Journalist Support Committee: Call for a full UN investigation into journalists killed in Iraq
The Journalist Support Committee appreciates the ongoing investigate work of UNITAD - the United Nations Investigative Team for Accountability of Da'esh / Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) - headed by British lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan.1
The launch of an independent investigative body to demand justice and hold Da'esh (ISIL) to account for the atrocities came at the request of the Iraqi Government. With the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2379 UNITAD was established to serve the purpose of holding Da’esh to account in Iraq.2
During Da'esh (ISIL)'s reign of terror, many journalists and media workers have been killed, kidnapped and forcibly disappeared. Victims have included Iraqi journalists from all religious communities and ethnic backgrounds, as well as many foreign reporters.
Journalists have been targeted specifically on the basis of their profession. For Da'esh (ISIL) the kidnapping and killing of reporters have two main rationales firstly, some journalists are perceived as a threat due to their possession of information harmful to their interests. Secondly, high-profile foreign journalists have been specifically targeted in some insistences for Da'esh to maintain a constant presence in news media worldwide.3
In their pursuit of truth, fairness and accuracy, more than 200 Iraqi journalists have been killed by Da'esh. Remediation is needed for the families whom journalists have left behind after sacrificing their lives trying to save their country through the medium of reporting.
The Journalist Support Committee calls on UNITAD to thoroughly investigate all cases of journalists killed, kidnapped and forcibly disappeared by Da'esh (ISIL), to continue its work with all the ethnic and religious groups in Iraqi civil society, to ensure that there is justice for the families, friends and colleagues of journalists who lost their lives conducting work of vital importance.
Journalist Support Committee - Switzerland
30 January 2019