The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory "JFO" team followed up on the attack that targeted journalist Qusay Shafiq's family home on Saturday evening, July 23, 2022.
Upon being contacted by JFO team, Shafiq, a political program's host, said that "the house of his relatives (and his parents) was attacked by bombs and gunfire, which resulted in his mother's injury owing to flying glass fragments; because of the explosion."
According to Shafiq, the incident "took place after he criticized corruption at the General Authority of Customs in one of his TV program episodes," and he "got two threats via persons he knows."
The attack was blamed on "the brother of a Ministry of Interior official and another individual in the General Authority of Customs," according to Shafiq, who expressed "surprise at being threatened and then targeted, even though MPs in the Iraqi parliament had previously submitted the file he discussed."
Shafik further claimed that "parties attempted to establish a link between him and the activist Ali Fadhel, who lives in the United States," and accused him of "launching a concurrent campaign against General Authority of Customs with Fadhel."
Shafiq denied his relationship with Fadel and confirmed that he is practicing what his work requires.
The General Authority of Customs was accused of being behind the incident by Qusai Shafiq in a video he had earlier made from inside his parents' home, documenting the extent of the damage. The General Authority of Customs then filed a lawsuit against Shafiq, accusing him of extortion and defamation.
JFO also learned that the attack was classified as a terrorist crime by the proper authorities, who passed it along to the proper judge. At the same time, Shafiq stated that he has audio and video recordings of the attackers.
JFO denounces the threats made against journalists because of the work they do and the stories they cover, and it warns about the dangerous trend of targeting the families and homes of journalists.
JFO urges the authorities in charge of the investigation and decision in the matter to step up their efforts and speed the identification of those guilty of the bombing of Qusay Shafiq's house.