Over the weekend we wrote of the death of Alive in Baghdad correspondent Ali Shafeya Al-Moussawi, who was killed at home in Sadr City, Iraq on Friday after sustaining 31 shots to the head and chest. Please see AiB‘s blog and our original post if this is the first you’ve heard of the news. Today we got some more information from AiB creator Brian Conley. Here’s the lightly edited Q&A:
NewTeeVee: Do you have reason to believe Ali Shafeya Al-Moussawi was targeted for being a journalist with Alive in Baghdad?
Brian Conley: At this point we know he received a death threat about 1 week before he was killed. He had not informed our bureau chief, Omar, but his cousin knew about it, and told Omar last night. We are still not sure if that was connected to his work. I believe it seems very likely given the brutal details of his killing, but Omar thinks that since we were able to recover his tapes and camera, its less likely that he was targeted for his work.
NewTeeVee: Have the support and donations following Ali’s death ultimately reaffirmed your commitment to Alive in Baghdad, or are you thinking more pessimistically?
Conley: I’m not sure how the support is affecting my opinion. I think we need to continue this kind of work, but I’m trying to figure how to galvanize people to support us each month and to support the guys who are still in danger and still working. If they want to continue though, I think its important that I continue to support them and enable them to keep doing this work. It remains to be seen, however, whether there are enough resources to actually continue this work. Right now we are able to pay the guys because each month since October we’ve been receiving a donation/loan to cover our Iraq-side operating costs, but we can only continue without paying ourselves for so long.
NewTeeVee: How do you plan to address Ali’s death on AiB — will you be able to publish the stories he completed?
Conley: We hope to publish his stories in the next few weeks, but we are still waiting to receive his material. We have posted something for him on the front page and in our newest video. We’ll be adding a photo to the blog about his death also.