Iraqi Reporter Critical of Government Shot Dead

Posted September 8th, 2011 at 6:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Iraqi security officials say a journalist known for his criticism of the country's government who claimed he was abused by the Iraqi army was shot dead late Thursday in Baghdad.

Hadi al-Mehdi had a weekly radio program in the Iraqi capital and wrote commentaries for several websites. He had called on the government to provide better public services and used the social networking site Facebook to organize weekly demonstrations in Baghdad.

His death was confirmed by a medic at the Ibn al-Nafis hospital.

Al-Mehdi was one of four Iraqi journalists who say they were abducted by Iraqi army soldiers after an anti-government demonstration as part of nationwide protests in February.

He has described the conditions of his detention as “brutal and inhuman,” saying he was blindfolded, doused with water and subjected to electric shock while music played in the background.

The Associated Press quotes the journalists as saying the soldiers wanted them to admit to being Baathists – members of the ruling party that ran Iraq under Saddam Hussein. All denied any connection to terrorists or Saddam's government.