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Newseum Honors Slain RFE/RL Journalists

Four RFE/RL journalists who were killed for doing their jobs are honored at a new Journalists Memorial in Washington, D.C.

(Washington, DC --- April 11, 2008) The names of four RFE/RL journalists killed for doing their jobs - simply reporting the news - have been etched onto a series of glass panels at the Journalists Memorial in Washington, DC's Newseum, which opens today.

"We mourn the loss of our colleagues and honor their memory," says RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin. "They risked their lives every day and eventually paid with their lives in order to bring fair, objective news and information to their fellow citizens. They were not only heroic professionally, but each was a dedicated father or mother. It is heartbreaking that, together, our colleagues leave eleven children behind."

The journalists being remembered include:

  • Ogulsapar Muradova, former RFE/RL correspondent in Turkmenistan, whose death remains shrouded in mystery. After the Turkmen authorities held a mock trial for the 58 year-old journalist, human rights activist, and mother of three in August 2006, nobody saw Muradova until her family was brought to identify her body at the Ashgabat city morgue a month later.

  • Khamail Muhsin Khalaf, a well-known former TV anchor in Iraq who reported regularly for RFE/RL. Shortly after the 50 year-old mother of three was abducted in April 2007, Khalaf's body was found in western Baghdad.

  • Nazar Abdulwahid Al-Radhi, a well-known Iraqi journalist and correspondent for RFE/RL, who was shot and killed in the southern Iraqi town of Al-Amarah in May 2007. Al-Radhi had just crossed a street after attending a workshop for journalists when armed men in a pick-up truck opened fire. The 37 year-old journalist had previously been threatened for his uncompromising stand against extremism. Al-Radhi is survived by a wife and four children, all under age ten.

  • Alisher Saipov, a correspondent for the Voice of America and frequent RFE/RL contributor for Uzbek language programs, who was gunned down near his office in the southern Kyrgyzstan town of Osh on October 27, 2007. The murder of the 26 year-old ethnic Uzbek is believed to have been ordered by the Uzbek security forces with the cooperation and green light of the Kyrgyz security services. Saipov is survived by a young widow and baby daughter.

The Newseum Journalists Memorial pays tribute to journalists who lost their lives on the job, etching their names on a series of glass panels. The names of Muradova, Khalaf, Al-Radhi and Saipov were added in an April 4 ceremony for journalists killed in 2006 and 2007. The Newseum is a new, national interactive museum that tells the history of journalism.