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Journalists To Get State Protection During Iraqi Elections

Iraqis are preparing to go to the polls on January 31.
BAGHDAD -- Journalists covering Iraq's January 31 provincial elections will be protected by state security agencies, a press advocacy group has said.

A spokesman for the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, Muhammad Jaffal, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq that attacks on members of the press by militant groups, as well as harassment of journalists by state agencies, is a major concern in the country.

Jaffal said the Committee to Protect Journalists watchdog has identified Iraq as the world's deadliest country for the press for the sixth consecutive year in 2008.

Even greater protection for journalists is being sought by local authorities in the volatile northern city of Mosul, where the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory is organizing seminars on safety to help protect reporters.