By Shyamalie Satkunanandan