News anchor’s car blown up
Kamiran Salaheddin - Iraq - Killed, 2 April 2012
Kamiran Salaheddin, a television news anchor and political talk-show host with the local Iraqi channel Salahaddin, in Salah ad Din Province, had left work late on April 2nd, 2012.
He was driving through the centre of Tikrit, the provincial capital, when there was a sudden huge explosion and the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
A magnetic “sticky bomb” had been attached to the underside of Salaheddin’s car and the journalist - a well-known local figure - was killed instantly in the blast. The channel he worked for had been established in 2004 after the Iraq War, with American funding. No parties stepped forward to claim responsibility for the killing.
The 35-year-old father of two had been with the television channel for seven years. In that time Tikrit had seen more than its share of carnage and bloodbaths. For example in late March 2011 insurgents attacked the provincial council offices in the city simultaneously with car bombs and gunmen wearing suicide vests.
The deadly assault involved the taking of hostages and lasted several hours, and among the dozens of dead at the scene were two Iraqi journalists. Sabah al-Bazee, who reported for CNN, Reuters, and the pan-Arab Al Arabiya satellite channel, was hit by shrapnel. Muammar Khadir Abdelwahad, covering a council meeting for the Al-Ayn news agency, was also killed and Al-Fayhaa TV cameraman Saad Khaled was gravely wounded.
The day was utterly horrendous for the people of Tikrit. A total of 65 died and the wounded numbered more than 100. Iraq has an awful reputation where the security of journalists is concerned. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), over the course of the last 20 years, 94 journalists have been murdered in this country torn by war and unrest. Iraq’s notoriety in this department is made even worse by the fact that many of these killings have never been investigated or resolved.
This article was originally printed in the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat. The content of the article may have been modified and/or updated as information became available following the date of publication.
UNESCO encourages all media outlets to inform the public of violations of press freedom; to raise awareness of issues impacting the safety of journalists around the world; and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
The original article in Finnish can be found here.