475 journalists killed in Iraq since 2003: press syndicate

Journalists take cover as a suicide car bomb explodes during clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in western Mosul, Iraq, May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

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SULAIMANI — Head of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate and Arab Journalists Union Moayad al-Lami said on Saturday (January 23) that 475 journalists have been killed in Iraq since 2003, including 55 who were killed while covering the war against Islamic State (ISIS).

During a televised statement, al-Lami also said that Iraqi media outlets have succeeded in exposing and combating corruption, according to Iraqi National News Agency (NINA).

“Politicians began to be afraid of the news footage on the channels," he claimed.

"The Iraqi media had an influential role in raising the morale of citizens during the period of Daesh [ISIS],” he continued, referencing the period when ISIS militants had controlled a third of Iraq’s territory.

He said, however, that 75 percent of journalists were affected by the financial crisis currently hitting Iraq.

"Most newspapers no longer pay the salaries of their employees," he said.

At least, three journalists were killed in Iraq in 2020.

Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, ranks 162 out of 180 on Reporters Without Borders' 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

(NRT Digital Media)