New York Times journalist killed in Basra
London Guardian | September 20 2005
By Claire Cozens
An Iraqi journalist working for the New York Times has been killed after men claiming to be police officers abducted him from his home in Basra.
Fakher Haider, who had also worked for the Guardian and National Geographic, was found dead in a deserted area of the Iraqi city yesterday.
"This murder of a respected colleague leaves us angry and horrified," said Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times.
"Fakher was an invaluable part of our coverage for more than two years. His depth of knowledge, his devotion to the story and his integrity were much admired by the reporters who worked with him."
Haider is survived by a wife, Isra, and three children, ages 5, 7 and 9.
According to Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres, he is the 68th journalist killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003 and the 19th this year.
He is also the second New York Times journalist to have been killed in Basra over the past two months.
Last month the freelance journalist Steven Vincent was killed after he and his Iraqi translator were abducted at gunpoint.
Vincent had earlier written an opinion piece for the New York Times, criticising the Basra security forces.
"We are very concerned about security in Basra, as two journalists have been killed there within two months," said RSF in a statement.
"It is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous for the press to operate in Iraq. We call on the Iraqi authorities and the US-British military coalition to carry out a rapid and thorough investigation to identify those responsible and prevent any recurrence of such tragedies.