An Iraqi radio journalist was shot dead by unknown gunmen last September 8 in Baghdad, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Human Rights Watch (HRW) interviewed the witnesses at the crime scene who said “they saw no evidence of a struggle or theft. The victim’s cellular phone, laptop, and other valuables were left in the house untouched.”
Al-Mahdi, who is also a filmmaker and playwright, had been openly criticizing government corruption and social inequality in Iraq on his radio program, “To Whoever Listens”. His program runs thrice a week on the independent Radio Demozy, according to HRW.
Al-Mahdi had also written on his Facebook page, through which he organized pro-democracy demonstrations in Baghdad every Friday, that he had received several threats through social media and on his cell phone.
In February, al-Mahdi was arrested along with several other journalists at an anti-government protest in Baghdad and reportedly beaten, blindfolded, and threatened with torture.
Al-Mahdi was the fifth journalist killed in Iraq this year. (CPJ/IFEX)