Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Desmond / US Embassy Iraq / Wikimedia
Iraqi Army officers increase the number of soldiers during the second day of protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 1, 2020.

An Iraqi journalist and his cameraman were shot to death this weekend just hours after having posted a video Friday condemning Iraqi forces for their brutality in cracking down on anti-regime protesters, while allowing others to attack the US Embassy earlier this month, according to a report Monday by the Al Bawaba news site.

Dilja TV correspondent Ahmed Abdel Samad and cameraman Safaa Ghali were assassinated in the southern city of Basra, the US Embassy in Baghdad confirmed, adding in a statement that it “strongly denounced the deplorable and cowardly assassination.”

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The embassy added that it was the responsibility of the Iraqi government to uphold the “right to freedom of expression, protecting journalists, and ensuring that peaceful activists can practice their democratic rights without fear of reprisal.”

Iranian-backed militia factions within the Iraqi security forces have been accused of killing some 500 protesters since the start of the unrest. Another 19,000 have been injured. Some 5,200 US troops remain in Iraq to assist and provide training to Iraqi security personnel who continue to fight Islamic State terrorists.

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