MPs condemn killing of Russian journalist

An Early Day Motion condemning the killing of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya is attracting cross party support from MPs

The motion states: "This House condemns the killing in Moscow of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya; recognises her bravery in reporting in the most dangerous of circumstances; further recognises the importance of a free press, and in particular serious investigative journalism, in a soundly functioning society and democracy; notes the number of journalists who have already been murdered in Russia during the legitimate pursuit of their profession without their killers having been brought to justice; and urges the Russian government, therefore, to make every effort to find and prosecute the perpetrators of this latest, terrible crime."

It was put down by Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Labour) The co-sponsors are Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham (Labour), Austin Mitchell, MP for Great Grimsby (Labour), Julie Kirkbride, MP for Bromsgrove (Conservative), Chris Mullin, MP for Sunderland South (Labour) and Chris Huhne, MP for Eastleigh (Liberal Democrat). All the MP s are former journalists.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the killing of radio journalist Azad Mohammad Hassan, whose death marked the 141st killing of media staff in Iraq since the war began in 2003.

Hassan, who was working for the radio station Dar Al Salam, was abducted a week ago by unknown gunmen, the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate said. His body was found today in the Northeast section of Baghdad.

"The kidnapping and killing of journalists with impunity has become an all-too-common occurrence in Iraq, making a free and independent press in Iraq impossible," the IFJ said. "Until the Iraqi government stop this horrifying trend, there cannot be true democracy in the country."

Earlier this week, two more Iraqi journalists were abducted in separate attacks.

On Monday, Mohammad Abdul Rahman, an announcer for the Dejla radio station, was kidnapped in the middle of Baghdad by unknown gunmen while he was on his way to the station. Ali Kareem, the editor-in-chief of local newspaper Nabed Al Shabab, was on his way to work in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday when he was kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

The IFJ and the IJS have called for their immediate and unconditional release.


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