Tuesday, February 3, 2015CJFE is horrified by the recent murders of two journalists at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Iraqi photojournalist Adnan Abdul Razzaq was reportedly killed by firing squad in Mosul on January 25, while a video that appears to show Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto being beheaded by an ISIS militant was released on January 31. Goto was first kidnapped in Syria in October 2014 while on a mission to rescue fellow Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, who was also murdered by ISIS militants a week earlier. A respected journalist who reported on humanitarian issues in conflict zones, Goto’s messages of peace and tolerance have gone viral in the wake of his murder. Adnan Adbul Razzaq is the latest in a series of local journalists deliberately targeted by ISIS. The abduction and murder of local journalists by ISIS militants has continued to be a popular strategy for the group to hinder access to information about its activities and the territories it controls. Another Iraqi journalist, Ali Al-Ansari, was killed on January 23 while reporting on clashes between ISIS and pro-government Iraqi forces in Muqdadiyah, north of Baghdad. As CJFE has reported, local journalists working in Iraq and Syria are often forced to operate with limited protection and financial, logistical, and institutional support. They also account for the majority of the journalists targeted by ISIS, despite receiving only a fraction of the international attention. The Committee to Protect Journalists has named Syria the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the third year in a row, with about 20 journalists currently missing and believed to be held by ISIS militants. CJFE expresses its condolences to the families of Kenji Goto, Adnan Abdul Razzaq, and Ali Ansari, and vehemently condemns the continued targeting of journalists by ISIS militants. In order to ensure a strong, free press and access to reliable, accurate information in conflict zones, journalists must be protected and allowed to do their important work.
Do you like this page?