Iraqi radio journalist gunned down

An Iraqi radio journalist was shot dead by unknown gunmen last September 8 in Baghdad, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Hadi al-Mahdi was killed in his home at Abu Nawas Street in the Baghdad neighborhood of al-Jidida on Thursday evening, Agence France-Presse reported.

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)