Head of journalists union badly wounded in shooting attack

Head of journalists union badly wounded in shooting attack

Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns a shooting attack in
which Shahab Al-Tamimi, the head of the Iraqi journalists union, was
serious wounded on 23 February in the north Baghdad district of
Al-Waziria. Aged 75, Tamimi is now in a hospital in the US-controlled
Green Zone where his condition is stable, a doctor said.

“Iraqi journalists are the leading witnesses of the violence that
has gripped the country since 2003 and should be protected by the
authorities,” the press freedom organisation said. “It would be
regrettable if the government were to take no action in response an
attack that could have cost this journalist his life.”

who has headed the journalists union since July 2004, came under fire
from three unidentified masked men as he left a meeting in a cultural
centre located near the Turkish embassy. The gunmen got away after the
attack. Tamimi was rushed to Ibn Al-Naffis hospital in the Green Zone
where, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, his
condition is no longer life-threatening.

Meanwhile there is
still no word of the British reporter employed by the US TV network CBS
who was kidnapped in Basra, 590 km south of Baghdad on 11 February.
Members of the movement led by Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, who obtained
the release of his Iraqi interpreter on 13 February, promised on 22
February to redouble their efforts to get the journalist freed.

Last year, 25 journalists and media assistants were kidnapped in Iraq. A total of 208

been killed in connection with their work since the start of the US-led
invasion in 2003. For more information, see the Iraq chapter of the
2008 Reporters Without Borders annual report, published on 13 February.