Stifling Dissent: Extremists in Mosul Raid Homes, Arrest Journalists
Instead of reporting the news from inside the extremist-controlled city of Mosul, local journalists recently became the subject of news reports. Members of the extremist group, the Islamic State, are trying to silence all dissenting voices coming out of the city and recently initiated a wave of media arrests.
In the middle of the night, Mosul-based journalist Ahmed Abu Reeta got a phone call warning him that he was likely to be arrested by fighters from the extremist group known as the Islamic State at any moment.
Back in early June, the extremist Islamic State group had taken over the northern city of Mosul and some of its surrounds and they had started targeting journalists immediately; even before the group’s takeover of the city, their forerunners and allies had also been threatening and murdering journalists.
Abu Reeta and his sister decided to leave their home at once and they fled through neighbouring properties rather than on the street. They were just in time, the Abu Reeta tells NIQASH. Only a few minutes later fighters from the Islamic State, or IS, group arrived, searching for him. They did not find him but despite his mother’s protestations they confiscated his car.
Later Abu Reeta found out that the visit from the IS fighters was actually part of a concerted city wide raid on members of the media in Mosul. That night 12 other journalists were arrested, blindfolded and taken away by the IS fighters.
This attack on members of the press is not the first of its kind in Mosul. When the group first took control of the city in June, they detained five journalists – the group included one female television presenter. Nobody knows what has happened to those people.
The IS group has also been quick to confiscate the property of anyone working for the media. One example was the seizure of the home belonging to Jamal al-Badrani, head of the Sharqiya television channel’s bureau in Mosul. Ten other members of the media suffered a similar fate.