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Iraqi authorities fail to protect journalists

Journalists are increasingly being targeted by attacks and killings in Iraq, while the government stands by in silence.
Iraqi freelance cameraman Yasser Faysal al-Joumaili poses for a picture in Falluja, 50 km (31 miles) west of Baghdad November 22, 2004. An al Qaeda-linked group in Syria has executed an Iraqi freelance cameraman, the first foreign journalist killed by insurgents in the conflict, a press freedoms watchdog said on December 5, 2013. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized Joumaili while he was on a reporting trip in northern Syri
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On Dec. 8, the body of Yasser Faisal al-Jumaili, an Iraqi photojournalist who was executed by al-Qaeda in Syria, arrived in Fallujah. Only one day before the arrival of the body, dozens of journalists in Sulaimaniyah staged a sit-in to protest against the assassination of journalist Kawa Ahmed Germyani in Kalar at the hands of gunmen.

Speaking to Al-Monitor, Ziad al-Ajaili, the head of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory in Iraq, said: “No blood money is paid to the families of murdered journalists, who are killed on a daily basis. In Mosul alone, 50 journalists have been killed since 2003.” According to Ajaili, most journalists fled the city after a hit list containing their names was recently published.

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