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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Rudaw reporter and anchor Shifa Gardi killed by roadside bomb near Mosul

By Rudaw 25/2/2017
Shifa gardi holds in her hands a wounded rabbit she rescued in Mosul while she was covering the offesnive in February. Photo:Rudaw
Shifa gardi holds in her hands a wounded rabbit she rescued in Mosul while she was covering the offesnive in February. Photo:Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Rudaw reporter and anchor Shifa Gardi who was reporting on the heavy clashes between advancing Iraqi forces and ISIS militants was killed by a roadside bomb near Mosul on Saturday afternoon, and her cameraman Younis Mustafa was injured in the same attack. 
 
A statement from Rudaw Media Network is to be found below. 
 
She was presenting a daily special program on the Mosul offensive on Rudaw TV, and has recently started to cover the unfolding war from inside Mosul.
 
On February 21, while she was covering the war, she came across and eventually saved a wounded rabbit anxiously searching for refuge from the scourge of battle for the remaining right bank of ISIS’ stronghold in Mosul.
 
“I encountered an injured rabbit in the village of Albu Saif which was liberated yesterday evening,” Gardi told Rudaw as she returned to Rudaw’s newsroom,  “The rabbit is suffering from malnutrition which has caused visible damage to its face.”
 
 
“I brought it back with me. We will be treating the rabbit and then give it to an animal protection agency which is willing to look after it.”
 
She was reporting on the war on Sunday in different parts of western half of Mosul where Iraqi forces have launched a fresh offensive about a week ago to reclaim the last major stronghold of the ISIS group.
 
People have fled from ISIS by bus on the right side of the city, Gardi reported
 
“Five buses, fraught with people, including a majority of women and children have run away,” she said, “Their situation is miserable and have left everything,” said added aboard one such bus.
 

“There were only women and children with some men and juveniles. After they undergo investigations making sure that they have not helped ISIS militants, they will be allowed to take shelter at refugee camps.”

 

Shifa Zikri Ibrahim, also known as Shifa Gardi, was born a refugee in Iran on 1 July 1986. She was a graduate of the media department from Salahaddin University in Erbil. She started her media career in 2006, and joined Rudaw Media Network since the beginning of its foundation. 

 

 

Statement from Rudaw Media Network
 
Rudaw’s segment presenter, chief of output, and wartime journalist was killed on Saturday in a roadside bomb explosion in Mosul, while covering war developments of the renewed offensive to liberate the right bank of the last major urban stronghold still held by ISIS in Iraq. Her camera man was also wounded.
 
Shifa Gardi was one of Rudaw’s most daring journalists. She was known as a renowned skilled journalist in Kurdish news media, and brought outstanding coverage to Rudaw TV right from the beginning of its establishment.
 
She was a segment presenter in Rudaw, covering the Focus Mosul program which she started to run when the operation to drive ISIS from Iraq was launched in October 2016.
 
Rudaw is deeply saddened to pronounce the death of its courageous wartime journalists and media star in the Kurdistan Region.
 

In the name of Rudaw Media Network, we convey our most sincere and most profound condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Gardi and to our team worldwide, and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded Rudaw journalist Yunis Mustafa. 

 

Rudaw Media Network, February 25, 2017


“We lost a very talented person. Shifa was not only a smart journalist, but also a very serious and loyal person," Rudaw Executive Director Ako Mohamm told a crowd of Gardi's colleagues and ordinary people gathered to pay respect to her body outside the network's headquarters. 

"She greatly contributed to the establishment of Rudaw Media Network. She was one of the very dedicated employees. She was an example of dedication,” Ako continued.

Ako said that the network has always instructed its journalists "to be behind the frontlines of the war". 

“We were always urging them to be behind the frontlines of the war, telling them that they were not soldiers or Peshmerga fighters. Rather, you are journalists. Hence, you shouldn’t be on the frontlines. It appears that Shifa had moved closer to the frontlines out of seriousness to her job. We are saddened by the passing of Shifa. Her place will remain irreplaceable in Rudaw, but she will always stay in our hearts.” 

 

Gardi and her team were on a mission to investigate a mass grave where it was alleged that ISIS militants had killed and buried hundreds of civilians in Mosul.
 
Gardi searched for a long time to find the mass grave without much success, Rudaw’s Ranja Jamal said.
 
Jamal and his team were close in distance to Gardi’s.
 
Jamal said the Rudaw team came across an armed unit of Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitaries on the Mosul-Baghdad road, who told Gardi that they knew the whereabouts of the mass grave.
 
Rudaw’s team were trying to film the mass grave as the roadside bomb exploded near the site of the mass grave, and killed Gardi, and another five members of the paramilitary force, including a commander, Jamal said, another eight people, including Rudaw’s cameraman Yunis Mustafa were injured.
 
Mustafa was airlifted to Erbil, and was then transferred to a hospital in the city where he is receiving treatment. His injuries are said to be not life-threatening. 

 

People and Rudaw staff lit candles in Sulaimani to pay tribute to her reporting of the largest military operation in Iraq since the country's invasion in 2003.

 



A Peshmerga fighter from Duhok named his newborn baby girl after Shifa, following news of her death.

 


 

Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said that it was sad to hear the death of a "role model" for women and youth as she was doing her journalistic work. 

 

“It was very saddening to hear news of the death of journalist Ms Shifa Gardi, who was killed in the city of Mosul on February 25, 2017 while executing her journalistic work," President Barzani said.

 

"Her death reiterates the role, position, sacrifice and resilience of women and proud youth of Kurdistan’s nation. On this sad occasion, I direct my condolences to the family of Ms Gardi, her colleagues at Rudaw Media Network and Kurdistan’s journalists as a whole. May she rest in peace,” President Barzani's statement added.

 

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said in a statement that Gardi was a "a free, brave and successful journalist," whose "continued desire for progress and success" will be pursued by "many women in Kurdistan". 

“The martyred journalist, Ms Shifa Gardi, was born in diaspora into a Peshmerga and dedicated Kurdish family," PM Barzani said.

 

"She was a free, brave and successful journalist who was loved and respected by her viewers. She was martyred while broadcasting her message, a message of dedication to her duty. We are certain that her colleagues will continue carrying her message and will always remember her, and many women in Kurdistan will pursue her path of continued desire for progress and success, her path of courage, dedication and love to duty,”  PM Barzani continued.  

 

 

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG's representative to the USA, herself a former journalist, said Kurdistan "has ost a courageous and professional journalist who cracked the glass ceiling," in reference to the work of the female journalist in a male-dominated profession in Kurdistan. 

Bayan Sami Rahman (@BayanRahman)

 

 

Falah Mustafa, head of Department of Foreign Relations of Kurdistan Regional Government described Gardi as a "role model to young women" in Kurdistan Region.


The Kurdish Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said "She joins a list of irreplaceable people lost in this war."

Kosrat Rasul, the first deputy leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and also a Peshmerga commander, said  that she was covering the war against the extrimist group alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and the Iraqi security forces. 

“It is very saddening to hear the death of Rudaw Media Network’s presenter and journalist on the frontlines of the war in Mosul," Rasul said,  "Ms Shifa Gardi who had an important role alongside her fellow citizens in the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army in war on terror.”

 

Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) leader Salahaddin Bahadin sent his condolences to Rudaw Media Network and Shifa Gardi’s family. 

“In light of the martyrdom of brave and Peshmerga journalist Shifa Gardi, I pass my condolences to her dear family and Rudaw Media Network’s coworkers and audiences.  May Almighty God forgive her and rest her in peace,” said Bahaddin in his message.”

 

The deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament Aram Sheikh Mohammed also conveyed his condolences.

 

The UK Ambassador to Iraq: 

 

The US Ambassador to Iraq:

 

The US Special Presidential Envoy to the coalition to defeat ISIS:

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that journalists like Shifa Gardi and her cameraman Younis Mustafa "have shown remarkable bravery and commitment to their work."

"Shifa Gardi's tragic death underscores the continuing risk that journalists in Iraq face while doing their jobs," CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney said. 

"Journalists covering Iraq, and particularly those covering the ongoing conflict between the Iraqi government and the Islamic State group, have shown remarkable bravery and commitment to their work, and all sides in the conflict should honor that commitment by ensuring that they can do their jobs safely," Mahoney noted. 

The CPJ stated that the death of Gardi is Iraq's first recorded case of a journalist's killing in 2017. Last year, at least six journalists were confirmed killed in Iraq, it added.

 

Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate and Metro Center, an advocate for the rights of journalists, expressed their condolences, with Metro saying that it was the death of talented journalist whose place is very hard to be filled. 

 

BBC Middle East correspondent, Quentin Sommerville, who covered the fresh offensive in western Mosul extensively, showed his appreciation of Rudaw for what he described as "determined". 

Rukmini Callimachi, correspondent for The New York Times, celebrated the fact that Gardi was among the very few female journalists covering the war in an otherwise male-dominated area.

 

The Erbil-based Kurdistan 24 media network said in a statement that "We pass on our condolences to the family and colleagues of Shifa Gardi, wish recovery to the wounded, and safety to all media teams."

 

The Sulaimani-based  Nalia Radio and Television NRT said they share the grivances with Rudaw, wishing a quick recovery to Rudaw's injured cameraman.

 

“We are saddened by the death of Rudaw’s young and skillful journalist, Shifa Gardi.”

 

The UK consulate in Erbil described Gardi as "a young and skillful journalist."

 

Kosrat Rasul, the first deputy leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and also a Peshmerga commander, said  that she was covering the war against the extrimist group alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and the Iraqi security forces. 

 

“It is very saddening to hear the death of Rudaw Media Network’s presenter and journalist on the frontlines of the war in Mosul," Rasul said,  "Ms Shifa Gardi who had an important role alongside her fellow citizens in the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army in war on terror.”

 

Rudaw also received messages of support and condolences from  the following Kurdish media outlets: SNN, Xalk, Kurdistan TV, Zang, Kurdistan Nwe, Xendan, Speda TV, PUK Media, Chawder News, Komal, and Gorran media.

 

Dozens of Kurdish parties, senior officials, and Peshmerga commanders also issued statements for the death of a young talent. 

 

People and Rudaw staff members bid Gardi farewell on Saturday night.

 


 

 

 


Comments

 
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Kemal | 25/2/2017
My deepest condolence to her and Rudaw channel as well , may Allah bless her
Dimafrzi | 25/2/2017
😔😭😭😭😰😱😨😰 i love her so much inshala darwa bo bahaaht i love you shifa gardi
James Lambert | 25/2/2017
My deepest condolences to Shifa Gardi's family and Rudaw of the tragic death of her. It is brave journalists like her who keep us up on what's going on in these times and events. Hats off to these brave journalists! Jim, US.
James Lambert | 25/2/2017
My deepest condolences to Shifa Gardi's family and Rudaw of the tragic death of her. It is brave journalists like her who keep us up on what's going on in these times and events. Hats off to these brave journalists! Jim, US.
JamKurd | 25/2/2017
Very Sad. Her memory will be the shining light for all Kurd women to achieve their dreams and break the glass ceiling in all fields. Deepest condolences to her family.

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