TV host wounded in attackPosted Dec 9 2009
During the night of Nov. 23, Imad Abadi, a TV commentator, was shot twice while driving to work in the Salhiya neighborhood near Baghdad’s Green Zone. He was hit in the head and neck and managed to drive to an Iraqi checkpoint before being taken to a hospital. He is in stable condition, and doctors have said his recovery chances are good.
Faisal Yasiri, the owner of the independent Al-Diyar channel, which features Abadi’s show Without Fences, told Agence France-Presse, “It was not a random shooting, he was targeted. He has a program in which he raises delicate issues, and he often defends journalists and maybe he angered some people.”
Abadi is considered a champion of press freedom, and Al Sharqiya TV played a clip throughout the day following the attack from a recent interview with Abadi, according to the Los Angeles Times. In the clip he says, “A journalist should be a free person who can write whatever he wants, but nowadays any scandal he writes about the whole world will collapse on his head. […] The intimidation of journalists is rejected, as is the allegations that they get money from abroad or are collaborators. The people know who is a traitor and who gets money from abroad – and it is not Iraqi journalists, 284 of whom have been sacrificed on the altar of freedom.”
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recently ranked Iraq 145th out of 175 countries in its press freedom index.