For Immediate Release
Al-Iraqiya Anchorman Gunned Down in Iraq
NEW YORK - Riad al-Saray, an anchorman for Al-Iraqiya television,
was killed this morning when a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire on his
car in western Baghdad, according to news reports. The
Committee to Protect Journalists called on Iraqi authorities to thoroughly
investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.
extend our deep condolences to
the family and colleagues of Riad al-Saray," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's
Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "We call on the Iraqi authorities to end the
culture of impunity by investigating this murder and bringing all those
responsible to justice."
Al-Saray, who joined Al-Iraqiya in 2005, hosted programs
that sought to reconcile Shiites and Sunnis, according to news reports and CPJ
interviews. Amar Hassan, an Al-Iraqiya colleague, said that while al-Saray
addressed political issues in his programs, he was not considered controversial.
He said al-Saray was on his way to Karbala in
southern Iraq when he was gunned down at about
6 a.m. Police said the gunmen used silencers in the attack.
Al-Iraqiya is part of the state-run Iraqi Media Network
and has wide viewership across the nation. At least 14 other Iraqi Media Network
staffers have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, the highest death
toll for any media organization in Iraq during that period.
Although anti-press violence has declined significantly
in Iraq in the past two years, deadly
attacks still occur, CPJ research shows. Reporter Sardasht Osman
was found slain in Mosul in May, and three
Al-Arabiya support workers were killed in a bombing in Baghdad in July.
CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom around the world.