July 14, 2012, in Damascus, Syria
Taha, a freelance journalist who contributed to several Iraqi news outlets, was killed while covering clashes between government forces and the Free Syrian Army, according to news reports.
News accounts carried few and conflicting details about Taha's death. Some reports said he had died in Damascus, while other outlets reported he had died in Jaramana, a suburb of the capital. Some accounts said Taha had been shot to death, while other reports citing Iraqi army officials said he had also been stabbed.
Taha fled Iraq between 2007 and 2008 and had been living and working in Syria ever since, Ziad al-Ajili, director of Baghdad's Journalistic Freedom Observatory, told CPJ. Syria is home to some 1 million Iraqi refugees who fled the sectarian fighting in Iraq between 2005 and 2007, according to news reports. Taha was a card-carrying member of the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate, The Associated Press reported, citing Brig. General Qassim al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi commander.
The AP also reported al-Dulaimi as saying that Syrian authorities handed over Taha's body to Iraqi authorities at the Al-Waleed border on July 16.
Taha was killed on the same day as Ali Juburi al-Kaabi, another Iraqi journalist living in Syria, according to news reports. It is unclear if the two died in the same area or under the same circumstances. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.
- Two Iraqi journalists killed in Syria, July 18, 2012