By: Mark Fitzgerald
The war in Iraq has been the most lethal conflict for journalists since World War II, with 230 murdered since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders says in a new report.
“That is more than those killed during 20 years of the Vietnam War or the civil war in Algeria,” the Paris-based organization said.
The report comes two weeks after the U.S. withdrew its last combat brigade from Iraq – and on the same day that Riyad Assariyeh, a journalist working with the state-run al-Iraqiya TV, was killed as he left his home in Baghdad Tuesday. Reporters Without Borders (RSF for its initials in French) said he was the 15th Al Iraqiya journalist killed since Saddam Hussein’s removal.
“It would be deplorable it this killing were to go unpunished, which unfortunately has been the case in 99% of the 230 murders of journalists and media workers since the US-led invasion in 2003,” RSF said.
The vast majority, 87%, of the journalists killed were Iraqis, according to the report. It also found that Baghdad was the deadliest city for journalists, with 77 killed there.
Nearly 70% of the journalists killed were “targeted” for death, RSF said.
The report also found that at least 30 journalists were arrested by U.S. forces between March 2003 and August 2010.