Iraq sentences confessed killer of two journalists to loss of life

An Iraqi man accused of killing two journalists throughout anti-government protests in southern Iraq final 12 months was sentenced to loss of life by hanging on Monday.

In January 2020, Ahmad Abdessamad, a 37-year-old reporter for the native station Dijlah TV, and his 26-year-old cameraman, Safaa Ghali, had been driving within the metropolis of Basra when a bunch of armed males opened hearth on their automotive. Abdessamad died on the scene, and Ghali succumbed to his gunshot wounds in a hospital. 

The suspect, who the Basra Criminal Court recognized as “HK,” confessed that he had shot on the journalists “with the aim of destabilizing security and stability and intimidating people for terrorist purposes.” He now has 30 days to attraction his loss of life sentence.  

Abdessamad and Ghali had been masking the anti-government protests that erupted in Baghdad and throughout Iraq’s Shiite-majority south in October 2019. The demonstrations, which known as for an finish to rising Iranian affect, authorities corruption and an absence of fundamental providers, pressured the resignation of then-Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. 

Human rights teams accused safety forces of utilizing violent ways to suppress the unrest, together with firing reside ammunition at peaceable protesters. Iraq’s present premier, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, has vowed to carry these accountable for the a whole lot killed throughout the protests, together with journalists, accountable. 

Reporters Without Borders named Iraq because the world’s second deadliest nation for journalists in 2020. The report discovered that 84% of journalists killed that 12 months had been intentionally focused. Seven died whereas masking protests. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented the killings of 190 journalists in Iraq since 1992. Ten days after the killings of Abdessamad and Ghali, photojournalist Youssef Sattar was fatally shot whereas masking protests in Baghdad. 

In July 2020, distinguished Iraqi safety analyst Hisham al-Hashimi was assassinated by gunmen on bikes outdoors his home within the Iraqi capital. A 12 months later, Kadhimi introduced that authorities had arrested a number of individuals in reference to Hashimi’s homicide, incuding a 36-year-old police lieutenant who confessed to the taking pictures.

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