The United Kingdom's Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt (pictured), has described the assassination of an Iraqi journalist as deeply concerning, saying it threatened to undermine hard won freedoms.
Speaking after a meeting with the Iraqi Human Rights Committee on Tuesday, he said:
"I was shocked and saddened to hear of the assassination of prominent journalist Hadi al-Mahdi at his home in Baghdad on 8 September. A transparent and comprehensive investigation to identify and bring his killers to justice is urgently needed.
“This is the latest in a deeply concerning series of attacks on journalists across Iraq which threatens to undermine hard won freedoms. The new law on legal protection for journalists passed by Iraq’s Parliament in August, and the announcement of a Special Inquiry into Mr Mahdi’s death by the Iraqi Interior Ministry, are welcome and we continue to encourage the Iraqi Government to address the issue of journalists’ physical protection.
"I raised this with the Iraqi Human Rights Committee when I met them this morning and was pleased to hear of their commitment to tackle the issue”.