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"New York Times" reporter shot and killed in Baghdad

(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a CPJ press release:

CPJ mourns death of New York Times reporter in Baghdad

New York, July 13, 2007 - The Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement about the death of Khalid W. Hassan, an interpreter and reporter for The New York Times Baghdad bureau, who was shot and killed today in Baghdad. CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said:

"We are deeply saddened by the death of Khalid Hassan and send our heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends. His death is even more difficult to bear, coming as it does on the heels of the loss of two of our colleagues from Reuters, who were killed yesterday by U.S. forces' fire in Baghdad.

"There is no safe way to report on the streets of Baghdad. The fact that Khalid Hassan was shot on his way to work is a reminder that even the simplest, most routine functions of daily life can be deadly in an environment of rampant violence.

"Khalid Hassan's killing, together with the deaths on Thursday of Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and assistant Saeed Chmagh, is a reminder of the crucial news-gathering role that Iraqi journalists have assumed in the conflict. Iraqi journalists are eyes and ears for the world; they have shown extraordinary courage and commitment in revealing the reality of life in Iraq. Too often they have paid with their lives: Nearly 85 percent of the journalists and media support workers killed in the conflict have been Iraqis.

"As we mourn the loss of the Khalid Hassan, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and Saeed Chmagh, we should take a moment to recognize and honor the Iraqi journalists who put their lives on the line every day to report for international and local news organizations. They provide a service to the world, and all of us are deeply in their debt."

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.cpj.org

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