December 28, 2020 Find out more August 30, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 CBS interpreter’s murder brings toll of journalists and media workers killed since start of war to 200 IraqMiddle East – North Africa News RSF_en The murder of CBS News interpreter Anwar Abbas Lafta brings the number of journalists and media workers killed in Iraq since March 2003 to 200. “This unbearable litany of death must stop, and for that to happen, the Iraqi authorities must at least try to adopt measures to combat violent crime and impunity.” Receive email alerts News Organisation Reporters Without Borders voiced dismay on learning of the murder of Anwar Abbas Lafta, an Iraqi translator and interpreter employed by the US television network CBS News. Lafta’s body was found on 25 August, five days after he was abducted in Baghdad. His death brings the number of journalists and media workers killed in Iraq since the start of the US-led invasion in March 2003 to 200.“We are appalled by this latest murder and by the new overall toll,” the press freedom organisation said. “The number of journalists and media workers killed since the start of 2007 now stands at 49. This unbearable litany of death must stop and for that to happen, the Iraqi authorities must at least try to adopt measures to combat violent crime and impunity. Those who murder journalists in Iraq unfortunately have nothing to fear from the police and judicial authorities.”No war has ever been as deadly for the press. Whether foreigners or Iraqis, journalists are seen as a key targets. Seventy-three per cent of the journalists killed in Iraq have been directly targeted. This is much higher than in previous wars, in which journalists were above all the victims of collateral damage and stray bullets.Iraqi journalists have been among the leading victims of this war. Eighty-eight per cent of the journalists and media workers killed have been Iraqis. They are singled out by armed groups, often because they work for foreign news media. At the same time, they do not get the same protection that visiting foreign correspondents receive.Most of the 200 media fatalities have taken place in Baghdad (110 cases) or near the capital (34 cases). Another 45 cases have taken place in the north of the country, above all in the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk.More journalists are also taken hostage in Iraq than anywhere else in the world. A total of 84 journalists and media workers (64 per cent of them Iraqis) have been kidnapped there in the past four years. Only about half of them have been freed. At least 27 have been the victims of execution-style murders, and 14 are still being held by their abductors.Lafta was kidnapped by a group of 10 gunmen who forced their way into his Baghdad home on 20 August, beat his brother and shot and wounded his sister. Lafta was the only one they took away. CBS News said his abductors contacted the family several times to demand a ransom. The police eventually found his body in the east Baghdad district of Sadr City. News to go further RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Follow the news on Iraq Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” IraqMiddle East – North Africa February 15, 2021 Find out more Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan News Help by sharing this information December 16, 2020 Find out more
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The spiralling trafficking and use of drugs in the centre of Athens, as well as brawls among addicts and illegal immigrants, has resulted in large numbers of tourists avoiding the area and has led to a drop in hotel reservations, according to local hoteliers.“The last straw for tourists was the constant brawls between local immigrants and the drug dealers and addicts who could often be seen outside hotels,” said Alexandros Arapakis, a local hotelier. Arapakis said two foreign travel agents with whom he had business arrangements had ended their working relationship following complaints from dissatisfied visitors. “The so-called historic centre has changed and our clients no longer feel safe,” one of the travel agents noted in its letter. According to Arapakis, the impact of the area’s degeneration is not restricted to local businesses. “What bothers me more than the financial loss is the image of Athens which tourists carry back to their homes – this damage is incalculable and will take years to repair,” Arapakis said.The losses suffered by local hoteliers are significantly greater than those of hotels in other areas. According to industry analysts, hotel reservations in the historic center where nearly half of Attica’s hotel capacity is located have fallen by 25 percent.Travel agents based in the city center are also struggling with recent developments. “We have lost customers before they even get out of the cab,” local travel agent Yiannis Politis said. According to Politis, many tourists have told their taxi driver to keep driving after seeing the shady characters lurking outside their hotels.As for those tourists who do stay, travel agents feel obliged to prepare them for the worst. “We find ourselves in the unpleasant position of giving our customers two pieces of advice: Keep your bags in front of you and never take your passport with you when you go out,” Politis said.