54 journalists killed in Iraq in 2007 - IJRDA
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 02 /01 /2008 Time 9:02:54
Baghdad, Jan 2, (VOI)- The annual report of the Iraqi Journalists’ Rights Defending Association (IJRDA) said on Wednesday that working as a journalist in Iraq remains the most dangerous job in the world, noting that a total of 54 journalists and media workers have been killed in the country during 2007.
"Journalists, reporters and media staffs face arresting malicious lawsuits, which negatively affect the freedom of expression and the press work in the country," the IJRDA said in its report received by the independent news agency voices of Iraq (VOI)."The absence of a legislation which organizes the media work in Iraq creates many problems and misleads journalists, who face lawsuits for publishing untrue news," it added."Arresting and suing campaigns against journalists require quick action to support and defend them before the court," the statement also said."The Iraqi Journalists’ Rights Defending Association launched a legal division, defense committee, and telephone hotline on August 18 for Iraqi journalists facing libel or defamation lawsuits. The IJRDA would provide lawyers, free of charge, to any journalist accused of violating publishing regulations. The group advertised the hotline contact information in Iraqi newspapers and with news agencies," said the association's release."A total of 54 journalists have been killed in 2207. Most of the fatalities have taken place in Baghdad and Ninewa. All of the attacks were launched by unknown gunmen," the release explained."31 journalists have been detained, 10 kidnapped, 6 of them were freed later, while 4 still missing," it noted.Unidentified gunmen, suicide bombers, and U.S. military activity all posed fatal risks for Iraqi journalistsThe IJRDA called on the Iraqi parliament to discuss raids against media institutions issue.The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said last October that 54 journalists and media workers have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of 2007, while the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said that a total of 234 journalists have been killed in the country since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.The watchdog had placed Iraq in 157 rank in its annual press freedom index."The Iraqi journalists were killed by armed groups or militias angered by their coverage or ideologically opposed to their employers. Others were caught in crossfire," it highlighted."The situation in Iraq deteriorated further during the year as the safety of journalists became more precarious," RSF added.“Working as a journalist in Iraq remains one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet,” said Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.