Ahmed Ali, a journalist and cameraman for the Sulaymaniyah-based Nalia Radio and Television NRT satellite channel, who died after falling from the edge of Mount Permagrun in Sulaymaniyah Governorate on April 9, was in the process of preparing and filming an adventure program alone without any TV crew, along a group of mountain climbers yet.
On the 8th of April, Ahmed went with a group of mountaineering enthusiasts to the top of Mount Permagron and spent that night there. According to witnesses, Ahmed woke up at 5 am the next day and disappeared after that.
Marwan Ali, Ahmed's brother, says that they have many questions about his brother's death, and they want to follow up on the case after the condolence session ends.
"We want to inspect the scene of the accident, then we will visit the TV channel and meet a group of mountaineering enthusiasts who were accompanied by Ahmed," Marwan continued, saying, "We want to know whether there was any negligence that led to the accident and the death of our brother."
We want to know whether there was any negligence that led to the accident and the death of our brother
He said that the channel did not send any team to work with Ahmed, and that he went alone to produce and film a show.
According to Marwan, who got information from the mountaineering group, Ahmed woke up at five in the morning and wanted to record unique footage for the program, and during that the group split into two teams.
"Each group thought that Ahmed was accompanied by the other group, and it took a long time before the group members realized that Ahmed had fallen from the edge of the mountain Marwan sobbed.
The accident occurred near the village of Zewe in Mount Permagrun. By noon, Ahmed's body was transferred to Sulaymaniyah by helicopter.
Ali, 45, was born in Kalar District, a graduate of the Media Technology Department from Sulaymaniyah Technical University. He has been working in the field of media for more than 15 years and started working for NRT channel six years ago. He was married, father of two children.
The height of Mount Permakron is 2,624 meters above sea level and 1,494 meters from the ground. It is one of the rugged mountains and is located northwest of the city of Sulaymaniyah, north of Baghdad.
Chiya Hussein, the director of the NRT, Ahmed took safety equipment for mountaineering with him, but he is not sure he used it that day while preparing the program.
"When he went to record the adventure program, he was alone and was not accompanied by a staff from the channel,” Hussein said. “He was a skilled and experienced cameraman, and we assigned him very special tasks."
The program that Ahmed prepared was previously prepared by another team.
"Because he was a mountain climber, he asked to prepare and shoot the program himself, and we accepted. Earlier, he has recorded 11 programs," Hussein added.
Because he was a mountain climber, he asked to prepare and shoot the program himself, and we accepted
Syndicates and organizations defending the rights of journalists constantly stress the need for journalists to use equipment and supplies that guarantee their safety while performing their duties.
Karwan Anwar, head of the Sulaymaniyah branch of the (Iraqi) Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate, said, "Ahmed's death is a warning bell for journalists that they should put their safety before their work, because the journalist's mission is to report the news, not to become news."
"Professional safety is an issue that we constantly repeat. When going to an area of this kind, a journalist must take into account the privacy of the area and the type of coverage, and bring safety equipment with him, but unfortunately, many institutions do not provide this equipment to their journalists," Anwar emphasized
During the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in (2014-2017), the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate organized special courses on how to cover the press during wars, in which dozens of journalists participated.
"But this incident makes us think about how journalists should work in such circumstances... because what happened to Ahmed is an issue that we should not underestimate," Anwar emphasized.