Members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and employees of RFE/RL’s Radio Free Iraq are mourning the death of their Baghdad bureau chief.
Dr. Mohammed Bdaiwi Owaid Al-Shammari was shot and killed over the weekend at a checkpoint near his Baghdad office in an area near the Presidential Palace, according to the BBG. The shooter has been identified as a member of Iraq’s presidential guard, reports BBG, which also says Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met briefly with members of Al-Shammari’s family afterwards and promised them quick action.
Dr. Al-Shammari had been working for RFI since 2006 and became its Baghdad bureau chief in 2012. A journalist for two decades, he was on the editorial boards of several Iraqi media institutions and was an associate professor at Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.
He is the third RFI journalist to be shot and killed since the service began broadcasting in 1998.
The 46-year-old is survived by his wife and three children.
BBG Chairman Jeff Shell described Dr. Al-Shammari as “a committed journalist working to ensure that the people of Iraq received reliable, unbiased news. In so doing, he faced many risks, making this final and apparently random act of violence all the more difficult to bear.”
The BBG called on the government of Iraq “to spare no effort to bring his killer to justice.”
The BBG is the independent federal agency overseeing U.S. civilian international media, including Voice of America, RFE/RL, Radio and Television Marti, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.