May 29, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq
Samya Abdel Jabar and Mahmood Daoud, a driver and bodyguard for the Iraqi daily Al-Sabah al-Jedid, were abducted and killed by gunmen. Both men were working for Al-Sabah al-Jedid editor Ismael Zayer.
A group of men arrived at Zayer's house around 9 a.m. in a police car and two civilian cars, Zayer told CPJ an e-mailed statement. The group included an armed police captain and at least two armed men in plain clothes, he said.
They told Zayer he was wanted for questioning because, they said, his car had been involved in a crime. After trying unsuccessfully to force Zayer into the car, they allowed him to go inside and change clothes. Inside, Zayer recounted, he phoned Iraq's interior minister who said no arrest warrant had been issued and warned that Zayer should not leave with the men. When he returned outside, Zayer said, the armed men were gone and neighbors said Abdel Jabar and Daoud had been taken.
Police found both men fatally shot later that day, according to Zayer.
Al-Sabah al-Jedid was formed in 2004 after breaking away from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)-backed daily Al-Sabah, following a dispute between Zayer and the CPA.
Zayer said the offices of Al-Sabah sustained at least five rocket propelled grenade attacks, and 20 people were arrested last year in a plot to kill him.
Media Support Worker: In 2003, CPJ began documenting the deaths of vital media employees such as translators, drivers, fixers, and administrative workers.