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MediaWatch:Print
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Sixty Members of Media Killed in Iraq in 2006
Reporters Without Borders Annual Study Highlights Danger of War
02/01/2007 2:41 PM ET
Excerpted from the Iraq section of Reporters Without Borders "Freedom of the Press Worldwide" Annual Report

Local and foreign media and 65 journalists and their assistants were killed in 2006. Two were foreigners - Paul Douglas,of the US network CBS, and his soundman James Brolan - and the rest Iraqis.....

Local journalists living among the population have no special protection and are frontline targets. More and more of them are taking refuge in Western embassies in Baghdad or in neighbouring countries and applying for political asylum.Their work with the foreign (especially English-speaking) media exposes them to Iraqi armed groups that see them as spies.

Most of the journalists were killed in deliberate attacks. They were not safe anywhere and during the year were murdered as they drove vehicles or killed in front of their homes and even at their workplaces.....

Media workers were also victims of the religious rivalries dividing the country and were major targets of gunmen from both sides, who accused them of belonging either to a Shiite or Sunni media outlet....

At least 30 journalists were arrested by Iraqi security forces during 2006 and four of them were still being held without charge at the end of the year....

The US army arrested eight media workers during the same period and at year-end four of them were still being held without a stated reason. Local Associated Press reporter Bilal Hussein was arrested by US troops on 12 April on suspicion of having links with insurgents but was not formally accused of anything.

Full report available here. 2007_press_freedom_report.pdf

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