Twenty two journalists and media workers were killed in the first month of 2015. In addition to the nine murdered by Islamists in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris on January 7, two more journalists were killed in Iraq in the weeks that followed – Adnan Abdul Razzaq, an Iraqi photographer working for the Sama Mosul channel, killed by ISIS in Mosul, and reporter Ali Ansari, who was caught in crossfire between the Iraqi army and ISIS in Mykdadyah on January 23.
Ansari was a reporter for the Iraqi Al-Ghadeer television channel and had recently been honoured for his courage in reporting on the Iraq conflict. As well as these fatalities, two other journalists, Mustafa Hamid and Qusay Sahib, both from Iraqiya state television, were wounded in the battle at Mykdadyah.
Jim Boumelha, President of the International Federation of Journalists, said: “The escalation of violence that has now hit the Middle East is getting unbearable. This latest outrage underlines the massive efforts needed to create the best conditions for journalists so they can safely do their job.”
His message was reinforced by the CIoJ, which issued a statement highlighting the increasingly perilous situation for journalists in the Middle East, and called for all reporters, photographers and cameramen operating in the region to ensure they receive proper training and equipment to enable them to handle the current range of dangers.
Dominic Cooper, CIoJ Chief Executive, said: “Journalists and photographers should recognise the dangers that are present today and look after their own safety as a priority. The recent tragedies span offices as well as fieldwork. There is no safe place for journalists now. If you work in the media you need to be aware and always on the lookout for the dangers.”