Mother of slain Iraqi journalist forgives killer

Nuaimi’s mother met the man who killed her daughter, telling him that he “sent her as a bride to paradise”

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The mother of a young Iraqi television presenter who was shot dead in the northern city of Mosul met and forgave her killer, saying he sent her daughter to paradise.

Al-Mosuliyah television channel, for which Nawras al-Nuaimi worked before she was gunned down during a robbery near her home on December 15, broadcast a report on her killing and her murderer’s arrest.

During the broadcast, Nuaimi’s mother met the man who killed her daughter, telling him that he “sent her as a bride to paradise,” and kissed his forehead.

The bereaved mother was later shown in her daughter’s bedroom, holding a blood-stained book titled “Introduction to Human Rights,” which she was carrying when she was killed.

Iraqi army Staff Major General Ali al-Fraiji said Nuaimi’s killer was among a group that was arrested during an attempted attack on security forces.

He was identified by Nuaimi’s family and witnesses, Fraiji said.

Nuaimi, who was born in 1994, was the fifth journalist to be killed in Mosul in less than three months, while seven more were killed elsewhere in Iraq during the same period.

Mosul, where most residents are Sunni Arabs, is one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq, with militants frequently carrying out attacks and reportedly extorting money from shopkeepers.

Iraq has come in for repeated criticism over the lack of media freedom and the number of unsolved killings of journalists.

“We are stunned by this latest murder and by the failure of the local and national authorities to respond to the deadly campaign against journalists in Iraq,” media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said in a statement on the killing of Nuaimi.

“The continuing violence and the impunity enjoyed by those responsible constitute a major threat to freedom of information,” it said.

Violence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal period of sectarian killings.

More than 6,650 people have been killed in attacks since the beginning of 2013, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.