27-year-old Photojournalist Killed in Iraq
On 12 June, Agence France-Presse reported the death of 27-year-old Iraqi photographer Kamaran Najm Ibrahim, who was killed near the city of Kirkuk in Iraq. At the time of his death, he was photographing the clashes between the Kurdish forces and the jihadists. However, it is unsure as to whether he was specifically targeted or was one of the casualties during the firing.
Kamaran was the founder of Metrography, Iraq’s first photo agency. He established the organisation in 2009, along with photographer Sebastian Meyer. “Our photographers are trying to cover different stories of Iraq and Kurdistan. They do daily life. They do everyday news. There are not only bombs. There’s not only blood. There are other stories,” he said. His photographs have appeared on The Washington Post, Financial Time, Vanity Fair and other publications.
As time progresses, more and more journalists and photographers are threatened by dangerous and life threatening political clashes. An alarming figure of 164 journalists have been killed in Iraq since 1992, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Despite the repeated requests made by local and international organisations, the security forces have done very little to protect the interests of the journalists.
Unfortunately, photographers and reporters are viewed as vultures by the opposing parties in war infested regions. Take the case of when the turmoil in Syria began, where President Assad denied access to journalists to the country. Moreover, he claimed no responsibility if any of the reporters lost their life during the insurgency.
In an interview in Time Lighbox by Olivier Laurent, Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator insisted that journalists must be given equal status as civilians, and that they should be allowed to report and cover a story without the looming threat of losing their life. Whether this will ever take shape is a hard thing to say.
UPDATE: Photo District News Pulse via an editor’s note posted on the website of the Committee to Protect Journalists, mentioned that CPJ received unconfirmed reports that Kamaran may not have been killed afterall. The case is currently under investigation.
Tags: photojournalist, photographer, Life in a Metropolis, Death, Kamaran Najm Ibrahim, Iraq, Kurdish, Kirkuk, Jihadist, Killed, Photo agency, Sebastian Meyer, Clashes, Committee to Protect Journalists