Iraqi journalists were attacked by security while covering Baghdad protests

On July 30, three journalists who work for the privately owned Al-Mayadeen news broadcaster were attacked and injured during protests in Baghdad’s Green Zone by supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, according to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) information.

Flash-bang grenades were thrown by the security forces and they hit Al-Mayadeen’s videographer Zaid Khaled Jomaa and Baghdad bureau chief and reporter Abdulah Badran. The third victim of the attacks was videographer Abdullah Saad who was shoved to the ground by riot police officers, being left with an injured leg and ankle.

CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa senior researcher, Justin Shilad, alarms that Iraqi authorities must protect journalists that are covering protests and allow them to report about the political situation in Iraq freely and safely. He also noted that Iraqi journalists are doing essential work in life-threatening circumstances in order to inform the public, thus authorities need to provide them to work without fear.

CPJ has received information that the three journalists often face risks when they report and Iraqi security forces regularly fail to differentiate protesters from journalists. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior had no comment on CPJ’s email.