After several threats, Ned Parker, Reuters’ Baghdad bureau chief, has left Iraq. Parker was threatened via a Facebook page run by “armed Shi’ite groups” and a TV report by an Iranian-backed armed group.
In both situations, the parties demanded that Parker be banished from the country. Comments from supporters suggested they take another route. “The best way to silence him, not kick him out,” read one comment, according to Reuters.
The threats were a response to Parker’s April 3 report about human rights abuses in Tikrit.
A US State Departmen spokesperson denounced the threats in a statement.
This was a wise decision by Parker and Reuters. The Committee to Protect Journalists’ latest report said at least 15 journalists have been killed in Iraq over the past two years.