An Iraqi journalist in Luxembourg

Iraq, the most dangerous country for journalists

Photo: Hind Alharby

By Hind Alharby

Although there is no space for freedom of expression in Iraq, journalists continue to risk their lives and those of their families by telling the truth.

Some journalists working in Iraq have described being faced by blazing fires that almost burned their faces and facing death while working around people whose only means of dialogue is through arms.

In different parts of Iraq and especially in the capital of Baghdad, 151 journalists were killed between 2003 and 2013, double the number killed in the Philippines, making Iraq the most dangerous country for journalists.

Since 2003, the Iraqi government has practised a regime of repression and intimidation against journalists and anyone who says a word against the government or tries to expose corruption is killed or kidnapped.

Saif Talal and Hassan Al-Anbuge, pictured, worked as journalists for “Alsharqiya channel”. They were killed on January 12, 2016

So far we have not found the appropriate label for what is happening to the journalists in Iraq.

Saif Talal and Hassan Al-Anbuge were fellow journalists working for “Alsharqiya channel”, the same channel I worked for in Baghdad, Iraq.

They were killed on January 12, 2016, for telling the truth. They were murdered by unidentified armed attackers in Diyala city province, in the northeast of Baghdad, after their car was intercepted.

Saif and Hassan are not the only journalists to have been killed in Iraq. Before them was Nawras, a female journalist, who was killed while working for the channel during an armed attack.

Nawras, pictured, was killed while working for the channel during an armed attack

Then there is Wassan, an Iraqi journalist who was killed on the road.

My journalist friends Muhammed Kareem and Muhammed Ghanim, meanwhile, were killed in the street in front of the eyes of the government security forces and many others.

Regarding the deaths of Saif and Hassan, I just want to say rest in peace. I want this message to be about them and about the difficulty and the dangers of journalists in Iraq.

Finally, I would like to thank the Luxemburger Wort for this opportunity to write freely, without fear or restriction.

Hind is one of two asylum seekers writing for a bi-monthly column on Before coming to Luxembourg, she was a TV journalist and programme producer in Baghdad, Iraq. She fled Iraq in 2013 after receiving death threats because of her work. Click here to read more articles from this series.

Do not miss the news - sign up to receive the newsletter in English delivered to your inbox six days a week.