Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Middle East

2017 Report: Syria and Iraq among top deadliest countries for journalists

By Rudaw 19/12/2017
A colleague of Shifa Gardi lights a candle in front of her portrait at Rudaw headquarters in Erbil. Gardi was killed in February 2017 while reporting on the Iraqi-led Mosul offensive against ISIS. File photo: AFP/Safin Hamed
A colleague of Shifa Gardi lights a candle in front of her portrait at Rudaw headquarters in Erbil. Gardi was killed in February 2017 while reporting on the Iraqi-led Mosul offensive against ISIS. File photo: AFP/Safin Hamed
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Syria and Iraq are among the top four deadliest countries for journalists and media workers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international organization protecting and defending journalists, stated in their annual World Press Freedom Index report released on Tuesday, with the number of female journalist killed in the course of their work doubling in the past year.

“A total of 65 journalists (including professional journalists, citizen-journalists and media workers) were killed worldwide in 2017,” read the report from RSF, adding that 326 media workers remain imprisoned for their work.

Although there was a decrease in the number of deaths reported worldwide in 2017 of 65 compared to the death toll of 79 in 2016, the number of female media workers killed in the field doubled to a total of 10 up from five in 2016, with at least three female reporters being killed in Iraq.

Syria continued to be the world’s top deadliest country for journalists, which has been the case since 2012 with the ongoing civil war and rise of ISIS in 2014 with 12 journalists killed in 2017.

Like Syria, media workers in war-torn Iraq during the fight to retake the country from ISIS are often exposed to dangerous situations such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), missiles, suicide bombers or sniper fire which resulted in a total of eight deaths occurring in Iraq, including three foreign journalists during the past year.

The most well-known death of a reporter in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq was the loss of Rudaw correspondent Shifa Gardi, who was killed while working on a story about an ISIS mass grave south of Mosul in February. Her cameraman, Younis Mustafa, was injured in the explosion of an IED that killed Shifa and several Hashd al-Shaabi fighters.

Nuzhian Arhan, a Turkish citizen who was working for a news agency affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), died from wounds she sustained while covering clashes between the Kurdistan Region's Peshmerga forces and the PKK-affiliate Shingal Protections Units (YBS) in Shingal, west of Mosul in March.

Kurdish journalist, Bakhtiyar Haddad, who worked with a French team as a fixer and interpreter, was killed in a bombing in the Old City of Mosul in June. Two foreign reporters working for French channels also succumbed to wounds received during the same bombing that killed Haddad - French reporter Stephan Villeneuve and Swiss reporter Veronique Robert.

In October, following the military takeover of Kirkuk from Peshmerga by Iraqi troops and Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, Arkan Sharifi, a Kurdish cameraman working with the Erbil-based Kurdistan TV was stabbed to death by a number of unidentified gunmen in the town of Daquq south of Kirkuk.

RSF also reported that two more journalists who worked for the Iraqi pro-government TV broadcaster, Hona Salaheddin, were targeted and killed by ISIS fighters, although their names or dates of death were not reported.

In addition to the 65 deaths reported, RSF also states that 326 media workers remain imprisoned as of December 1, 2017, with nearly half of those being held in just five countries, including nearly one-third, or approximately 100  journalists being held in detention in Turkey.

Turkey has been described by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) as the “world’s worst jailer of journalists” especially following the failed coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year.

“Impunity thrives in conflict environments, where powerful actors often use violent intimidation to control media coverage, while weak-to-nonexistent law and order increases the likelihood of attacks,” CPJ stated in its annual report published last month.

Thirty-four journalists have been killed with impunity in Iraq over the past decade, according to CPJ. “Iraq has failed to fully prosecute a single killing of a journalist,” the advocacy group stated.

Iraq ranks third on CPJ's Global Impunity Index highlighting countries where deaths of journalists go unpunished.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Trevor | 7/22/2018 10:03:48 PM
Iranian students in Europe are actually drugdealers than students and their girls well I don’t want to say that but there is nothing Muslim in them...
Parvez | 7/23/2018 6:05:41 AM
America should re-think about the sanctions as they are not going to give positive results. Mr. Trump sympathizes Iranian citizens on the one hand...
If Iran can’t sell oil, no one else in region can either, says Khamenei
| 21/7/2018 | (10)
Hama | 7/22/2018 2:51:31 PM
In Iraq shias are free to do what ever they want to sunnis and kurds. There are no human rights for anyone except shias. This is the "democracy" of...
dave | 7/23/2018 2:19:36 AM
We will clean up and shoot the isis sunni rats...
Hundreds of civilians held in Mosul detention without trial
| yesterday at 03:45 | (2)
Hama | 7/22/2018 10:02:34 PM
Not enough just in Kirkuk. Other disputed areas like Tuz Khurmatu, Daquq, Khanaqin, Makhmour are much more dangerous than Kirkuk and urgently need...
Zero tolerance | 7/22/2018 10:32:47 PM
WTF are Turkmens are thy Turks or Turks from Turkmenistan. How it’s possible they even have their own parties in irak or even worse in Kurdistan? And...
Kirkuk: Cross-party calls for joint ISF-Peshmerga security room
| 20 hours ago | (2)
FAUthman | 7/20/2018 5:51:27 PM
Impossible to control this uprising , where it goes nobody knows!
Selam | 7/22/2018 10:28:00 PM
So much to takling corruption. Arabs are the born by corruption they suffer from corruption and they die from corruption.
Baghdad joins southern anti-government protests
| 20/7/2018 | (3)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Security forces kill 3 armed hostage-takers in Erbil siege  3 hours ago |

Security forces kill 3 armed hostage-takers in Erbil siege

No group has claimed responsibility for the more
Damascus slams ‘criminal’ evacuation of White Helmets 5 hours ago |

Damascus slams ‘criminal’ evacuation of White Helmets

The criminal operation carried out by Israel more
1.625 seconds